Be Great.

“Tell me who’s invited: you, your friends and my dick.”

— Kanye West

 

On here I can say (mostly) whatever I want but in social events I’m oddly shy (unless I’ve been drinking). People mistake my shyness for pure bitchiness and no one talks to me. Thus when I am included I try very hard. I’ll be the one to laugh the loudest at the lamest jokes or ask you everything one could possibly ask about your new job. And honestly, it’s exhausting. I just want to be normal. Sometimes when I’m talking on the phone to someone I don’t know very well, my voice gets ten octaves higher. In my head I’m thinking, “Why are you talking like this?? Use your normal voice!!!” but the damage has already been done, I’m already talking like a 1920s gangster’s girlfriend and there’s no going back.

 

When I was a little kid I was totally different. I was loud, bossy, and let everyone know what I was thinking. I was probably a total asshole. But I would kind of like to be that little asshole again. When I interned at a certain film studio that may have temporarily sucked the life out of me I would have to answer the phone. I would pretend I was Faye Dunaway. It was the only way I could keep from floundering. This generation, I’ve noticed, hates talking on the phone. Who can blame us? The internet raised us. Once we realized we could simply type our thoughts as opposed to, you know saying them, that was it. I mean that was fucking it. It’s 2010 and I feel like I need to take an elocution class.

 

But if I’m anything around others, it’s polite. Too polite. I don’t want to cause trouble. I’m like that character in old westerns who tends the bar, who says things like, “Easy there, Tom” to the swaggering cowboy who waltzes in with a gun. “We don’t want no trouble here McLaren,” I stammer, as I wipe down the bar for the twelfth time. I want to be the guy with the gun! I’m not saying that I want to walk into bars pointing guns at people, because I’m fairly certain that is both insane and illegal, I just want to stop tending the bar all the time. WHY WON’T THEY LET ME BE GREAT is the lament of Kanye. I realized that I am the only one keeping myself from being great.

 

And you’re probably the only one who is keeping you from being great. I’m not saying you should walk up to women/men and say exactly what’s on your mind, because I think that’s a cop-out. That’s a way of being rude and trying to pass it off as being honest. But what you should do is stop bullshitting people. Why are we still doing this? I would love to go on an audition and after I’m done have the casting person tell me, “This is so not going to happen, but thanks for coming in.” (I mean ideally I would like them to say, “You’re hired!” and have balloons fall from the ceiling and maybe Regis Philbin could roll by on a Segway because I don’t know, that just screams “celebration!” to me) but if I didn’t get it I would like to know, right then, right there. But that’s not going to happen, unless Kanye is the casting director. And this brings me to a revelation:

 

If everyone was a little more like Kanye West, we might get along better.

Or, we would all say things that we believe in the moment, but then regret later.

 

But it seems like I do that anyway. That’s just called life.

 

 

Aus Jus — Teddy Geiger

 

(And, in unrelated news, here is my review of Las Vegas: http://thisrecording.com/today/2010/4/7/in-which-get-up-and-shake-the-glitter-off-your-clothes-now.html)

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10 thoughts on “Be Great.

  1. indio

    oh god, this is so true. except i don’t know about the kanye west part. he types in all caps. it’s grating. if we were a little more like kanye dOEs tHaT mEAN wE WoUlD aLL TYPe liKE tHiS? I don’t know if I could handle that.

  2. beto

    I really enjoyed this post, I’m with you on the “normal” part. When I interact with other people I get excited for no reason, I’m not sure if it’s visible or not.
    I was also confident during my childhood, unfortunely that changed and now I’m trying to get it back.

  3. Alessia

    I feel like you wrote this post just for me. I’m gonna let me be great! Thank you, Almie.

  4. shel

    i hate that being shy (or not even shy, how about just quiet) indicates a level bitchiness. i feel that this is a social stigma that needs to be investigated more. it’s like here we are, a generation raised by the internet and anti-phone conversationalists, but if we arrive at a party and have even an indication of shyness or a tint of shame, we’re smug and bitchy.

  5. Alexandra

    I really like the part where you say: “I realized that I am the only one keeping myself from being great.”

    I took a summer acting intensive at Circle in the Square Theatre School a while ago and one of the best teachers I ever had, Alan Langdon, said that the only things to hold you back (from anything in life) are fear, shame and ignorance.

    I thought I’d share as that specific piece of advice has helped me a lot.

  6. deromanticize

    Great advice as always. My whole life I’ve been polite and tried my hardest not to cause trouble. My shyness was also mistaken for being a huge, stuck-up snob. The one thing I do have down is my professional phone voice. At least once a day I thank my mom for basically being a cotillion teacher all my life.

    Kanye should inappropriately fight for you to get a Grammy. for the soundtrack of the 20-something girls’ lives.

  7. Almie Rose Post author

    “Kanye should inappropriately fight for you to get a Grammy. for the soundtrack of the 20-something girls’ lives.”

    Ahhhhh I love this comment, need to embed it in my brain forever!

    And thanks everyone.

  8. Daniel

    You should read this comment while listening to the song Activation by Atlas Sound. If you don’t have it, then just YouTube it. :)

    I exist with politeness at the forefront of my thoughts at all times. I constantly find ways to be cordial and friendly. I think we have polarized ourselves as people and built walls around ourselves in the name of independence and strength. This is not the truth, though. The truth is that it takes a far stronger person to say “I don’t need to be an asshole to prove myself to anyone or put across the message that I am awesome and don’t need anyone else.”

    I have a real problem with people being snarky because those are some of the most self-deluded people ever. They hide their insecurity behind a shroud of condescending attitude and behaviour, but it’s just a big defense mechanism. It’s beautiful when someone can put down their pride and say “you first, why not?”

    When I pass strangers, I make eye contact, smile, and say hello. I hold the door open for anyone and everyone. I let people in to traffic. I shake hands firmly and dole out hugs lie it’s no ones business. And, unless I am deep in thought, you’re always going to find a smile on my face.

    Once you come to terms with who you are and are comfortable in your skin, sincerity becomes second-nature. You are able to look past the bad because bad is everywhere and you can see the silver lining, the good, and you can let your thoughts dwell there. And if something is worth fighting for, then you fight but you do so with an attitude of hope and optimism for a more positive outcome for those whom you are fighting for.

    Maybe I’ve gone off on a horrendous rabbit trail here, but that’s where your entry has lead my thoughts tonight.

    D

  9. Alan Smithee

    That’s why everyone is shocked but secretly appreciates people like Simon Cowell.
    If you listen to most of his comments they sound harshly honest.
    But if you really listen to him, you see he’s not doing it just for kicks- he’s setting the bar in his own way.
    But not the drinking kind of bar.

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