Impostor Syndrome

I have become a creature of the left brain.

My days are filled with emails, scheduling, phone meetings, and compulsively checking my inbox to see if we have gotten anymore contributions on the fundraising page.

I remember years ago sitting in a class on entrepreneurship being taught all of the ways to fundraise for your dream project. To my twenty year old brain the idea that anyone would trust me with their money seemed absurd. Now I watch the donations trickle in daily, in increments as low as ten dollars and as high as three hundred. People are sending ME money, to stage a play with MY friends, one that came out of MY head…don’t they know who I am? I have trouble getting to the subway in the morning without having to go back for my keys, my phone, or my wallet. Sometimes I make it all the way to the city before I realize the mistake.

It is happening though. All of my doubt and anxiety aside, we have a play. We have a venue. We have money in the bank. On a run a few weeks back, I expressed my fear around this first attempt at staging my own work to my running partner. “I think everyone who doesn’t suffer from a personality disorder or severe narcism deals with a certain amount of impostor syndrome,” he replied. With those words he hit the nail on the head.

What gives me the right to do this, I keep wondering?

Last Thursday I took the night off of emails to go watch two dear friends perform a mix of music and poetry in a local venue. I didn’t want to stay for long; I had come off of a long work day and was looking at a busy weekend. Somewhere in the evening though I lost track of that desire. The warmth of the space and of the people who filled it, of the creativity being showcased, worked its fingers into my core. All of the left brain worry around the production melted away, the stress of the survival job that I have to balance vanished with the sound of string instruments and applause. Oh yes, I thought. This is why we do it.

I stayed for over two hours.

This time a few weeks from now we will be finished with the play. People will have come to see it. Some people will like it, some will not. But if sitting in those seats watching something that has been built by a collaboration of myself and artists whom I love and respect causes someone to ask a question they have never asked before, or to leave behind some anxiety that has been eating away at their days, or inspires them to go out and create their own work in a world that needs art now more than ever, then (I think) it will all have been worth it.

"The King is Dead" poster