Monday, February 17, 2014

Self Esteem


David Drake as Tawny Hetherton has a show all about self esteem!
Happy President's Day? I came across this blog today that begins with the following, "Schools across the country are adorned with posters of the 44 U.S. presidents and the years they served in office. U.S. history textbooks describe the accomplishments and challenges of the major presidential administrations—George Washington had the Revolutionary War, Abraham Lincoln the Civil War, Teddy Roosevelt the Spanish-American War, and so on. Children’s books put students on a first-name basis with the presidents, engaging readers with stories of their dogs in the Rose Garden or childhood escapades. Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian Institution welcomes visitors to an exhibit of the first ladies’ gowns and White House furnishings?" To read more, click HERE.
It got me to thinking...are ANY of us worthy?
Eileen Fulton
Last night, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eileen Fulton at the Metropolitan Room to benefit Habitat for Humanity, NYC. Originally, we were scheduled to do this in late November Thanksgiving weekend. Due to circumstances beyond my control, we rescheduled for yesterday. For weeks, I felt, for the most part, like a one man band, researching and putting the evening together AND promoting it. I would LOVE to be responsible for putting these evenings together WITHOUT concerning myself as to whether or not people will show up. It got me to really thinking about why we as artists put such an emphasis on how people react (or not) to the work we put "out there".
I say a little prayer to St. Anthony to help me find my next audience! Even though I am not a Catholic. (I was in a brief moment when I converted years ago only to lapse). The prayer to St. Anthony begins, "O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your Word , which you were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety, " Why shouldn't this power be put to bringing in an audience...especially since what MOST of what I do benefits charity. In this instance, Habitat for Humanity, NYC.   


Today I am thinking not only of where I'm going, but where I've been. I'm learning not to take anything personally.  
The thought and focus for today is Self Esteem. For many people, they go through life with low self esteem and never do much to improve their situation in life because THEY feel deep inside they ARE just not worth it. Do you base self esteem on what you think of yourself or what others think of you.
My grandmother used to have an expression, "What you think of me is none of my business."
A few days ago, I was turned on to a book called The Four Agreements.
One of the four Agreements is that when bad things happen to us, it very rarely has anything to do with us.We all need to act and speak with integrity. Another agreement is to be impeccable with your word.
What others say and do is a projection of their their own reality, their own dream. 
Nothing others do is because of you.
Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect person's overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth.
It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.


Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, "I am competent," "I am worthy") and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame.
Smith and Mackie define it by saying "The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it."
 Synonyms or near-synonyms of self-esteem include: self-worth,self-regard,self-respect,and self-integrity.

Self-esteem is also known as the evaluative dimension of the self that includes feelings of worthiness, prides and discouragement.
One's self-esteem is also closely associated with self-consciousness. (Source Wikipedia)
I'm so lucky, at the end of the day, I can honestly say, thank u God for my family, my friends and my life! It doesn't get any better than that. I saw this tweet on "Twitter this afternoon and I think it sums it all up: "MIRROR: You look amazing. CAMERA: I don't think so... FRIENDS: Hey you, someone looks beautiful. SELF-ESTEEM: You're ugly"

judgments of their own worthiness. I take responsibility for my actions. I also take pride in my accomplishments.
"In the mid-1960s, Morris Rosenberg and social-learning theorists defined self-esteem as a personal worth or worthiness.Nathaniel Branden in 1969 defined self-esteem as "the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness.
According to Branden, self-esteem is the sum of self-confidence (a feeling of personal capacity) and self-respect (a feeling of personal worth). I truly believe that our reason for being on this planet is not for SELF as much as it is in being of service to others.
I personally feel a high level of self esteem when I have helped others. Did you know that marine leaders are expected to eat last because the true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above their own?
It exists as a consequence of the implicit judgment that every person has of their ability to face life's challenges, to understand and solve problems, and their right to achieve happiness, and be given respect.

As a social psychological construct, self-esteem is attractive because researchers have conceptualized it as an influential predictor of relevant outcomes, such as academic achievementor exercise behavior (Hagger et al. 1998)
In addition, self-esteem has also been treated as an important outcome due to its close relation with psychological well-being (Marsh 1989). Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension (for example, "I believe I am a good writer and I feel happy about that") or a global extent (for example, "I believe I am a bad person, and feel bad about myself in general").
Do and say only what you mean. 

Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic ("trait" self-esteem), though normal, short-term variations ("state" self-esteem) also exist.
Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant. - Conceits and Caprices. - J. Petit-senn
Many early theories suggested that self-esteem is a basic human need or motivation. American psychologist Abraham Maslow included self-esteem in his hierarchy of needs. He described two different forms of esteem: the need for respect from others, and the need for self-respect, or inner self-esteem.They are loving and.or lovable.
Respect from others entails recognition, acceptance, status, and appreciation, and was believed to be more fragile and easily lost than inner self-esteem.
According to Maslow, without the fulfillment of the self-esteem need, individuals will be driven to seek it and unable to grow and obtain self-actualization." (Wikipedia)

Bobbie Horowitz has a great blog that constantly addresses self esteem issues.Bobbie writes, "Today I had an insight that I pretty sure is going to transform the way I react to many things. This “insight” hit me right between the eyes!
I realized that I was feeling guilty about something that was totally out of my control.
In a way it was making myself more important than I am. I do now accept the point that I’m important – as are you! We’re all important to the whole. However, we don’t create the weather. Well..perhaps mankind is affecting it by allowing certain global warming processes to continue, bur, individually we can’t blame ourself if it rains or snows one day – the day we scheduled something."
Isn't that true of almost every area that affects our self esteem? Again, for the most part, I have no control over what you think of me.
Carol Channing once said to me that for every person who likes me, there are an equal number who don't.
A photo of Carol with a photo of me as Carol to create this composite (Steve Ericson)
 

Low self esteem ruins relationships. It's sickening.
Avoid speaking against yourself or gossiping about others. 

Self-esteem is value or worth that one bestows on oneself. As an artist, I find myself constantly putting value on me through my art and as to whether or not one gravitates to that art.
High self-esteem is a character trait of a healthy individual. The persona that the world sees of me is a confident self-assured individual. I have to be honest with you. I battle with this daily. I often say that I didn't choose my profession. It chose me. It is a path of constant scrutiny, rejection, and evaluation.

I was lucky enough to be taken under the wing of a lady who had the aptly named moniker of our local theater as "our fairy godmother", Miss Florence Theodora Epps.
I did a blog feature on her a few years ago.

It started out that way and has not dissipated in fifty years. As a child, it was hard to be taken seriously by family and those I encountered when I told them I was going to New York to be an actor. They laughed loud and hard at me.
When I auditioned for my first show, I was AWFUL!

I know looking back at how bad I was. I am capable of handling criticism.

What was it deep inside of me that possessed me to go to that first rehearsal (even though I wasn't cast) and request a walk on. I got it! I treated my two lines( "Sign here" and "Only thirteen?" as if it was the most important role in the show! Because of my dedication and tenacity, when our local theater company,

The Theater of The Republic, was casting The Unsinkable Molly Brown, the director, Linda Simmons entrusted me with a bigger part, the role of Roberts, the butler. It paid off. I got good reviews and got the laughs I was seeking.

During the rehearsal process, each evening, at the end of rehearsals, Linda would sit the cast on stage and give notes. Night after night, I would sit there with great anticipation waiting for MY notes.
They never came! I went home each evening believing that I was doing a terrible job and that Linda did not like me. One day at school, I spoke with Linda's daughter, Lisa, and told her of my concerns.
That night, Linda pulled me aside and told me that she felt my instincts were on the money and to trust what I was doing. She said her method was to only give notes if they were warranted. That one conversation was enough to convince me that I was on the right path. That really started me in the direction of self motivation.

My next show almost did not happen for me. I heard that the theater was doing The Night of January Sixteenth by Ayn Rand.I called the director Sylvia Reddick to see if there was a role for me. She said, unfortunately, that there was not. I was too young.I HAD played an older man in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, but that was in the Main Street Auditorium in my hometown of Conway, South Carolina. This was a proscenium theater in which I truly got my start.
THAT is where I learned to project and use my diaphragm. We did NOT work with microphones!!
However, The Night of January Sixteenth was to be performed in our historic Town Hall and the actors, because it was a courtroom drama, would be among and closer to the audience. Sylvia assured that there would be many more opportunities in my future. I accepted that and forgot about it. However, the fates had other plans in store for me.
As we sat down for dinner the night of the auditions, there was a knock at our front door.
It was Richard Hudson. I had appeared with him in The Unsinkable Molly Brown. He lived not far from me and was on his way to the auditions and wanted to know if I would like to ride to the auditions with him.
I explained to him that Sylvia had already told me that I was too young for the production. He encouraged me to go with him. If for no other reason, I would get to see friends. My homework from school had been done and my parents encouraged me to go.

We arrived as the auditions were already underway. Sylvia asked me if I would be a reader opposite those that were auditioning. I was thrilled to be asked and jumped right into it. To find out what happened, read my blog tomorrow as I write about and address going after what you desire.
Thank you ALL of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!


 With grateful XOXOXs ,









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I desire this to be a definitive account of Hello, Dolly!  If any of you reading this have appeared in any production of Dolly, I'm interested in speaking with you!


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Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
              

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Richard Skipper 845-365-0720





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