But I was watching a video the other night of Robin Williams being interviewed on Inside the Actor's Studio, and James Lipton was name-dropping as he always does. He reported that Mike Myers, on the show, had talked about how shyness is a common trait of comedians. Apparently, Myers had described himself as a "site-specific extrovert."
I understand that perfectly. I talked with twenty people yesterday morning, and had a great time. A GREAT time. And then I had to go off and be by myself for a little while. A quiet breakfast, a fortunately early flight, and then home.
It's a funny thing. I love teaching, and performing. I love talking to dozens, or hundreds, of people. When I finished my time at the high school that was the subject of my first book, I could have written a report. Instead, I did two nights of a 90-minute monologue, followed by a 30-minute improvisation with some of the students in the drama program who had become friends. Three or four hundred people in the room both nights. And it was terrific.
It's not unlike pool, when pool goes well. You lose self-consciousness; you lose almost all consciousness, actually, and become completely and totally focused on action. That's why I played poorly today; I was never able to leave the world or my self behind. I was always looking over my own shoulder, not able to surrender.
The episode of Inside the Actor's Studio that has the Myers quote above is not available on YouTube, but a second visit eight years later is. And in it, he has another memorable idea.
First you are unconsciously incompetent.Today in pool, I was at stage 2. Yesterday morning, I felt I was at 4, though my interlocutors may well have circled all the way back to seeing a 1; they aren't far different. Now I'm at 2 again, sitting around the house. Time to read (another form of unconsciousness); it's better for my liver.
Then you become consciously incompetent.
Then you become consciously competent.
Then you become unconsciously competent.