Hollywood is for introverts

I used to think my introversion was a cosmic practical joke ✎ By Wayne K. Spear

“Stand against the wall. Now shout your pitch—as loud and fast as you can. Louder. Faster. LOUDER. FASTER.”

I’ll never forget it. I was in North Hollywood, learning how to “do” television from Clint Arthur.

There were about ten of us in the class. A dentist to the stars, bloggers, fitness and beauty experts, a woman who describes herself as America’s favorite lesbian grandmother.

The first day we worked on our pitch, and the second and third we pitched—over and over and over—to daytime television producers across the US, ten hours a day, on Skype.

It was exhausting. But no way was I going to show weakness. I did what I was told, how I was told to do it.

It was a valuable experience, but still it felt ridiculous. And I knew exactly why.

“I’m an introvert,” I said.

“So am I,” Clint replied.

Show business is filled with introverts. Comedians, musicians, motivational speakers—it’s amazing how many of them prefer silence and solitude. Introverts have conquered the world, time and again.

And afterward, they’ve gone home for some welcome peace and quiet.

I used to think my introversion was a cosmic practical joke. I’ve known for a long time that I want to leave my mark on the world—that I want to do something useful and meaningful that makes a difference. I’m driven. It’s what the Greeks called a “daimon”—an inner spirit that compels you to live your life a certain way.

But really I just want to stay at home and read a book. When I say I am an introvert, I mean I am extremely introverted.

I’ve also been on radio and television and on many stages, giving speeches or leading workshops or performing music and plays.

The truth is I couldn’t have done any of these things without reading and introspection and thinking and silence and solitude.

Introversion is another word for “we’re busy getting ready to take over the world.”

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