I caught a PBS fund drive special, Fawlty Towers Revisited. On it, Moira Brooker of As Time Goes By, was chatting about how she spoke to Connie Booth the day before her audition for that series.“I told her I didn’t think I would get it, and she told me that if I didn’t think I would get it, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t have the confidence to feel safe and be present, and that would show,” Ms. Brooker said. “I went in with confidence and got the part, and I thank Connie for that.”
It’s basically the same advice that Garry Marshall gave the guys on Happy Days. “You gotta go in there like you belong there, like it’s your place and you are at home there,” he told them.
One reason Drag Queens are so potent is because they do know they are home on that stage, know they own it and the audience.
If you gotta show confidence to be compelling, and you gotta feel at home to be confident, how does a spiritually homeless person ever be compelling in the world?
Felicity Huffman, from the Transamerica press kit:
How I approached her sexuality was where she’s coming from emotionally and that was that people don’t see who she really is. She feels, ‘Everyone doesn’t see me, doesn’t appreciate me. My family doesn’t know me for who I am and I can’t manifest who I am in the world.’ She felt self loathing.
While I don’t think it’s self loathing as much as enormous levels of stigma, knowing that it is dangerous to manifest, I think Ms. Huffman has it right. She knows that this is the essence of her Bree, that she isn’t at home in the world, and so has no confidence that she can make herself manifest and be anything other than stigmatized, marginalized, reduced & dismissed.
I was trying to cut vegetables for a casserole yesterday, and I needed some precision, which required some focus. But that focus was shredded by my awareness of my parents, one who had to move past me, so I had to be ready to stop and move, and one who called out routinely for assistance. I live in their world, not mine, because there is no place in this world that I have found that feels like home, where I can be anything but guarded.
For me, I have dealt with this by being strong in my belief that this is not my true home, that we are not humans living a spiritual life, rather that we are spirit living a human life. My relationship with my creator is full of laughter and affirmation. I just don’t know how to defend that creator to humans, who need their own creation myth to cling to, even if they have never examined that myth.
To have confidence, you have to be at home, to believe that this is your world too, as Albin claims in I Am What I Am.
And me? Nobody’s home, nobody’s confident.