Hello you abstract friend out there. I’ve been hiding. Was it the winter? Can I call it hibernation? First it was too cold and now there is the pollen. Not to mention detective novels. Yes, detective novels. Sometimes I wish I were a detective. Or at least married to one. Or both. Anyways, there are many reasons not to leave the house. Songs, for example are a good reason to bundle into corners. Or poems. Especially now that I am a proud owner of reading glasses. Turns out I am getting older too. Did you see all that gray hair!? But that’s not what I want to write about (perhaps another time!) I want to write about being shy. There are those that are obviously shy. I am not one of them. I am so shy you wont even notice how shy I am. I have good social skills and I have red lipstick. I also stand on stages and sing songs, which is not very shy thing to do. I might even walk up to you after a show and introduce myself.
But I promise you I am shy. It is when I hide that I am shy. Like this winter I was shy. I knit lots of scarves, did homey things and sometimes had to resort to red lipstick so I could leave the house not feeling invisible. There is magic in lipstick. Maybe it’s because people can tell better when you are smiling. They can also read lips better, follow words better. So I imagine. It’s hard to write about being shy. And yes, we are probably all some kind of shy. We have all stood in rooms not knowing where to look while everyone else seems to know each other. We have all left a party without saying good-bye. Well I have. Often I wish I smoked, so I could walk up to a stranger at a party and proceed to watch the traffic with them from a little balcony while we blow perfect clouds into the air.
Then there are these moments when I am in costume and there seems to be no trace of shyness. Susie Asado is a costume. I dress up as a lady, as a chanteuse, as a Josepha, as a Josepha wanting to be a chanteuse. For a long time I felt no one noticed I was a woman unless I wore a skirt or make-up. Not that I would easily pass as a man, but maybe you know what I mean. When we toured in December I experimented with there being less of a change between off stage and onstage. I tried to worry less about costume and yet still look like I put in some effort, so no one would think I took it lightly. I want people to know how excited I am about performing for them. That I practiced, prepared. So I think I was less protected in a way, which resulted in feeling all that shyness and awkwardness and oh! Can it be that costume is so powerful as to transform shyness into something else? Is costume a way of hiding? Am I still me when I am in costume? What is not costume? Can lipstick alone be magically transformative? I know having something to do in a social situation also helps with shyness. Having a reason to be somewhere. Collecting ashtrays or bottles. Getting someone a drink. Selling merch. Dancing! If one can get to the dancing part — ah! So here I am writing about shyness and wondering what it is going to be like when Alicja, Robert and I head out to play shows at the end of April and beginning of May. Is this shy thing going to get worse? Will I have to write more about it? Will I have to read books about it? Talk to professionals? Maybe next time we see each other we could have a conversation about it? Perhaps we can make plans. If you are still reading, can you go look at our touring schedule and see if we are coming to your city, town, neighborhood? You could come out? We play some songs. I feel shy, you feel shy and then we have a conversation?