The right earbud of my headphones is shorting out. While walking to wherever I may be going, the sound will entirely disappear on that side. In these moments, I feel like I'm doing the sidestroke in my own music.
As an entertainment tech I worked a LOT of shows. I worked for a LOT of different entertainers. I sometimes wish I would have kept a list, because sometimes I forget. Oh well.
I worked for the Chippendales for a few years. That was actually a lot more fun than I would have initially expected it to be.
I also worked with showgirls for a bit.
Growing up I was always, incredibly, HUGELY, intimidated by physical beauty. It started I think when I was very young. Before I knew or understood what attraction even was. When I was but a lad, I had no problem telling people if I thought they were pretty. It came easy to me.
As my formative years progressed, I found myself being shunned by those people. I would be rejected flat by my young advances. I was too young and stupid to know to keep that shit to myself. The girls I liked didn't want to know or hear that I did. I think I embarrassed them. Naturally over the course of time, I took that rejection to heart. By the time I had hit my middle school years, I was pretty much like any other pre-teen. I was all to aware of, and even exaggerated my own flaws. I found all the parts of myself I didn't like, and they became the focal point. I became convinced that I was ugly. I'm sure most of us have had that phase. I'm not unique...but it did stick with me longer than I should have let it.
Even after I did grow out of it, I was still affected by it. I took it to heart. I had a very difficult time talking to girls, and the more attractive I found them, the more difficult it was. And if they defied the set standard of beauty...you know...even prettier than the pretty ones...well...forget about it. I couldn't even look at them.
No really. I couldn't. I was afraid they would catch me looking and be disgusted that someone like me, would be looking at someone like them.
I realize of course in retrospect that it was a lot of my own insecurities. I was judging them to be a type of person...based on the type of person I thought I was. It was a vicious little self destructive line of unreasoning.
This plagued me even through High School. I didn't go to my Jr. Prom, because I was too afraid to ask anyone. Every girl I thought was attractive...I was quite certain thought I was unattractive in direct proportion. I wasn't allowed to date until I was sixteen. It's a Mormon thing. Didn't matter. Even after I turned sixteen, and was now allowed...
Oh sure, there were a ton of people I would have pretty much done anything to even be able to say hello to...let alone date. But I didn't. I couldn't.
I harbored crushes of course. I still remember every one of them. Most of them developed because a girl would say hi to me, or laugh at a joke I told in class. It sprung out of the fact that she didn't seem to be completely repulsed by my presence. For me...at that time...that was simply enough.
I have of course over the past however many decades grown out of all that. I was married to an incredibly gorgeous woman. Have been involved in relationships with just...I dunno...really fucking pretty people. So I'm not a complete social idiot.
Except I am.
I'll occasionally get lucky.
Thing is though...it's still there.
And its strange.
I'm a fucking actor. Personal rejection is a huge part of my life. You learn to deal with it. You learn to hear no. You learn to hear next. You learn the phrase... "Please come to our next audition"...so well, you can actually sometimes hear it, before the director even says it. I'm pretty sure on some level, all actors have a VERY personal relationship with rejection. It's part of what we deal with. Constantly. We move on, we hone our craft, we get better, we get roles, we get work, we get reputations, we act we act we act...and we STILL get rejected. It's part of the process.
I still have a hard time talking to people.
I have never. Not once. Not a single goddamn time...walked up to a girl in a bar to strike up a conversation. Pretty sure I never will. I fucking HATE bars.
But I think you also see the point I'm making.
I don't really approach women. It's just not in me.
But then I worked eROCKtica.
That was the name of the show.
7 or 8 gorgeous...absolutely in every way physically stunning girls dancing mostly naked to live classic rock music for 78 minutes.
There is no way to fully communicate how gorgeous these girls were. Some had been NFL cheerleaders. Most were professional models on the side. All of them were of course dancers. Just the height of what we have socially accepted as the epitome of physical beauty.
Naturally there was no way I was going to talk to any of them outside of whatever needed to be communicated for the job. And I didn't. In fact for the most part I even avoided making eye contact, lest they think me some sort of trollish pervert.
One day one of the girls came into rehearsal wearing a Denver Broncos jersey. I couldn't help myself. I remarked on the jersey, and that I also happened to be a huge fan of the team. She smiled. Replied. We talked football for a bit.
Holy shit. Not only was she gorgeous but she was a person too.
Kinda says more about me than it does about her doesn't it. Some of us take a bit longer to learn the silliest of life's lessons.
A few weeks later, I was down near the stage after having set up for the show, smoking a cigarette. One of the other girls from the show came over and joined me. We smoked. We talked. It was all so...normal. Not at all what I was expecting. Just people smoking. This became a routine. Every night before the show, myself...other techs...and any number of the girls would hang out in our little smoking area, some smoking, some not...and just shoot the shit. It was always just so nice.
The greatest shock to me in all of that...at the time...is that I actually became friends with pretty much all of them. Not just work friends...but you know...friends. They'd invite me to clubs...parties...we hang out...friend stuff. With pretty people.
Wanna know something funny? I had pretty much the exact same experience with the Chippendales too. Different gender...nearly exact same experience. I became friends with some of them. Really...fucking..pretty people...and just little ole me.
It took me that long in my life to learn that huge of a lesson. That people really are just people. Its all relative, and its all arbitrary, and its all just exactly what we make it. Except I learned something else too.
Bear with me.
Earlier tonight I was just perusing my FB. Going through my friends list. Looking at pictures. I eventually went through my entire friends list looking at at least the profile pic of every single one of you and realized something.
I am the luckiest motherfucker on the planet because
every one of you
every last goddamn fucking one of you
I have the prettiest friends in the world.
For a guy who grew up with all these petty insecurities. Who claims so much to be intimidated by beauty, I've gone and surrounded myself with it. I've put myself in the middle of the most amazing people I could find...and somehow...without even realizing...it just happened.
Beauty is, and you all have it. In spades. And I sit here...still just little ole me, and I am consumed by love, and quite frankly adoration for every last one of you.
I have this thing where I look at your face...and I smile. I can't help it. Every last one of you have contributed something to my life, that I can't adequately express gratitude for. Really all I can do is
return the favor somehow.