05/10/2004: "Are All Artists Exhibitionists and Egomaniacs?"
Awhile ago you may remember me complaining that a friend told me I was very “self centered”. When I complained about that to another friend, they kind of more or less agreed but tried to be nice about it saying “you always have so many projects going on that you want to talk about, but maybe you need to show more interest in what the other person might have to say”.
I started thinking about how for the majority of my life, I’ve always felt more comfortable around creative types. Visual artists, writers, musicians, and people involved in the theater (those folks are stone cold crazy)…and in the context of those groups of friends, I never felt self-centered at all. At any given party we’d all be competing to get the next word in edgewise...but that was normal and fun; we all had lots of ideas and things we were working on all the time. It was like having a big brainstorming session, everyone bouncing ideas off of each other, everyone very opinionated (and eventually inebriated).
I remember one time visiting my two writer friends Sean and Jenni and we drank several pitchers of Tinto de Verano and Sean broke out the karaoke machine which sober I wouldn’t go near with a ten foot pole, but on this occasion physical altercations actually broke out as we all competed for the mic.
But anyway, as I think of all the people who I consider to be my closest friends in life, individually I’d say most of them are pretty self-centered. In a group of other self-centered people it’s a lot less obvious than when you are a sole self-centered person in a group of non-self-centered people. Then I guess you’re just a big ole hog soakin up the spotlight and getting on everyone’s nerves.
I think being that way must have something to do with being an artist though. I mean, whether you write, play music in a band, act, or have art exhibits, you’re putting yourself out there for public scrutiny. And who but egotistical exhibitionists would invite that kind, nay, CRAVE that kind of scrutiny?
Also, is it possible to be an exhibitionist AND anti-social at the same time?
Anyway, these are all just words, I know…but I’ve been feeling very self-concious lately around the people I know here in Juneau and I've been trying to rationalize things a bit...(thankfully, online I can still be as self-centered as I like).