I am a performer and I need people to come to my shows as without an audience I don’t have much. And I especially need people to come see the shows I produce, because I have to pay people and all of that fun stuff. But I am finding the line between my public self and private self has become completely blurred. Maybe I feel this way because I have been performing since I was a child. Performing is a job, like any other. I know when I see another person on stage that they don’t necessarily want to hang out with me, or date me, and that they probably have a personal life, complete with friends and a significant other. That person I see on stage is working, plain and simple.
I think at this point I have to pull back. I talk about my personal life on stage as part of my act, but because of problems I have been having with a number of things I am actively trying to stop it. Just because I am not dating someone, doesn’t mean I will date ANYONE. And it doesn’t mean that men can post whatever the hell they want on my facebook page or fan page. Meanwhile I am not reaping any benefits of this adoration. I am flat broke and out of work, and yet still harassed. This attention leaves me anxious and freaked out. And believe it or not there are some things I do keep private. I have plenty of experiences, relationships and friends that are never discussed in my act, or on facebook. Like most people I have a small group of friends who might find out certain things and that is it. My sister knows all…but she lives in Missouri so I feel safe telling her everything.
My stage persona and my personal life are NOT the same thing. I heighten things for the stage, and I sometimes change details, time frames, and situations to protect other people’s privacy or my own. Every performer who works in an auto-biographical way does this. As the author David Sedaris once answered to the question “Are your stories real?” he said “Real enough”
For instance some people think my songs are about one person or another and they are completely incorrect. My songs are about different people and situations that I splice into one. Manwhore, Younger Piece of Ass, Backup Plan and on and on….none of these are about any one specific person. The songs wouldn’t be as funny if they were, it is better to throw in some fiction and to mix the worst traits of different people into one. It is SATIRE after all. In fact I prefer dating age appropriate people and in the song “Younger Piece of Ass” it ends with me going after younger men…why? Because it makes a better song if I end it that way….IT IS FICTION!
I worry that even writing this blog entry will probably only add more fuel to the fire. I am not sure what to do. Too many people are crossing boundaries in my opinion. I might clean out my facebook lists. I don’t really care if I have 1900 friends or 1500 or 1000. If I can get rid of some of the creepy men who don’t come to my shows and just harass me on Facebook then good riddance.
And facebook is not a singles bar. I am on there to talk to friends and promote my music and shows, not get hit on, not get asked out on dates by people I don’t know, and not to have creepy men leave disturbing messages on my wall.
All of this just makes me wonder if it is worth it. I like performing but I don’t like this attention…at all. And there are days I am tempted to simply delete my entire profile..except it is great for talking to friends in other parts of the country, or my close friends in New York. I just wish people wouldn’t abuse the privilege so much. And by the way, my block list is up to around 35 people, I will keep adding and adding and adding until Facebook makes me stop. Sometimes I just want to go live in a cave and perform for squirrels.