​© 2017 by Holly Shaw.

  All rights reserved.

Photos by In Her Image Photography

Performers & Creators Lab

Oakland, CA  (415) 870-7082

holly@performersandcreatorslab.com

The Biggest Problem You Have With Playing It Small

August 26, 2017

 

Do you ever feel like you play it small?  

I remember being at a friend's performance one time and at the very end she publicly announced that I was in the audience and invited me up to dance onstage. I politely declined the offer, stayed seated, and immediately felt my spirit sink with disappointment.  

It was an awful feeling that hit me in my solar plexus as I asked myself:


 

Why did I commit my life to being an artist if I wasn't going to seize opportunities like this?  Why was I playing it small? 



This was years and years ago. I'm pretty good at jumping on any chance to be seen nowadays. But to this day, that memory makes me wince.

And one thing I've learned from spending a lifetime onstage, in film, and TV . . . from inserting myself into people's news feeds and email boxes . . . is this:

 

As an artist, you have to be willing to take up space.



You have to be willing to take up more space than most people (or those who don't call themselves "artists") allow themselves.  

It's just plain crazy to note how many artists, professional or not, successful or not, sometimes shrink from being BOLD, announcing themselves, displaying themselves, mounting their work, inserting themselves, blasting themselves, promoting their shows or content. 

 

You might say you find it "tacky,"  but what's really going on is something altogether different.



There are two things you have to decide in order to feel in Alignment with putting yourself out there and taking up space with your art:
 

1. You have to believe that there is infinite room for everyone who wants to be there.

 

I think sometimes we get sold on the idea that it's a zero sum game.  That there is only so much pie to go around and that if you take up space, then it's taking it away from someone else.  In order to feel fully Aligned with being visible you have to believe that there is room for everyone.  . . and that audiences will find what they like and it's not up to you to decide "how much is too much."

 

2. You have to believe that you're worth it.

 

When you take up space, with your art, your performance, your content, you are sending a powerful signal that says, "I matter."  You are declaring to the world that what you have to say or express through this medium is something worth seeing. . . and that means you have to feel worth it.



Now, if you're nodding your head in agreement as you read this, and you've checked these off the list, and you're STILL feeling queasy at the idea of taking up space then it could very well be that you are simply not used to being visible.  


 

You're simply uncomfortable with taking up space because it's unfamiliar.


I thought this might be you:-) Most of us have been conditioned in this way again and again "Don't talk so loud!" "You're too much!" "What an attention whore!" and so on and so forth . . . we've been conditioned out of our desire to be bold and big and visible.  

And so this week I put together a list of five things you can do to train yourself to take up more space on a regular basis and I posted them here.



Check it out >>5 Things You Can Do to Train Yourself to Take Up More Space



And don't forget this:


You are worth it.

The world needs you and your voice now more than ever.


 


BIG LOVE,
Holly

 

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