I know I’m supposed to be attempting humor here, but today has been a big day for me and I felt the need to type some things out for myself.
I have been acting as a hobby for years now. I basically grew up in the theatre with my grandmother and mother both involved in community plays. At the beginning I was getting cast in musicals because I was a confident singer and, honestly, because there wasn’t much competition. Very few girls my age were auditioning for the same roles as me and so I was something of a default choice. Then after getting cast a few times in every musical I wanted, I started trying out for plays and hit a brutal string of rejection.
Show after show I wasn’t getting cast. In one instance I wasn’t cast as a slutty maid who had very few lines and came on stage maybe three times. I’m always cast as the slutty maid, that was the one part I could always rely on and now even that was taken from me. A few brave souls finally worked up the guts to tell me that I wasn’t the greatest actress. I knew I looked nice on stage and people rested on the compliment, “You were beautiful up there!” (translation: the show was great when you weren’t speaking).
I spent months volunteering my time at the theatre in other ways; I built sets, helped with props, joined committees, was accepted onto the board of managers, stage managed, played soldier number two and my favorite role, apparition number four. I tried to feel more and more at peace with not getting roles, although I admit each misstep came with a few tears. I was feeling defeated and at times a little inadequate. I wasn’t doing this to “make it” as an actress, I just wanted so badly to be a part of things.
My good friend Jay was the one who helped me start working on my acting and he was motivating force behind my signing up for classes. I took a few and began to just let go. That was the best lesson of all… work as hard as you can work and then just let go, if you have done enough than things will happen, if not, keep working.
As I sat in my callback today with the script in hand I just said to myself, “just do this… lay it all out on the table and then let go.” I was told that my monologue was delivered beautifully and I even had one casting member tearing up. Today I was cast as the lead in a show. The only thing I could think to do was dance, so I grooved around my apartment for the entire length of Earth, Wind and Fire’s, September. Pooter looked less than amused at this display.
I suppose this isn’t the funniest post I will ever write, but I just needed to put this down on the page so I can remember this feeling. If I had been cast in every show or even just most, my appreciation for this one role would certainly be lessened; I might even let the feeling pass me by. Today I realized that every role I ever receive, I can look at the work I put in and feel like I earned it. I will remember how I felt every time things didn’t go my way, but the ones that get away now are just more reasons to keep improving, because there never is an end to learning, is there?