When Rachel Bloom wants you to watch her in this performance, she uses an intensely focused energy, expressed through highly precise, very sharp and bouncy movements. It is almost impossible to take your eyes off of her.
When, at the end, she needs to be left alone as her “crazy” character, her actions shift to a kind of lazy, sloppy style. The energy peters out and you understand how she diffuses her power, losing what she might have.
Ms. Bloom knows that she is not a conventional musical star, that her strength is in her wit. Through years of practice she came up with breakthrough videos — like this big hit — that showcased her finely polished discipline, enough to get her a TV show.
Finding ways to showcase our strengths with intensity and precision is usually the way we make breakthroughs in the world.
Sadly, though, it is often very, very hard to find anyone to support you in shining your brightest in the world. Other people don’t want to be shown up, don’t want to be challenged, don’t want to have to perform past their comfort zone.
You may not believe this, but I was kind of intense when I was young. I was also really damn blocked, very occluded.
Not only did I have little help to understand and express emotions, I was taught to be terrified that people would see what I had learned to hide at all costs. I may have had the skills to help a self-loathing closeted gay man in my freshman dorm, after supporting hidden gay kids in high school, but I also knew there wasn’t much room for who I was. I never saw myself being a queen at Jacques.
Times are different now. People can step into the spotlight and stay there, even if they happen to be trans. Our range of public models is greater. Our possibilities are much wider, if we can just figure out a public face that transcends our neediness.
Ms. Bloom offers a glimpse of how to use discipline, precision and energy to pull eyes to you, to capture an audience and make some of them yours. Especially if you live in Southern California.