An Introvert in an Extrovert profession
"I love what I do, but I’ve never liked being recognised or being in the spotlight."
These are the words of Avicci, who passed away yesterday. I was genuinely saddened to hear of his loss and it spoke to me of the relentless harshness of life on the road. Whilst I (obviously!) never came close to acclaim on his scale, I have wrestled with my own demons over the years, attempting maintain a healthy work-life balance whilst putting my body through the mincer week-in week-out for a modest paycheck.
Over the past few years I've stepped back from my own personal brink only to find I'd spent years being held together by caffeine, alcohol, ibuprofen, vitamins & narcotics... all justified to myself on the basis that I needed them to cope with the weekend's rigours.
As an introvert (INFP-T), I also found myself often thrust into a deeply uncomfortable spotlight. I always found solace during my time behind the decks and I *loved* my time playing music to people. This was MY time. A time when I felt truly free and where my spirit soared. But as a counterpoint to that I often felt enslaved by the social pressures that came with the extravert party scene, not to mention the extreme harshness of my travel schedules. The minute I finished playing I always wished I could be transported to the sanctity of my hotel room, or better still back to the privacy of my room at home.
Avicci said this in a recent interview, and it sums up my own perspective perfectly.
"I had to stop touring, because I couldn’t read my emotions the right way. The whole thing was about success for the sake of success. I wasn’t getting any happiness anymore."
As the Guardian pointed out in their recent piece on his death, 'popularity can often feel like ritual sacrifice, as we build people up only to stand captivated as they descend – into addiction, into turmoil, into avīci.'
These are the demons many performers deal with, each and every time you see them play. Be compassionate with *your* demands on them.