I thumbed through shirt after shirt and rack after rack at TJ Maxx. Too dark. Too loose. Too patterned. This could work, though it’s not exactly like the pinterest ensemble. Will my sweat show up on this? What will everyone else be wearing? Is it trendy enough? Too trendy? Does it accentuate my shoulders or make me look fat?
2 hours, a messy fitting room and endless picture texts to my sister later, I walk out of the store with 3 shirts, a pair of very cheap black boots, and some nail polish. I feel lonely. I feel insecure. I wonder why I just spent all that time in that store, and all the time before it, looking up paired outfits. Why did I do that?
The answer , if I dig down deep, is self doubt. I do not feel confident enough in my own abilities for Friday nights’ performance. So I fritter away my effort on trying to wear the most attractive outfit I can manage so that I might distract the viewers from watching my talent. Instead, maybe they’ll see a pretty girl and be more lenient with my jokes that don’t land, or the characters that don’t work.
I hate this. I hate that I feel insecure about my worth as an improv comedian. I hate that a lifetime of being told I’m pretty makes me run to that shortcut when I feel doubtful. I hate that it’s possible that’s worked in the past. But, here we are. I will likely primp and prep and obsess over my outward appearance for far too long on Friday, but I will also warm up, try for a group mind (though that’s difficult to do with a team you’ve practically just met), and put on my confident alter-ego until she convinces me that I belong there.
And I do. I feel anxious typing the words, but I belong. I auditioned for this. People are paying me to do improv, so they must’ve seen something they wanted to invest in. I’ve come to the rehearsals, I’ve brought what I have to the table. I’ve taken my craft seriously, and I’ve attempted to make my teammates look good.
That is enough.