I Love An Appreciative Audience

audienceHow do you overcome your fears before going on stage? When you’re speaking or performing, do nerves get the better of you?

Comedians, actors and singers all desire to have bums on seats and, furthermore, to validate their talents.

Performers, artists and athletes share the same need too.

What about writers? Are they in the same league or are they a breed apart?

A fair portion of our lives is spent spectating. People like to watch. To sit back, relax and be entertained. To gain a new perspective. To escape or to focus. We judge based on visual characteristics, features and attraction. Our eyes are the first sense to engage, process information and cause synapses to fire off messages in the largest part of our brains.

maskWhat if you were watching a stand up comedian who wore a mask? Would their lines be as humorous? Would a mask disable them from connecting with their audience? Would that allow you to feel an instant connection and for them to quickly build a relationship with you?

I have more questions than answers. I will ask one thing of you though.

Upon posting, the amount of WP sites worldwide topped 64, 717, 052 million. That figure has even gone up since I wrote it. Mine is just one of that ever-increasing number. I have a four month old blog. My gravatar is not a photo. No image of my face appears on my home page. There are a growing number of people who know information about me but do they really know me? Is seeing what someone looks like the epitome of really knowing a person? Does the brain prefer to put an image to a name-to make that correlation for the brain’s sake.

The problem lies herein. I am outspoken but shy. I speak to large groups but I am not confident. I am a loner by choice who brought no friends here with me but wished to make new ones. My blog has been my fresh start: the chance to reinvent myself. It has given me the opportunity to choose, define and create my identity that is unique to WP. I am still me. I have not presented facts that are false nor have I proffered more than has been asked for.

stageCentre stage is waiting for me but I am quite happy in my role as stagehand. I allow my words to stand in the spotlight while I just tug on the rope to open and close the curtain on them. Each time, I peek out at the audience to see if I can catch a glimpse of someone I know. I like to see if the crowd has enjoyed the performance. Is it just stage fright that holds me back or is there more to it? Do I really want to stand out or have what it takes? Perhaps not, because you’re all scantily clad and you’re staring at me!

Is your gravatar a photo of yourself? Do you post photos of loved ones? Is there an expectation to share what you look like on social media sites? I know you’ll judge this book if you see its cover. It’s human nature, after all.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Image from: here , here and here.


35 thoughts on “I Love An Appreciative Audience

  1. I hide and am forthcoming. I use my picture and my name and post pictures of my loved ones. But outside of my husband, I may mention that I blog but I don’t offer the site or tell people the name. I don’t post the entries to Facebook. So I am out there, myself, but the people that I would have to look in the face after reading don’t exist. My audience is purely strangers and, in that, is where I am comfortable. 🙂

    • So the mask is off here yet in reality you wear it or, at the very least, censor yourself? I find it intriguing that we can be more ourselves with strangers when the audience is invisible (and may/not be wearing clothes).

      • I think because I spent my high school and college years in Florida, where it is more northern folk, and then I moved back to Texas, my personality is more raw and it gets me in trouble here.

        As a southerner you are raised to bite your tongue but I dropped that trait when I moved. Now I have to relearn it and it hard. So here, yes, I can just be who I am without fear of offending. 🙂

      • Thank you! And it’s not that people don’t think like me here it’s just that they do it on secret. So, they may think that I’m raw and too unfiltered but I take great pride in not being like them…which really comes off as fake to me sometimes. 🙂

  2. My gravitar on WP is a picture of my kids. I would change it to my picture if I knew how, now that I have a good picture. I am always self conscious about how I look and have never been quite comfortable in my own skin. I am working on that though. By the time I reach 40, I want to be Fabulous. (Notice the capital F?).

  3. Your blog caught me with the “last post of love.” My nephew was a combat officer in the army in Vietnam. he did one of his three tours R&R in Australia. While there no one would let him pay for a meal or a drink. This was a time when he could not wear his uniform in the US without someone calling him names. He was totally appreciative of how he was treated. This post is very revealing of you element of courage in going on in spite of a natural desire to remain in the shadow. Well done

    • Here on Anzac Day most pubs offered free meals and drinks to diggers. It is the Australian way. I cannot imagine there being no pride for the ultimate sacrifice that one can make: to risk one’s life for the sake of many. I am grateful that my fellow Aussies showed your nephew the respect he so deserved.
      ‘Your element of courage’ says it perfectly, John. I must continue on my quest to fulfil my desire to stand centre stage.

  4. Wow you could have been writing about me! Though I do have a picture of me as my gravatar and I do share my posts on Facebook. But in doing so I get uncomfortable when my friends talk about something on my blog. I love that they read it but its almost like WordPress is a different version of me, and I want them to be seperate. Hard to explain.

    Btw-we won’t judge your photo if you posted one. Who cares what you look like-incredible words flow from your fingers!!

    • I do put my posts on facebook too. My closest friend is the only one who reads (oh and I nearly forgot my amazing mum) and I am an open book to both. I haven’t invited anyone else- I wonder why? Maybe for the same reason you mention. I am a different ‘me’ here. I am exactly who I want to be even behind the curtain.
      Thank you for giving my words value as I do your comments.

  5. Awesome post 🙂 My gravatar is not a “real” picture of me! I blog & write under a pseudonym because I could be fired from my job due to my sex addiction that I blog about. Kira is one of my nicknames from childhood. There are 2 people who know about my blog & sometimes the y read and sometimes they don’t. I would hope that I wouldn’t bejudged if I were to put up a real picture of myself. Looks aren’t important to me…it’s the inside of person that makes them beautiful on the outside!

    • There is something to be said about anonymity. Do we reveal ourselves layer by layer like in pass the parcel? The anticipation is like catching someone’s eye across a room and wondering how long until your eyes meet again. Once youve taken off the mask it cant be undone. Gee I’m going to ease up on the metaphors now. ♡

      • hehe…I like your metaphors 🙂 I think that the people here on WP know my true emotional state better than the people in my “real” world. Here I am able to express myself – no holds barred. Blogging is great for my mental state! xoxo PS how did you get that heart in your post?

      • Ah the heart. I write about love so I must have a heart.

        I think I replied to your comment via my smart phone. It’s just a symbol on there like smileys, etc. To get one on my laptop I just do a search for heart symbol and copy, paste and voila! WP recognises the code. Yay!

      • I’ve been putting off downloading the emoticons on my Iphone don’t know why! Lol might have to do it now just for the heart!!

  6. My gravatar is a picture of my son’s artwork. I do post pics of them – I ask before I do. I do not do the Facebook thing or any other thing other than this thing. Did you get that? The pics I have posted of myself are from years ago when I danced – over 20 years. Oh, I did post a picture from my Ironman in 2006. I hate having my picture taken – plain and simple. I always have. I do not like the way i look, so i hate pictures. Sounds strange, I know but it is my thing:)

    Great food for thought!

    • Yeah, I got that! It’s scary that I understood. 😉
      I am happiest behind the camera too. Do you think it’s like when you hear your own voice when it’s been recorded. It doesn’t sound like you. Is it the same with pictures or is it a, generally, female thing? I don’t think you’re strange. I think you’re normal. Whatever normal is?!
      I’m all about thinking. I think I think too much.

  7. An interesting topic. My gravatar is my painting and I do try to share my blog with “real” people… But more for the website and business promotion than the blogging side.

    I feel a bit cringed out to know that people I know from work know some of my biggest struggles and intimate details that I blog about and have available on here if you were to look! I am a bit shy and like to present an image of myself to people who don’t really know me as confident and self assured, but I think my blogging persona speaks differently.

    But with people I only know from blogging I am more real because I like to connect with like minded people!

    • I think gravatars that are not a photo show something of our personality in them anyway. You wouldn’t choose a meaningless one. What does your gravatar say about you?

      I understand what you mean. I have the confidence here to speak freely and openly on any topic I choose. I decide what I want to read and which conversations I would like to participate in. ‘Like minded’ is a great way of putting it. We do not have that choice in ‘real’ life. We have to have interactions with all different types of people in day-to-day life and there is a hierarchy that comes into play. When blogging it feels as if there is an equal platform from which we all speak.

      • I have never really considered what my gravatar meant! That one is one of my favourite paintings, so I guess it means “I love painting, here is a little piece of my heart on canvas for you to judge, please like me!”

        What does your gravatar mean?

      • I love how you explained it. And I do love your paintings that I have seen. I must stop over soon and view more.

        My gravatar loosely translates to ‘love produces love’ or ‘love gets love’. It’s my mission and mantra for my blog. On a not-so-good day I fall off the love wagon though.

  8. I have thought about this. I try to not be too extreme on much these days..so much of the time I am somewhere in the middle. I have a picture on my about page, but my gravatar is a photo I took. I have taken many black and whites of my daughter but only posted a select few – usually not showing her face so much. Since I have started getting more traffic than just my family at fist I am more careful and deleted some I had before. My daughter loves to contribute and help people “cheer up.” I go back and forth with that. Art or nature photography feels comfortable for me more these days.
    I feel perfectly comfortable not seeing faces. I tend to get my read on people from the feel anyway. I am reuniting with my parents and have decided to post nature pictures we take together.
    I am always happy to see your gravatar and have been wanting to stop over here more.
    Much love-

    • I think too much at times, Laurie, hence this post. I need to turn down my inner voice sometimes as it has a tendency to overtake.
      I have never posted photos of my children but do not judge people that choose to. I would like them to have the right to choose but even that was taken out of my hands by younger relatives who have posted to fb without asking if I would mind. My son’s teacher also has an education blog which features the children. I will still not post any. The digital age sees me clinging to days gone forever.
      The ‘feel’ you speak of is as individual as the person and comes through in a persons musings.

      Kelly ♥

      • I tend to listen to my intuition..which sounds like what you are doing. Be true to that..And don’t be afraid to let your requests known about others posting your little ones. My husband has a private facebook but still requests of family not using my daughter’s name. They have been respectful of that. Sometimes he has had to send them a reminder.
        My husband is also a teacher and says parents have the right to request the pictures with their kids in them off of school publications. He says they don’t post pictures of students where he works.
        Much love-
        Be true to yourself 🙂

      • You always offer such hope-filled words. Thank you.

        Like your husband, I am also a teacher. It just seems so widely accepted to allow it these days. I don’t want to be one of the flock but…….

        Being true to myself at times is easy. Staying true is the most difficult part. ♥

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