It’s Not on Purpose

So it’s recently been brought to my attention that I’m a bit of a cold-shouldered bugger at my shows (before and after), and so I have a desire to let folks into my head (it’s a really scary place – NOT for the faint of heart).

Most folks are fairly understanding if they’re there early, as it’s obvious that I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off nailing down all the details to my normally highly-technical shows.  When I’m on stage, I’m fine, easy going, and talk to people…no problem…but AFTER the show, I’m about as social as a crocodile with a tooth infection.  This is the part that I need to explain, because I don’t want feelings to be hurt just because you don’t realize what’s going on with me…

1st point: I am not a social person by nature.  As animated as I may seem, I don’t really like to talk unless I have something to say – other than that I’m far more of a listener…and I do enjoy listening!  But I’m a fairly introverted person by nature unless I talk to you on a daily basis.  My intrapersonal communication skills are extremely underdeveloped which is difficult for many to understand, because on stage I’m an entirely different person!  Intrapersonal (one-on-one) and interpersonal (one-to-multiple) communications are entirely different.  Most people develop the former but not the latter, causing the widely shared “fear of public speaking”. Me, I feel most comfortable behind a mic.  I saw a play in high school called “Who Am I This Time” which highlighted a character with exaggerated characteristics of the same (incidentally, Steve Martin suffers from this as well, so don’t be offended if he’s not funny when you meet him face to face).  In the play, the main character is one who doesn’t say much, but when given a part completely immerses himself in the character.  What’s interesting to me is how I’ve done so well as a tutor and counsellor as that involves a lot of one-on-one.  Thinking about it, the difference is these situations haven’t relied on dialogue.  What appears to be a single conversation Is actually three parts: listening, analyzing, and instructing.  As mentioned, listening is easy.  Next is all internal – analyzing what the problem is/cause and then what it takes to solve it.  Finally, as I respond, I am teaching (interpersonal), so it’s not actually a dialogue. Once this part of a session is over, I don’t switch to conversation very well and so often appear to be disinterested as just a moment ago I had a ton to say.  Most people don’t understand that there is a difference, and are confused by the presumed switch in attitude.  It’s not the attitude, but the type of communication.  My friend Akeel, my dearly departed grandma Dorothy – they have/had the inverse…can talk and talk and talk (and talk and talk and talk….) but I don’t share that gift of gab – the intrapersonal.

 

The second part that amplifies this is I don’t eat before a show.  Back in the days of the full band, Mark, Johnny, Trent and I would go to a Chinese buffet before every show, we wouldn’t leave until someone was crowned jello king (have to eat their jello with chopsticks).  …we were late to more than one of our shows because of this…  But now that I’ve taken over as the lead singer, I don’t eat past lunch (my songs have too many long notes – you don’t want me burping into the mic!!!) and so after a show, a combination of exhaustion and hypoglycemia sets in, making me super tired and decreasing my already suffering intrapersonal skills.  Trying to talk to me in this state after seeing the lively personality on stage, the impression of my indifference increases exponentially!

 

All this to say…don’t be offended if you’re seeing this.  I love having you at my shows – I couldn’t play if you weren’t there!  But those are my inner-workings, and I want you, my dear fans and friends, to understand so you don’t feel alienated by me.

 

You’re all still the best!

Ryan

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