To whom do you listen?

Quote courtesy of thehappinessinsititute.com

This quote resonated with me big-time, not just because of my recent ramblings and thoughts on the topic of jealousy, but because of my tendency as a performer (and I am sure I’m not alone here!) to put undue importance on people in the crowd who do NOT look like they’re enjoying themselves.

I did have a bit of a breakthrough moment one gig a few years back. I was watching Greg Sullivan do his thing (wonderful, wonderful comic and human being), and noticed one woman in the crowd with her arms folded, all but scowling. I watched her all throughout the night, and no matter whose set it was, she kept the same lemon-faced expression. Solid. Committed. I’m not gonna have fun.

Now, there could have been a million reasons for this. She might have had a toothache. Somebody in her family might have died. She might have been peeved at her friends for forcing her to go to a comedy night when they over-ruled her fun-night suggestion of karaoke. She might have been in a really crappy mood. Or…she might just be one of those people who doesn’t like to smile. (Who ARE you? And WHYYYYYYY?)

Bottom line is, as I watched her continue to hold fast to her un-smiling ways during Greg’s set, while the rest of the crowd were having the time of their lives, I suddenly found myself having a silent conversation with this woman: “Honey, if you can’t find it within yourself to enjoy this, then that is 100% about YOU.”

I remember this when I’m drawn to finding those poker-faced members of a crowd. That, and not everybody is going to like me. (I really am totally down with that now, btw. It only seems fair. I don’t like everybody either!) But I now try to make a habit of actively seeking out my allies in the audience – i.e. the faces that smile back, the ones that want me to succeed – and make sure I keep connecting with them throughout. They’re my peeps. Why waste energy trying to win over the ones who dislike you rather than focusing on enjoying the ones who already like who you are?

It kinda reminds me of something the incredible Gary Austin said in his closing comments at the New York Masterclass:

“Associate with good people. People who know things you don’t know, people who are smarter than you, people who do things you can’t do, people who admire and respect you. And walk away from people who hurt you. The best way out of a bad situation is through the door.”

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jennywynter Written by:

7 Comments

  1. Sandra D
    August 17, 2010
    Reply

    Love it! This has been my policy for life since the day I was re-born at the age of thirty, my first day as a single Mum after ten years of marraige. As soon as I made this connection wonderful things started happening. Great post Jenny!!

    • August 19, 2010
      Reply

      Thanks babe. Wow, what a life-changing moment (to state the bleeding obvious). So glad that you welcomed wonder into your life. Lovely!

  2. Berny
    August 17, 2010
    Reply

    Too true Jen. Focus on the ones that love you, that laugh with you and are happy to share your ups and your downs. Some people are just sour to the core… possibly because they have held on to bitterness for so long that it now defines their very soul.

    Fancy going to a comedy show and not smiling once…I almost feel sorry for the sourpuss. Life should not be gently sprinkled with laughter, but dolloped on top and mashed through everything we do!

    • August 19, 2010
      Reply

      Haha, I love the imagery of slopping on dollops of laughs and letting is mash through life! Just beautiful.

      It’s really sad to see people that way – I really feel like it is a choice though. I mean, sure, we can’t control the stuff that happens to us, but we can control our attitude. Easier said than done I guess…but it just seems like there are so many people who have next to nothing and have gone through the unimagineable, who really show us that this is possible.

  3. Heather
    August 18, 2010
    Reply

    Boy that post came at the right time. Getting divorced for some of those reasons. He’s a good guy but doesn’t have the positive upbeat energy I need to be able to realize my dreams. Always puts them down or wants me to face reality. And really as artist we get plenty of reality. When I create I can forget about reality and enjoy the process. Besides reality is overrated and too many bad tv show devoted to it.

    Thanks Jen. Too bad we couldn’t have gotten together when you were in NY. I live just below the catskills in the Hudson Valley. We could have had a drink (or more) and laughed. Cheers!

    • August 19, 2010
      Reply

      Oh that’s such a bummer!! That we couldn’t meet up, I mean. You live in such an incredibly glorious part of the world, next time, Gadget! For sure.

      Wow, sounds like you’re turning a corner. It’s a fine line isn’t it? My hubby is a realist for sure and sometimes I struggle with him not getting completely over-enthused with me, but on the other hand, he is also extremely supportive and encourages me to go for it, just perhaps with a more level head than I!

      Anyway, stay in touch – if I make it back there soon (not unlikely) then we will hang for sure. 🙂

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