What’s the point of performing, anyway?
Recently, I have been feeling a little burnt out. Maybe a lot burnt out. Therefore, performing just doesn’t have the same thrill that it used to. I don’t feel inspired, I don’t feel like I’m inspiring the audience and I don’t feel the passion anymore. I’m physically exhausted. This feeling of not being myself has caused me to turn inward and figure out some things. Like, what is the point of performing?!
I have just come off of producing and performing in Bunny Brigade, and haven’t been feeling deeply satisfied with it. Or any show for that matter. I have the opportunity to perform every week if I wanted to. But am resistant to enjoy the stage time. Why?
Why am I performing now, anyway?
Because I have lost sight of why I am doing this in the first place. I had to ask myself, “why do I do what I do?”
I agonized over it for well over a month. “Why the f*ck DO I do what I do?” I spent over one hundred hours making seven custom bunny costumes for the show. Hours choreographing, producing and rehearsing. And for what? What fuels these crazy ideas??? It certainly isn’t the money. That’s for sure.
So why do I do what I do? Why do I spend countless hours designing, scheming, planning, creating, embellishing, detailing, producing, organizing and strategizing new acts and shows? Here’s why:
Because the audience loves it—they get inspired.
Have you ever seen the lights twinkling in the eyes of the audience after a show? Have you ever experienced them tapping into their inner child as they were swept away from reality with something that YOU did? That YOU created??? It’s a high unlike anything else I have ever experienced. And it’s not as temporary as the adrenaline rush that most performers experience.
The role of the performer
To uplift and inspire others is the ultimate intention in my mind as a performer and producer. To help the audience look inside and find themselves again, even if it’s just for three minutes. Because they want to be inspired; they want to be transported somewhere and have a good time.
The audience doesn’t even know or understand what they experienced. They just know that they feel good. That they had a good time. And consequently, that they got their money’s worth and then some. That is my role as a performer and producer. To entertain. To put on a show—for the audience.
Due to this upset in my mind and soul, I have begun to question others as well. “Why do you perform?” Most of my fellow performers are burlesque artists. And their answers have been interesting. Some love the costumes. Others love getting people physically excited. Some have no answers. But I’m willing to bet they are wondering now, more deeply: “Why do I perform?”
I invite you to look inside and ask yourself the same. What is the point of performing for you? Before you spend hundreds (or thousands, in my case) of dollars on your next burlesque act, ask yourself “Why am I doing this? What is my purpose in this? Is this sparkly squirrel what I am seeking?” You might be surprised by the answers that you find. You might find new inspiration that will fuel you and open pathways to new and wonderful adventures—onstage and off.
Leave a comment below to let me know why you perform. I’m curious.
Athena, aka Gazella