Being a performer puts a lot of pressure on a person. I have always suffered with some sort of social anxiety, whether it's the feeling I'm going to horribly embarrass myself, or that I just don't fit in. I find myself at after parties watching the clock hoping for the safety of home. I'm constantly feeling that I'm the Debbie downer, the party pooper, the burden. Before I know it I'm angry with everyone but mainly angry with myself for these feelings I cannot control. Most people I know deal with these issues through drinking. I'm not a big drinker so there's very little relief other then the occasional escape of a cigarette. With all this being said I have a letter to you, the girl/guy semi-patiently awkwardly waiting on the sidelines. I also have a letter to the friends of this person.
Dear socially awkward person,
I know your pain. It's sometimes hard to wrap your head around all the feelings that overwhelm you. Just because you're a perfomer doesn't mean you have to put yourself in that position. It's ok to go home after the show. Listen to your inner voice. It will let you know when you have the ability or not to hang with the after party. When your in a position where you can't leave (there's always the time you carpooled, the time you walked in a not so good neighborhood, the time you have to babysit your drunk friends) seek out the other person in the room sitting awkwardly. They more then likely are in the same boat and would love a little company. Stick with those you know when you can but keep in mind they are also living their lives and no one wants a person sized Fannie pack. Do what you can to find people to have long conversation with to pass the time. That also gives you a chance to build a new relationship. I don't suggest avoiding all after parties, some are chill and some can be the most exciting times of your life. Mainly keep in mind your not alone. When your in a room with one hundred other people there will be at least five with the same issues. Be strong. Try, granted this is one thing I have issues with, but try to keep your attitude in check and don't take it out on your friends for having fun and not worrying about you. The more you work to brake out of your shell the easier these events will be.
Dear friends of the human Fannie pack,
I know this is Incredibly annoying. I know you more then likely didn't know your close friend dealt with these issues when your friendship started. Hell, you might not have noticed it ever not even now. It's not personal. We love seeing people enjoy themselves. It just gets hard to not. I know it's not on your mind to check to make sure your crew is all doing well. None of that is honestly your problem. But if you do have one of these friends be aware. Be there. Be supportive. If there's a crew take turns. Make sure everyone feels included. Sometimes all it takes is a little chat to calm us down or help us brake of of our shell a bit. Sometimes all we need is a little encouragement. Granted there are times when you might just have to convince us to leave. Don't just think your friend standing away from the crowd is doing to to be the cool guy or to get More attention. The could be in an all out mental panic.