Friday, September 25, 2015

Whomp whomp...

Soooo, remember how I recently made this big, scary decision to pursue acting full-time? Almost immediately after announcing that decision, I was not cast in "A Christmas Carol." And that was...difficult.

Of course, rejection is always difficult. You kind of have to get used to's an inevitable part of the business. But it's always a little harder with theatre rejection for me. With television or film or commercials, there's no cast list posted. There's no definitive "NO YOU DIDN'T GET THE PART" just don't get a phone call. And you're usually not Facebook friends with everyone else who auditioned, so you don't see them posting casting announcements and changing their cover photos to promo shots of the show you wanted to be in. And a television/film/commercial gig is something that lasts a few days. Theatre is a commitment of several months. And you usually only prepare for a day or two for a screen audition, since that's the amount of notice you get, as opposed to building your repertoire and meeting with an audition coach and rehearsing for a few weeks ahead of time. It's just a bigger investment to do theatre.

I also rely almost exclusively on theatre for my social life. I'm about 75% introvert, 25% extrovert, but my friendships are a very important part of my life, and I rely a lot on them to make me a better, more well-rounded person. I have no idea how to make friends outside of theatre, even though once I know people, I'm all right outside of theatre. But I also know that actors are generally busy people--most of us don't have time to "go to lunch" or something. So if I'm not in a show, I'm...watching Netflix. I could grow a pair* and just invite people to hang out, but I'm inherently sort of awkward at doing that. It's a lot to overcome that awkwardness to get to the actual bonding time. So not being cast in a show, for me, also comes with this added weight of not spending as much time with people I care about.

When it comes to "A Christmas Carol," there was also the added weight of finances. My budget right now will last me until the end of November, but if I had been cast in "A Christmas Carol," I would have made it until the end of January, for SURE. Without absolutely needing any film/television/commercial/background gigs, and without needing another job. It would have essentially bought me two more months to pursue this pipe dream of acting full-time. I still might get enough film/television/commercial/background work to keep me going for a few more months, but I don't have the guarantee I would have with getting cast in "Christmas Carol." And I sort of missed auditions for a lot of other things, because of conflicts with "Oklahoma"--I'll have to wait a little while for the next round of auditions to come around.

("But Liz, you have a husband who works! Isn't he the breadwinner? Can't he support you both while you pursue this dream?" Yes, I do have a husband who works, and technically, he could support us both, but I can't bring myself to let him do that. He's working a great job right now, but it's not something he is passionate about, and he took it because the EXTRA income it generates allows him to pursue HIS dreams. I can't, in good conscience, ask him to give up his dreams for mine, which is what I would be doing if I made him pay all the bills while I auditioned for stuff.)

Anyway, if it's not obvious by now, I just had a lot of eggs in that "Christmas Carol" basket. And right after making this decision to throw myself into acting full-time, not getting cast felt like the universe shouting "NOPE! You can't do this! You can't fulfill this life-long dream of acting as a career!" When you're vaguely terrified (which I am about trying to act full-time), any rejection feels bigger. Like you got shut down the second you tried.

But, really, I know it will be okay. It always is. I'm still sort of in mourning, but I've had a lot of good reminders that I'll be taken care of. Loving words from a good husband. Moving and profound moments in "Oklahoma" that speak to my heart as much as to Aunt Eller's. Sincere hugs in parking lots and backstage hallways. Encouraging words from friends. Little revelations that keep me focused and keep me grounded.

So give me another day or two to mourn and recalibrate, and then it's "F*** you, Matt Damon"** and moving on. I'm glad I've got so many good people in my corner on this journey.

* of testicles OR ovaries; both are symbols of power and courage
** see linked blog entry if you don't get the reference

photo via

1 comment:

Anna Banana said...

I think most people, actors or not, feel you on this. I feel you in an acting sense. my Jacob applied for 50 jobs he was more or less qualified for last academic hiring season, and got exactly one interview-- for a job they already had an inside candidate for. But he has a Ph.D. And works incredibly hard and everyone loves him!! But he still doesn't have a job. Yeah. Why!? No reason. Make it through the famine. There will be another feast. 💗💗💗 also, come hang out with me!