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That Time I Auditioned for Rent

A few weeks ago, I auditioned for a local community theater production of the musical Rent. 

I wrote all about the many parallels between this experience and the writing process on Substack. You can check out part one of the full piece here. (Part two is coming soon...) 

Today, though, I want to talk briefly about the first part of this journey: the imposter syndrome.* 

I made the decision to get on a stage and sing in front of a bunch of strangers in a flight of fancy months ago; however, as the date approached for the audition, reality began to sink in.

What am I even doing? 

Why did I sign up to do this? 

Who do I think I am? 

One of the biggest forces holding me back from potentially going to this audition was this nagging idea in the back of my head.

It was one gnarly level deeper than "who do I think I am?" 

It was who will "they" think I think I am? 

It bears repeating: Who will "they" think I think I am?

(First of all, who is "they"? Is it my neighbor? My family? The person who sat next to me in Soc 101 in college twenty years ago? Is it you? I don't know! But, this elusive "they" was really cramping my style, whoever "they" were.) 

Have there been times when you've wanted to write, been moved to write, had an idea or an exciting story to write, and the invisible (or very real) committee of "they" and their potential reactions held you back?

One member of the Open Book Community shared recently, "I was praised for my writing as a kid, but I inherently knew this meant it was fine for a hobby, not that I would actually WRITE in any serious fashion."  

What do you think "they" might think about you if you went for it?

Would it be perceived as frivolity? 

A waste of time? 

You taking yourself too seriously? 

Not seriously enough? 

What would you write if you could ban the "they" voices? 

Let's start there...

xx Kim


End Notes:

*I've been doing some research on imposter syndrome, and there's some interesting content out there, including this New Yorker article (on the "dubious rise of imposter syndrome") and this HBR article positing that "it's time to reconceptualize what imposter syndrome means for people of color."

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