My project that started earlier in the week–talking with actors about how to tackle sensitive scenes–was a two day project, the second day occurring after they had actually tackled a sensitive scene. My role was slightly different on the second day, being there as a support system for the actors as they worked through the scenes, as well as a personal mission of helping them learn how to deal with heavy topics outside of academia.
I was less nervous the second day, having already met everyone and realizing that I wasn’t completely clueless, but I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to navigate my own emotions. Talking about assault is a lot easier for me than watching something that hints at or has assault as part of the story. I generally avoid movies, literature, entertainment of any kind in which explicit violence is described, shown, or played out. I’m starting to open those doors again, having shut them tight when I was in the thick of my former job, but the process is slow and deliberate.
Thankfully I was able to keep the tears from falling and the weight in my chest from burrowing too deeply. When class ended, I felt confident that I had been able to speak with intelligence and focus, and that I had given this opportunity my best shot.
Leading up to and throughout this project, I was convinced that I wasn’t the right person to present this material, that it was a stupid idea, that every bit of knowledge I have is common and not helpful. Before, I would have allowed every one of those thoughts to be the reason I shouldn’t take the risk. Instead, I pushed past the fat, cigar smoking, pretentious ass that is my inner critic, flashing him the finger and a maniacal smile as I took on the project despite his protests. Here’s hoping he starts to get the message.