This Creative Life

Welcome to the creative work of Alan White, head writer and producer of "FEEDBACK; A HERO'S CALLING," now at Broken Sea. The "Feedback" in question is Matthew Atherton, My Hero. He and other heroes of mine have links found down the left side of these pages. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pessimism Vs. Grandiosity

Scott, here's what's scary--I actually like my idea for the character. I filled out the application over the weekend and it asks some very searching questions, both of 'Your Superhero' and Yourself. When I reviewed, and re-reviewed the application, it seemed as though my concept and profile are excellent show fodder. It's like I'm the kind of guy they would love to roast on their reality-TV show spit. "Watch the superhero have a meltdown before your eyes!"

And why would I want to do that to myself? I want love and I love attention--and for however long I'd be on the show, I'm sure I'd attract some fans--but at what cost? My real superhero persona is Worst-Case Scenario Man. Everything that could go wrong is usually the first thing that I think of. If I got on the show, would I ever be able to hold my head up in public again? Would I ever be able to entertain a client again without them bursting out laughing in my face? And what about my estranged, extended family? What would be my chances of ever seeing them again after I was ridiculed off the show? Or if I won and became the Next NEXT Great Superhero? You think of my family, think of The Klumps. "That's nice, baby, but ... what's a superhero? Is it like Herk-U-Lees? Herk-U-Lees, Herk-U-Lees, Herk-U-Lees!"

Vvvvvhh--!! (my own made-up sound of frustration)

And now get this--my bipolarish brain is actually making me think that if I audition, I'll actually GET on the show--and that's why I'm angsting! I mean, come ON. In my audition, I intend to clearly name Feedback and Tech Support. Feedback works into the origin of my superhero. My costume even has a prominent, blatant, non-mistakeable feature that takes after Feedback's costume. You might even call me "Kid Feedback" once you see the costume. So that might just completely disqualify me. And that would be fine. Desirable, even. Yet in my grandiosity, the real problem I'm having with auditioning is the fear of success!


How could I become the Next NEXT Great Superhero? How could anyone?! Feedback cannot be replaced--he still hasn't gotten his just due! And I never want him to go away! I don't want to be in a world where there's no Feedback! I don't want the attention that he should have--I don't want anyone to have it. (Well, okay, let Jesus Christ have it. But no one else!)

And what would it mean to my relationship with Matt? It would be like getting hired to take your best friend's job when you didn't even really want it! And I would SUCK at it! I'm not as willing as Matt is to be Feedback all over the country. I don't want to do comicbook signings in West Hell, Wisconsin. I don't want to pose with people's children. My heart isn't as big as his and my smile isn't as bright. I wouldn't treat my fanclub as awesomely as he does his. I wouldn't become the kind of hero and friend to a persistent, obsessive fan as Matt has become to me. (I sure as Hell wouldn't let them pick me up at an airport in the middle of the night!!!)

You know what else? Yesterday I went out shopping to pick up some stuff, (as I am currently obsessed by Chunky chocolate bars, with their peanutty and raisiny goodness, yummmm) and I got in line at the CVS behind an old woman who was obviously enjoying her day out of the old folks' home and enjoying the attention of the store clerk. And what do you think my reaction was? Just guess.

"Hurry up, you old bag!!"

No I didn't say it aloud, but it informed my whole mood. I felt surly and hostile by the time I got to the counter. And after I bought my Chunky and half-pint of milk, I walked past the old woman, who was arranging and rearranging her many bags in her little bitty shopping cart, and did I think for a millisecond that I should offer her help? Did I even spare a single smile for her? I mean, could I not afford just the TINIEST bit of human kindness for a lonely old woman?!?! Damn!!!

If that had been a superhero challenge, I would have been sent home quicker than Levity. There should be a show called "Who Wants To Be A Supervillain--?" because I SUUCCCKKK--!!!!

Okay, you know what? I need to calm down. My heart is actually beating fast, here.

Let me just be real. I will most likely NOT get on the show, grandiose ideation notwithstanding. Auditioning is just for me to have some fun and give tribute to all the wonderful people who have improved my life.

And I still have a next time. Next time, I will smile. I'll treat them like I would my own grandparents to be treated, next time.

And at the convention, this week--if someone wants me to--I'll pose with a child or two. Because Feedback would. And he's my friend.

So that's all right then.


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