Do you ever have moments where you stop and remember exactly what you were doing one year ago today?
That kind of thing happens to me all the time. I was recalling last May, and how I was feeling so down on myself, my career, my relationships. I remember going to audition after audition and feeling like I left it all on the table, and STILL not finding any results.
"If you always do what you've always done, you will always get what you've always got."- Henry Ford
...And then I was accepted into acting school. It seems insane to me now that at the moment going back to school was a last resort for me. Now I realize that it is only the beginning of tapping into my potential as an artist, and the growth of my career.
Last night was the culmination of my one-year program, the industry showcase. It wasn't bittersweet as much as it was....empowering. I have worked and sweated and made sacrifices this year to reinvest in myself, and what I've come away with is a much stronger sense of why I'm even going through all this trouble in the first place. I do it for me.
Before I went onstage for my scene, I got that old familiar nervous nausea that I have in the past allowed to sabotage myself. I could come away and say, "Oh, I just wasn't feeling well. It wasn't my fault." Instead of giving into the fear, you have to feel it. You have to look it in the eye and say, "Hello old friend. Welcome. You're here because I really care about what I'm about to do."
After accepting the fear, I remembered.....this is for me. I do this for me and for no one else. Of course if an agent or casting person or industry professional likes my work, then that is fantastic; but I'm no longer doing this so that other people will "like" me. I'm going to give it all I've got. I'm going to invest in this character, and become this person, and if I end up a big slobbery mess on stage, that is okay. Because that is inherent in the job description; you have to turn yourself inside out and be brave enough to let everyone see. You are a human acting humanly in a human circumstance. It is both the simplest and hardest thing to do. We are already people, so we should know how to put ourselves in another's shoes. What is hard is dropping your own judgements, misconceptions, and personal defenses. You are not only a person, but you are celebrating the flaws that come with it.
The last nine months have been a labor of love. In many ways, I feel like this year has been my baby (just a slightly different use of my time). This week we are winding down with a few workshops and evaluations. On Sunday we have a commencement ceremony, and as quickly as it started, the program will be completed.
The journey has just begun.