Playwright Mara Thomas beats back Imposter Syndrome (ASBX blog post 001)

Greetings, Soapboxers!

Wow — here we go. My first time guest-blogging for a friend and art-maker and I’m really sweatin’ the intro. Do I need to establish credibility? How self-depricating is too self-depricating? Do I completely negate myself right off the bat and hope you’ll stick with it?

If you’re anything like me, self-applying the label “artist” can lead to an instant case of Imposter Syndrome (see above). My inner dialogue goes a little something like this (editor’s note: Fargo accent), “Mara, people like you are not artists. You are from a small, nothing town. You didn’t go to a fancy, important school or win artistic awards. You didn’t even study this stuff. Seriously, who do you think you are?” SO. MANY. TIMES. At times a never-ending tape loop that would leave me feeling zero confidence about expressing myself in ANY way. Yet, I knew if I didn’t express myself I would repress myself into nonexistence.

Someone gave me great advice for disrupting that tape loop spiral. She said, “Nobody cares, so say what you want to say.” (Ok, she doesn’t want me to tell you, but my friend, Tamara, said that.)

About a year ago, I reached out to her for counsel as I began the process of writing my first play. This was uncharted territory for me. I knew I was going to need boatloads of support to push through fear and perfectionism if I was actually going to make it happen. What I didn’t realize I needed was to lower the stakes. NOBODY CARES. Nobody cares! And not in a nihilistic, screw-it-what’s-the-point kind of way, but rather a completely empowering “GO FOR IT” kind of way. It matters and it doesn’t matter. For me, those words contained a type of creative freedom I had never felt.

Somewhere buried in this anecdote is, I believe, one of the very things Artist Soapbox can provide for our community. A space where we can hear each other express self-doubt and realize we’re not the only one who struggles with these feelings. An opportunity to feel inspired by our peers who have worked through their own personal obstacles to achieve self-expression. A place to feel encouraged and supported in our unique creative endeavors. We’re all in this together. I’m interested to hear from you. To engage with you. Leave a comment or email us at artistsoapbox@gmail.com .

‘Til next time!

-MT

Hear Mara on Episode 001 of Artist Soapbox. Read her testimonial here.

Mara Thomas is a Durham-based playwright, actor, musician and teaching artist. Her newest original theatre piece, YES TO NOTHING, was commissioned by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and played to raving crowds at music venues in Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham in fall 2017.

4 thoughts on “Playwright Mara Thomas beats back Imposter Syndrome (ASBX blog post 001)”

  1. Pingback: Make more pots (Mara Thomas, guest post 002) – Artist Soapbox

  2. Pingback: Comparisons Part I (Mara Thomas, ASBX blog post 003) – Artist Soapbox

  3. Pingback: Farewell, creativity obstructions! Hello, creativity resources! (Mara Thomas, ASBX blog post 006) – Artist Soapbox

  4. Pingback: Reclaiming creative identity after a loss (Mara Thomas, ASBX blog post 014) ⋆ Artist Soapbox

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Artist Soapbox

Artist Soapbox is a platform for original scripted audio fiction and an opportunity for artists to discuss their creative work in their own voices. We do this through our interview podcast, our blog, and original audio dramas.

Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Declaration of Love, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

IG-Size-The-New-Colossus-Gull-Photo

The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.

MASTER BUILDER300

Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.

DOL-logo

Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”

ASBX-shorts-1

ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

Scroll to Top