So… in true New York fashion, I woke up this morning and there was someone in bed next to me...
Have no fear! I am on Lothario! This someone was not a real person at all… it was one of my oldest acquaintances. His name is Timothy Hollowpants and he is the physical manifestation of my fear.
It’s funny that I haven’t introduced him to you all before, given that actually he’s the daddy of Derek (my depression), Jasper (my ego) and Colin (my envy). I guess I didn’t bother to introduce him because it feels like he’s always there. He doesn’t shout like Jasper, he doesn’t moan like Derek and he doesn’t have violent psychopathic tendencies like Colin.
He’s the quiet type.
If Jasper is a tall posh toff who wears cashmere and loafers and if Derek is a slightly hunched, small fat man who basically lives inside a grey tracksuit, if Colin is a small, violent, bestubbled Glaswegian… then Timothy is a different sort altogether.
He is a little boy. He’s thin and pale. Not particularly tall or small. He never ages and he never speaks, except in tiny whispers that no one else could ever be able to hear. But when he whispers I’m afraid that his arguments are quite compelling.
Jasper, Derek and Colin are still en route to New York, but of course, even though I didn’t notice him, Timothy got in to my carry on luggage and has been here with me (very quietly) the whole time.
But this morning, lying in bed in this beautiful Brooklyn apartment, Timothy started whispering…
I can’t be entirely sure what prompted Timothy’s whispers, but I suspect it might have been something to do with receiving the rehearsal schedule for the NAMT showcase this morning. Everything has been wonderfully organised by Charlie Westenra (Director) and Eli Zoller (Musical Director) in collaboration with NAMT. I guess, usually I’m quite involved in the arrangement of rehearsals for my shows because I’m usually the MD as well. In this case however, it had been left entirely in the capable hands of our directors. Wonderful but also scary.
Seeing the rehearsal schedule and the names of the leading men and ladies of Broadway who would be singing my songs next to certain time slots prompted Timothy to whisper the one thing that he knows will get me every time. He is a boy of very few words. Five words in fact.
You. Are. Not. Good. Enough.
It’s simple but effective and he knows it works magic on me. Over the years I’ve learnt ways of dealing with it. I’ve read all the self-help books, I’ve talked with all my friends endlessly about the nature of fear. As a result it no longer has the hold it once had over me, but Timothy knows that I’ll never be entirely free of him and he also knows precisely the moments when those words will have the greatest effect on me.
I know that right at this moment, some of the people reading this, my closest friends included will be saying “No bear! You are good enough. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t!” And I do believe them, I absolutely do. I know I have worked hard at my craft. I know the work is good. But the horrible contradictions of humanity mean that I also believe that none of that necessarily matters.
I have come to know that this feeling will pass, so I’m trying not to dwell upon it, but there’s no denying Timothy’s presence. After all, he’s standing by the radiator staring at me with big wide, frightened eyes.
So I am scared. But I am also excited and one thing that I have learnt is that fear has a purpose.
Fear breeds determination.
And that can only be a good thing. Now, stop staring at me Timothy.
I must go now as I've just heard a knock at the door and a shout "Bring on the cocaine and hookers baby! Let's get lashed NYC!!". Oh God, please no. Jasper Mountbatten III has arrived...