Actors: Introverted Extroverts; Playwrights Are More So


A few years ago I took a writing workshop to meet people in my neighborhood and because as an author, periodically taking classes helps me keep up my form. My writing workshop instructor talked to us about “blog personas.” Now this was something that really grabbed my fancy because, well, I don’t think I have one. It seems to me that it would be a good thing to have, a Blog Persona. There are some of us whom psychologists call “extroverted introverts” which means shy people hiding behind a façade of extroversion. Many actors are extroverted introverts; they love to be in the limelight but really are quite introspective and retiring. I’m an extroverted introvert. My first reaction to being asked to write or speak is “What should I say?” “What should I say” and having to talk to strangers can be so worrying, so intimidating that at times, often in my inadequately spent days of green girl years that not knowing, the saying did not get said. The pizza did not get ordered—I’d have to talk to a stranger and what should I say? I’m only going to admit to not ordering pizza on the phone. I’ll leave the other things I couldn’t figure out how to say and the people to whom I should have spoken and did not to your merciful (please?) imagination. I suspect a lot of bloggers must be extroverted introverts. Think of it. You don’t really have to face any stranger and you can say what is in your head and assume no one is going to read it—and if anyone does, they aren’t really real. You can’t see all those internet people or hear their voices.

As an extroverted introvert, I have a public face, public voice that rings with “pear shaped tones” per my training in the theater. My private face, my private voice, hmm, there’s a bunch of them. Playwrighting teachers say that’s perfectly normal for playwrights. Psychologists tend to think so long as it doesn’t interfere with getting on with your life, it’s fine. So this thing of finding one’s voice is more like choosing my voice or not letting the aggrieved-with-the-world voice slip in to mess up the fun voice I want to play with. I’m reminded of my lawyer, an amiable, tenor-voiced person. He deepens and resonates his voice when he wants to put the fear of the law into you. He calls it his “big pants voice.”

I’m thinking we playwrights–I’m a member of the Dramatists Guild–are a rather severe type of extroverted-introverts. Think of it, we are tucked away writing, and we emerge not to speak, but to make other people speak out loud in front of a big audience, preferably lots of big audiences! Perhaps we are extro-egoverted-introverts. I’m musing on this because I am have reopened my small black box, actually blue-box theater and in rehearsal with my new play, The Wish Maker. My cast has found all sorts of funny typos in it, and they have suggested some very good line changes. Proof-reading takes a cast. Proof-reading is so boring I need to play classical music to keep my mind on it. In my fantasy, Foreshadow, Book One of the Saga of Dragon-Born, which was about to be published by Booktrope, (Booktrope folded just before my book was ready to be published) I found two pages where practically every third word is capitalized. How did this glut of capitals happen? Do other extroverted-introvert authors have the bad habit of emulating Victorian novels by capitalizing all sorts of non-worthy-of-capitals-words? Well I should have some dinner before rehearsal. Maybe I’ll call for Chinese, or maybe not…

Advertisements

About Cynthia Clay

I was judged to be a computer program on Shakespeare at the First Loebner Prize Competition of The Turing Test—a truly science fictional experience. I'm an author who likes to write sf, fantasy, updated versions of old myths.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s