“…And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child.”
– Veronica A. Shoffstall
I guess I could stop this blog right there. Because really, what more needs to be said than that? But yeah right. Come on now. Have you met me? Two little words to convey what I want to say? Ha! Hardly. So, here we go…
So – about five years ago, I auditioned for a play with a new theatre. I had seen a few shows here in the past, and I was mesmerized. They were so professional and the talent was unbelievable. I wanted with all of my heart to be a part of them. Now, I didn’t know anyone at this theatre. Not a soul. But I wanted this. I had to do a reading from the script and have a song prepared. And let me tell ya, I was ready. This was my chance to shine – to show this new theatre this undiscovered talent that was waiting for them to snatch up. I had arrived!
So, guess what? I didn’t get cast.
Not even a small role. Not even the person who sweeps up after the show was over. NOTHING.
(I digress here for a second, but for some reason, I just can’t get my daughter’s cheerleading chant out of my head…”Rejected, Rejected, YOU just got rejected! R-E-J-E-C-T-E-D, Rejected!” I’ve always HATED that stupid cheer. Anyway, back to my story…)
Yep. I was devastated. I questioned my acting ability (this was my first ever audition rejection); I questioned my singing ability (which isn’t all that great, mind you, but I can carry a tune if I absolutely have to); and most disturbing of all, I questioned whether or not I was going to continue acting. There was a lot of other things going on my life at that time as well (one of which was a husband that didn’t want me acting at all), so I took this as a sign that it was time to hang it up. I wasn’t an actress.
And I stuck to that for a while. About two years actually. That might not sound like a very long time, but to someone who had been involved with theatre at least two or three shows a year since I was 18 years old, that was huge. I felt like a piece of me was missing.
Eventually, I got over it. My husband and I divorced (that’s a long, complicated story for another blog), and I found myself needing an outlet. A way to find myself again. So, I went back to my old comfort. I got involved with another theatre and did a few small readers’ theatre roles (for you non-actors – readers’ theatre is basically just staged readings of plays – not full productions). Eventually, I did make my way back to full productions – but I just couldn’t quite make myself go back to that theatre that rejected me. I drove by it and saw signs up for upcoming shows and auditions, but I kept right on driving. I just couldn’t handle that kind of rejection again. It was too much.
Fast forward to the present.
March 22, 2013, will be opening night for the play Life With Father. I will be starring in my first lead female role with that very theatre.
I got over it. With the encouragement from a friend, I did end up going back to that theatre..and I’m beginning my second season with them. I have found a group of friends that have become like family to me, and I can’t even imagine life without them now. But I would have never been here if I had let myself be defeated by that rejection. I admit – I let it get me for a while. Too long actually. But looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. That temporary setback made me realize how important theatre was to me. It made me realize that it’s inside me – being an actress is part of who I am. I can’t change that – no matter how much pouting I might temporarily choose to allow myself.
So, yeah. Rejection. It sucks. But you know what? It’s temporary. A month ago today I received the most recent “rejection” in my little world. And let me tell ya – it was a doozy. It has sent me on a blog-writing frenzy (Thanks, Rejector), and has made me come face to face with who the heck I am. It has made me, at times, think I’m never going to be in a relationship again. And has made me think that maybe this whole “Love” thing just isn’t for me.
But nope. None of that is true.
Just like acting, I’ll be back. This too shall pass. I’ll live to love again and I’ll let this setback teach me the things I needed to learn.
And hey – Who knows?
Maybe I’ll even end up being the star of my next production.
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker.
Failure is delay, not defeat.
It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.”
– Denis Waitley