Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An audition that made me smile.

Yesterday I had one of those feel-good auditions for a theatre company that I really want to work for. Though I was only asked to prepare one song, they asked for two more and a monologue so they could truly get a sense of what I have to offer. The AD was friendly and engaged, the accompanist was great, and everyone in the room really seemed to care about creating a positive experience for me. It was the kind of audition that makes it all seem worthwhile: the temping, the acting classes, the expensive headshots, the instability, the self-doubt, the rejection and on and on.

I'm glad I can still feel that way, 7 years into this career. With age I've gained cynicism and maybe a touch of bitterness, but that 23 year old who was just giddy to land her first professional role in Lettice & Loveage with Theatre & Company (never mind that the pay was minimal, as was the stage time) is still in there somewhere and resurfaces when she books a commercial, lands a role in a play, or has a great audition. Amid my worries about money and all those things I "should" be doing "at my age", I'm happy to be where I am.

I have taken risks.
I have followed my dream.
And it has been really hard sometimes.

Sometimes I dream of getting a "real" job; of having a health plan; of paying into a pension. Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with me that I haven't "grown up" yet. Sometimes I worry I'm "using" too many "quotation marks" to "emphasize my point". Y'know?

But you know what makes me feel better? Everyone experiences self-doubt. Everyone. We trick ourselves into thinking that everyone else has things figured out, but nobody does.

I find myself wondering where I'd be if I'd chosen an alternate road for my career. Maybe I'd be a neurosurgeon? But I know someday I'd be operating on someone's brain and I'd think, "God, I wish I was doing non-union, summerstock theatre right now" and I'd get all distracted and the big machine in the corner would start making that sustained beeping sound that indicates that the patient is dying, and I would be all like "oh crap, where was I?" and that is why I feel I made the right career choice.

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