The most important statement I ever made in a small, organized group meeting happened when the leader of the meeting casually asked, "How is everyone?" Then for some reason he singled me out and asked, "Keith, how are ya?" to which I could only reply at that moment, "I hurt." It was out of the ordinary for me, and they were the only words I could muster at that moment, due to recent events at that time. I didn't disclose every private detail about the cause of my pain at that moment, but it changed the course of the meeting. It broke the polite, small talk and ended up taking that group to a deeper level of experience. Several people came to me and began forming friendships with me. Finally, they were interacting with a whole, real person rather than the hard-to-get-to-know guy they'd been polite to before this event.
I am a professional writer. I have worked with numerous actors of all abilities, and I have the utmost respect for what you actors do. I understand the courage and strength it takes to step in front of an audience with such raw vulnerability. Your classmates and instructor know this better than anyone.
I'm thinking,"Improv Class," "actors," "people who are training to get in touch with their inner self to create characters and honest responses in character...."
What do you think would happen, if, during a class exercise when the instructor is asking, "What are you feeling? What are you thinking?"....what would happen if you were honest and disclosed your feelings of isolation?
(I have a hunch several would think, "Wow, we have those feelings in common. I thought I was the only one!)
I have taken to the stand-up comedy stage to educate other male survivors and those who try to love them. I blog about my isolated religious upbringing where physical and sexual abuse were commonplace and I serve as a facilitator of a weekly support group for men who have suffered sexual assault.