Thoughts on Mindy, Confidence and Being Scared Shitless

Reading Mindy Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, is very much addicting. A lot of what she talks about it relatable in context to her rules of life and likes and dislikes on the subtle things that consume everyone’s minds. However, in many ways, Mindy and I are complete opposites. For one thing, this girl is smart, witty and above all, confident. Me, well, I think I got the witty thing down and I’m working on the whole smart bit but confident? Yeah, I don’t really know what the hell that is.

Kaling talks a lot about her adventures in New York and her struggles working towards being a writer for sitcoms. She also mentions all the skits and performances she participated in to give her some leverage in the bustling world of entertainment. From comedy shows to stand up acts. Personally, I find this extremely amazing. I can totally study my ass off for an exam, read fifty pages of a book in one nights or write a comparative essay for my class. But acting on stage? Performing in front of a group of opinionated strangers with a spotlight on your face and what seems like a gazillion eyeballs shooting rays of judgment at you? I would be heading to my nearest exit in a heartbeat!

Like Kaling who oozes confidence, my parents are no different. By day they work as Wells Fargo employees in business management and computer engineering. By night, they perform on stage for theater shows, comedy acts and compete with other 40-somthing year old who still have the sprit of a 17 year old drama geek as if to peruse stage acting as a second job. If you think this is awesome, you aren’t alone. My friends are all big fans of my parents secret double life and always ask me how they can get tickets to their next performance as if I was their managing agent or something. But as the daughter of two ambitious parents, sometimes I feel like the black sheep in the family.

Personally, I am influenced by all the things I am too afraid to peruse or don’t have the lady parts to actually try. I live off the mantra “Do something everyday that scares you,” as quoted by some dead white dude whose name has just slipped my mind. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a good scare in ages but today might just be my lucky break I have been dreading. My parents are encouraging me to audition for a play one of there director friends has written. So I’ve been told, “it’s a humorous adamptation about indian kids who are brought up and raised in America!” (well, that sounds oddly familiar). They think this would be good for me. I think this will be torturous. I will try it.

Trust me when I tell you this, I am scared shitless. First, the audition process and if I get the part, rehearsals until holy crap, its final performance time! Not to mention the mental psyching-myself out phase right before I go up on stage. Somewhere in there, I might actually start feeling great about myself and then think I will be a sexy celebrity who gets an Oscar, Emmy and if I’m really feeling it that day, maybe even a Grammy. But right now I’m just scared shitless.

So the moral of this story is, if I can do something that has me shitting my pants, you can do it too. Confidence is definitely there inside all of us, it just takes some serious ballsy attitude (and a lot of wine or chocolate) for it to be found. So here it goes. I’m gonna try this. I’m gonna be all Mindy-ish and audition for this play. Then I’m going to daydream about how I will own a posh upstate Manhattan apartment in my 20’s with all the money I will make and die my hair “ombre” style and actually be able to pull it off.

– The Paintress


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