The call-back was Tuesday. I felt intimidated, confident, and nervous during various stages of the evening. Here's the short version of the story. Girl does improv exercise - poorly, girl does script reading well, girl learns and sings new song, poorly. Girl leaves the call-back trying to make peace with the fact that she did not fail, but she probably didn't get a part. On Wednesday, Girl receives word that after the director spoke with a former director of hers, that she did get the part. Girl pumps fist into the air while walking to catch the bus, and feels silly and giddy.
The director is so amazing, she started the evening with what she dubbed "kind of a woo-woo actor thing". Since each actor will play about 4-5 roles apiece, she gave us an exercise in quickly creating a distinct character. We were reminded that she wants us to do well, and was not trying to make us feel silly or uncomfortable. She is passionate and serious about theater - which is so inspiring for a rusty nail like me. My new favorite phrase is "Dare to Suck" - if you suck, it is okay - but you have to try. And really, that's good advice for just about anything, if you think about it. I rushed through my character exercise, because that is what I do when I am nervous. We did it a second time, and I was a little better. Although it was intimidating watching many others excel. The song - oy the song. I need a lot of time to learn a song, so I did not do very well - thanks again to nerves - an being in my head about my singing talent. At the end of the night, I felt like the experience wasn't a stink bomb, but probably not enough to get a role. And so I went home, had a glass of wine, and rambled on to Mr. Black about making peace with not getting a part.
In the morning, I saw that the playwright called Tuesday night and said that since all the experience on my resume was old, they were wondering if they could speak to someone who had worked with me recently - because they were considering me. My heart leaped at that - but then lurched a little. Oh, to admit that you have not been auditioning because you've been trying to lose weight and scared to try - kind of vulnerable! But they got their reference (a good one, I'm told) and so they told me they would be in touch. The roller coaster was continuing an upward trajectory. I had really gotten into a place where I was content with not getting a part. This was a great experiment, and now I had the confidence to work on some things, and audition for a different show. And then hearing positive feedback sent my hopes got up and released the butterflies in my tummy. So then I went and got a coffee at lunch - that was a really good idea - really helped calm me down.
Thank goodness I went to the gym and had my work out buddy to talk to, and lots of sweat to keep me distracted. Just after I left the gym, the playwright called and offered my a part, playing 5 characters. (All 5 characters who don't sing - what a surprise!) Delicious. Awesome. Exciting. Generous. I just feel lucky. I had so many people rooting for me, believing in me, my wonderful family and friends, my co-workers and even the blogosphere. I am so grateful for the lovely people in my life and the support.
So my advice to you is dare to suck! It really is okay. I also think that there's a beautiful sense of calm and confidence that comes with age. I've built a rich life outside of the theatre, and so if I didn't get it, I knew I had that life to support me while I work on what I need to. So now I get to bring some theatre into my life. I think the theatre might be pretty lucky.