First Post: Are you a performer?
A sharp student at Macalester College where I worked for many years said to me one day, “I’m a performer.”
I could see it in him. He was (and is) talented academically and musically, and when he was “on” he was really on.
The idea of being a performer stuck with me from that day forward. I grew up on the stage and had always been a performer, but hadn’t applied the label to my off-stage life before hearing the student’s comment.
I’m wondering about you. Are you a performer? Here are two ways to tell:
- You feel most alive when you’re “on” in front of a crowd, or in front of your boss or favorite professor, client, or even your kids. There’s a Wonder Woman or Zoro character inside you that springs into action when extraordinary work needs to happen.
- You coast when you’re not performing. Your energy level is lower when you’re off the stage. You may feel melancholy or guilty during these times, as you rest up for the next required period of game on.
On the other hand, some people are definitely not performers. I married one. Sharon “performs” in a narrower sense of the word when she works in her areas of competence, such as cooking and music. Yet, she has no stage persona, no “other” Sharon that kicks into overdrive. She’s pretty much the same — steady! — no matter the situation and no matter who’s watching.
But for those of us who are performers to the core, it’s a fine thing. For me, it’s part of my created self, the way God invented me. Performers tend to rise to the occasion. When they get on a roll, they’re practically unstoppable at work or wherever the Lord has placed them.
But there are also serious liabilities to being a performer, which I’ll share in my next post. These may apply to you or to another performer in your life that you’re trying to understand.