Monday, July 22, 2013

What You Might Have Thought of Me in High School

I went to F.H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art & Performing Arts. I was a drama major.

The people in the drama program were notoriously extroverted. At 15 years old I had an extroverted side, but I also had a deep rich internal world that I wouldn't let anyone penetrate. I was in my own head a lot. I was thinking about the world and my relationship to it. I was anxious and I was depressed. I was having existential crises on a daily basis.

I would wake up with my heart pounding, scared that I was going to die some day.

Meanwhile, everyone around me was laughing and putting on lipstick.

I can't imagine what other people thought of me.

Maybe they thought I was a snob, because I was shy.
Perhaps they thought I was an elitist because I was afraid to share my real feelings about things for fear that my peers would call me weird.

I didn't know that a panic attack was something I couldn't control.

I felt weak. I felt different.

I used theater as a way to cope with depression and anxiety.

I transmitted all my pain, all my anxiety in acting. When I performed Anne Frank, I became her.  I used my pain to make art.

But other people didn't know.

They probably thought I didn't want to talk to them.

That wasn't the case.

I'm not in pain anymore. I've healed.

I wonder how they perceived me...


  1. The funny thing about high school is that we were all so wrapped up in our own stuff (at least I know I was) to notice things like that. All I saw was a normal girl who appeared to be more down to earth than most of the other girls we were surrounded with.

  2. That is the biggest compliment of them all. If anyone calls me down to earth I want to hug them. I'm hugging you now.

  3. Funny -- pretty much everyone in our Drama crowd was introverted. We were only really outgoing when we were being someone else.

  4. That's hilarious Justin! And it's the sign of a good actor.


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