19 September, 2006

Sound the call - Installment 4

I realised this morning it was Rebecca's birthday, and I had no way of contacting her.
It made me upset. Her phone number doesn't work. And I'm in the middle of the woods.
So I will send this out to the universe:
...Happy Birthday Rebecca...

* * *

Today I taught. It is a wonderful thing to be allowed the oppourtunity (or perhaps forced??) to articulate (as in out loud) my experiences and thoughts on this art, this business, this crazy profession. And to also be forced, in a way, to view it both realistically and yet, positively. There is nothing like having to find the words... when there are sometimes just empty expanses of dull, cold suffering. It was great for them, but also really inspiring and affirming for me as well.

A lot of them asked me about various colleges, and my thoughts on types of training, auditioning, business detail things. And of course the WIW experience. I don't know if those thoughts are particularly interesting in this kind of forum.

But then some really thoughtful questions about the business versus the art, and one thoughtful boy asked me about failure and disappointment. Interesting. I was sort of caught off gaurd by these two words. They are thouhts that come up so often in the artist's conscience, and yet they can be confused with one another...

I was able to really delve into the serious differences between failure and disappointment, and it was helpful for me to identify how I felt about those things. Sometimes we cannot help the fact that we have completely different reactions to certain projects. Sometimes an audition becomes about something else entirely. One desires the validation far more than the job itself. Getting a job can become about approval from others, at times it can even be taken the extent of a confirmation of your existence and overall worth. This is obviously bad. Really, Silber, what would Howard Roark say...?

Take Project E: Exciting. Huge. An unbelievably big deal. Amazing revival, amazing role, director, choreographer. Probably glory, money and all that jazz associated with getting it. ... Didn't care. Why? Who knows. The world may never know. Auditioned. Got down to the last four with some VERY accomplished people, people I couldn't ever DREAM of being the same room with, let alone up against for a role like this. Ridiculous. Didn't. Care. Auditioned. I was fine (aside from the 10:30 in the morning thing). And I didn't get it. And I still didn't care. Onwards and upwards.

Take Project Five: Small. Barely paid. Unglamorous. Actually a pretty bad piece of writing, and an utterly il-portrayed character when you get down to it. Would have done nothing for me but fill a time gap, and keep me busy. No glory, no artistic merit, no money. Nothing. And I needed it more than anything. I auditioned something insane like 5 or 6 times, I got the impression the liked me quite a bit. And yet I knew I hadn't gotten it. And I was devastated beyond articulation, all belief in myself thoroughly shattered.

Now WHY was this job/situation different from others? Other job prospects came and went without a thought. At first I had no idea,Ii just swam around that day in a fog. I wasn't simply feeling low, but silently verbally abusing myself in the most damaging and toxic of ways. That "VOICE" one gets... the one that tells me I just "don't have what it takes" or "some people have it, some don't and YOU DON'T" and as it gets worse and worse and worse "You are worthless. You are inferior to everyone around you."

And as an artist it is difficult. So many people in life feel a status, a validation and purpose associated with their jobs, however menial or distinguished. One can feel constantly inferior to their friends and non-artist peers because their peers often have a status associated with a job, while we often, do not. The validation must come from you, and you alone.

Referring back to the original question: I suppose I believe, after it all, that disappointment is more often than not associated with circumstances, and the way we choose to view those circumstances; while failure is about The Self, and also, quite often, a choice. One may fail to get a role, but one is not a failure, unless one chooses to be. Ultimately, the only choice we have as artists and thus, sensitive people, is to use these moments as opportunities for evolution and growth. That is what life is all about: choosing growth, choosing to rule over the evil, the negative, the toxic, the damaging. "Timshel," Thou Mayest...
...And we have to understand that they are more often then not, these professional things are totally arbitrary.

At this point I needed a sip of water. And David's kind eyes twinkled from the corner of the room. I needed those too.

The boy looked at me after that longish answer. He paused for a while, then smiled.
"If you HAD gotten Project E or Project 5, would you be able to be here at Interlochen right now?"
I said no.
"Well then, I'm really glad you didn't get them... "

Thank you, thoughtful boy. I owe you one. I did not, in fact, do all the teaching today.


  1. is that the theatre at Interlochen?
    woah...please tell me its not!

  2. It is one of the spaces, yes. This is Kresge auditorium, a 4000 seat outdoor amphitheatre mostly used in the summer obviously. It is used primarily for orchestra performances, big concerts and the summer camp High School Operetta. Oh and High School Graduation of course.

    The main theatre at Interlochen is called The Harvey Theatre, a 500 seat thrust space. Complete with set construction shop, costume shop, 3 rehearsal rooms...very very amazing.

  3. woah.

    If only I were lucky enough *sigh*

    It's really beautiful though!



Related Posts with Thumbnails