If you know me well, you know that I like to improve myself. Degrees, continued classes, the still somewhat stigmatized self-help books, a blog about living outside of my comfort zone. Perhaps the best example of all is the one you might never suspect: the day to day life of pursuing my acting and singing career.
Even playing another character, I have no choice but to learn to be myself within that role, truly and vulnerably. I do this in auditions, classes, filming, and in performances for strangers, people I admire, and people who've known me for years. Yes, that really does scare me sometimes, yet as soon as I shut down and play it safe, I've lost the ability to interact with my scene partner and create art in the present moment.
Years ago, I participated in a workshop in which the teacher said, "they can see you anyway. They can see past the mask you try to wear, so you might as well be genuine and vulnerable. You can't really ever hide onstage." Although I'm grateful to have tried some pretty daring things in my life, none of them have really prepared me for that which I now, finally, attempt almost every day. So if you notice I have a few more quirks than you're used to seeing, rejoice. My art is teaching me how to be me.