So, the month of May has been… in a word? Hectic. I think I love it, though! After my last play, I said I wanted a break and that was the stupidest, stupidest thing I could have done. Well, it was nice to finish up school and spend time with friends and family, but I’d forgotten how easy it is to fall into melancholy when I’m inactive. It can be depressing, clocking in and clocking out of a job you certainly don’t want to be doing forever, going to plays all the while envious because you miss being on stage. It sounds kind of… I don’t know, pretentious? *shrug* What can you do?
But this month? Oh this month has been packed. Next week, rehearsals begin for a play that I am totally excited to be a part of and this weekend, I will be attending the Houston Alliance Auditions. That means 50 pairs of eyes will be looking at me and I will be trying my best not to melt into the ground. But during my Alliance Audition prep class last night, I received the best advice.
Any performer knows how frustrating it can be to KNOW the song or monologue they’ve prepared until the moment you’ve gone up to perform it and then POOF! It’s gone. You’re blank, expectant eyes are waiting to see what you will do next, and you’re mentally castigating yourself, because dammit! It was right there! Well, that happened to me in class. It was, what, like four people? And I was as blank as a dry erase board in an empty classroom. Nothing was happening up there. So I got frustrated and my instructor said “Hey, look, your tactics were crystal clear, you gave yourself a few seconds in the beginning to create your character, and I wouldn’t have even known you were nervous had you not said it.” But I was shaking like a leaf.
Nerves have been my biggest foe from the beginning, and yes, they seemed insurmountable. I told him this and he said, “Think of nerves as your ugly friend. Embrace them, because they’re never going to go away. It’s okay to be nervous, to show that you are because it’s an emotion and it’s human. Incorporate it, show it, it’s not going to kill you.”
And it didn’t. So, my instructor had me do a few mock auditions in which I strode in in the beginning and did a little dance or took a deep breath, or SOMETHING to make the excess energy settle. And everything was okay. For the first time in a while I felt… accomplished. Everyone always says to be confident, to forget that there are people watching you. It’s easier said than done, so I hope that this can help someone else, too. It’s sage advice and this weekend, I’m going to go up there in front of those 50 pairs of eyes, and I’m going to kill it.
Until next time!