Hello lovely readers of my blog and beautiful friends. Yesterday was exciting and quite scary, but actually, a really fun day.
As some will know, my job and my passion, is the performing arts; Musicals, Broadway, The Westend, Opera, Theatre, Singing, Acting and even some dancing: I love it all.
I have spent the greater part of my life getting to sing and perform on stage. I’ve be able to perform to small groups and interact with audiences in all kinds of lovely ways. I’ve sung arias in beautiful theatres and performed musicals for hundreds and hundreds of people. I’ve sung with outrageously talented musicians. I am blessed indeed.
I have also spent a great deal of my life missing out on that job, not being cast in that show, not getting the callback, getting down to the last two, and not getting the part. It’s all part of the deal.
I’ve been so fortunate to teach students how to audition. How to be the best ‘Orange’ they can be; and if the director is looking for oranges then you’re in with a chance. Sometimes they are and sometimes they actually wanted popcorn and not oranges at all.
I haven’t auditioned for any professional theatre in quite some time. The last time I did, my mental illness, because at that time it wasn’t mental health, gave me a very hard time. I became very unwell. Not because of the audition. It was a terrific experience. I didn’t get that job either but it was a good day and I left knowing I needed to learn more about dancing. And so off to Zumba I went. Yes I know, not the traditional way to learn, but I flung myself into it, doing seven classes a week. Sometimes more. And then, I became really unwell. You know there’s more to that story but suffice to say, when complex PTSD, anxiety and depression gang up they become very loud, nothing much else can be heard. And so everything kind of stopped and I got the help I needed.
As I began to recover, much of my work became about getting well, staying well, and staying alive. It still is. Staying well takes work. And by work I do mean therapy.
So, as excited as I was that I might get a job in a musical, I was also a little afraid.
Would my mental health suffer again?
A: if I didn’t get the job
B; if I did…..
As you know, I’ve been trying to embrace that girl in mirror, the one who is still brave; so I applied, got asked to audition, booked a flight and travelled interstate to audition for a chance to get a job doing what I love.
And you know what…I do love it! I love to sing and dance and act and perform and tell stories and make people feel good. It’s what I do.
At the audition the dance call was first. I danced with abandon. I learned the choreography. I got all the steps right most of the time. Zumba disco moves were all coming back to me. I laughed, I sweated, I was glowing with heat and with the joy of the moment. Then we all sang together. Singing is what I do, so this was, comparatively, easy. Dancing for a couple of hours is a great way to warm up too. Feeling alive and invigorated with the kind of dancing I hadn’t done in years, I relaxed into the singing time.
And then out we all went and they told us to wait for our names to be called for the next part, the solos. There would be a cut before they heard our solo singing. I wasn’t concerned. I knew I just had to be the best pineapple I could be. If they were looking oranges, that wouldn’t diminish my pineappleness! I had been a terrific pineapple and now this pineapple was going to show them how she could sing!
They didn’t call my name.
I was cut.
No more singing.
I felt myself stop. I felt everything stop. Like I was waiting to fall apart. Waiting for sobbing tears to come. Waiting for the rage of injustice to pour forth. But it didn’t…
Was I disappointed? Of course! Was I sad? Absolutely! Was I broken???????
No, I’m not.
I’m not broken!
I was brave. I tried. And while I was doing it, I HAD A BALL!!!! That doesn’t have to change, just because I didn’t get the job.
That doesn’t change just because I didn’t get the job.
I loved, for an afternoon, I got to dance and sing and smile and laugh and learn.
So now, tomorrow was yesterday. The sun has set. The sky is beautiful.
I’m sitting in the warm evening, writing and drinking a yummy cocktail made by the fabulous Jayden, yes he totally wanted me to mention him, and I’m quite content.
I think this brave thing might be working.
Yesterday I did something daring. Yesterday I did something I’m proud of. Yesterday I remembered what I knew how to do. Yesterday I was kind to myself. Yesterday I was brave.
And today I can say, “Well done!”