discipline. it has to be taught, nay, drilled into you for you to understand it's importance. it might even take time to understand but it's something you can recognize, and especially when others have more of it than you. my grandparents believed in practicality and realism. so my mom came from the school of letting us choose whatever we wanted to do or how we wanted to spend our time, even our lives, doing no matter how farfetched. she never said no to an activity or a dream, but we had to figure out how to do it and we had to want it for ourselves. she would buy the appropriate accoutrement and drive us to practice but when the novelty wore off, she let me quit. i quit piano, violin and eventually even ballet which i had wanted so badly that i had trained four days a week and under the private tutelage of the artistic director. i was eleven and had been bit by the acting bug and started doing musicals so had to choose. she said if i didn't want to do it anymore, she wasn't going to force me. only later in life did i wish she had. she didn't preach the importance of grades (i distinctly remember bringing home my first 4.0 straight A's report card and my parents said great job and went on talking about jury duty or something. i was sort of shocked, thinking this would surely nab me SOME sort of SOMETHING. but it taught me that if i wanted to do well in school, then i had to do well in school for myself, not for my parents or anyone else. and while i absolutely love that message, it one that i still have to teach myself every day. and so is discipline.
so of course, i chose a career where the self-motivation and discipline is relentless because the rejection is relentless. read all of this as: i didn't get "the part." i've been on the other side of the table enough now to know that after two callbacks, it probably "wasn't me", just one of a million other reasons. i struggle with this the most because the harder i work to let myself be seen in the audition room, to truly honor my individualism and combine my actor self with my every day identity, the harder it is not to feel the rejection down to my bones. i showed up, i wore what i wanted, i had my artsy headshot, i sang the non-traditional song that i love to sing and flatters my voice, i had witty repartee with the director, i danced my fucking ass off like it hasn't been YEARS since i've been in a class. i threw out my neck for three days! i started making plans with my friends surrounding my performance. no dice. utter shock, disappointment and anger. then sobbing on the bed because i must give up acting, i am no good. then a wave of determination and "i'll show them" that leads you back to the computer and into a flurry of audition hunting and submissions. REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT.
i can't decide if constantly riding this wave means that i still have it, that it still means everything to me. or if i am some sort of masochist because i keep going back for more even though i am exhausted after almost twenty years of auditioning. seriously.. TWENTY YEARS of crying over lost parts and feeling like you just won the lottery when you DO get one. (i've never won the lottery, i'm just trying to imagine the sheer disbelief and exhilaration one might feel because of the life changing happiness bestowed upon you. the closest feeling i can imagine is booking a role.) it's probably both. the highs and low's are killer.
every artist knows this wave well. i actually know this to be true. we all laugh about it a lot. what else can you do?
you can have another cup of coffee in your favorite fur coat and get back to work. but first, a little otis.
ps. jessie ware was EVERYTHING and more. beautiful voice, amazing velvet pantsuit. the Works. definitely a #redlipsbabe.