#8 – General Auditions, Phoenix Theatre

May 19, 2011

Let’s talk about failure.

I wish I was the kind of person who, when rejected, says, “I’ll show them!” and feels inspired to work harder, try harder, never give up!

I am not that kind of person.  I am the kind of person, who, when rejected, tends to doubt my right to exist.

I didn’t get a callback from Phoenix Theatre, and no I am NOT going to check my email again because I KNOW it is going to be empty and that wound will open up in my gut again if I look.  Plus they wouldn’t send out callback emails at 9 p.m.  Would they?

No they would not.

I don’t know when being in a Phoenix Theatre show became my ultimate dream.  But judging from my level of emotional crushed-ness, it has indeed become my ultimate dream.  A dream squashed.

I admit, after realizing I didn’t get called back, my first reaction was, “That’s it.  I’m done.  I’m not good enough, and I’m not doing this anymore.”

Now, I’m not so sure I’m giving up (that’s so Mama Rose circa 1998), but I am still wondering if maybe I’m just not good enough.  Honestly, I didn’t think the audition was that bad.  I felt a little rushed, and it wasn’t spectacular – we didn’t have any kind of “moment” that I thought ensured they’d remember me…but they did comment on my dance experience, so I thought at least I’d make it to the general dance call back.

But no.  So I mean…I must have REALLY sucked, right?

I must have…

I just wish they’d given me the chance to dance.  I realize my voice isn’t going to sell out Carnegie Hall, and I am always learning as an actor.  But I think my strengths lie in the total package – a dancer/singer/actor.  I’m able to shine (or maybe not?) when I’m doing all three.

I just wish I could have danced.

I’m getting older.  And I know I can’t get too old for theatre…there will always be wonderful parts no matter my age.  But I can get too old to dance.  And that’s what I feel slipping away.

Why did I waste all those years being so afraid?  …Oh yeah, because of this exact feeling.

Help me feel better by telling me how you have coped with failure in your life.

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14 Responses to “#8 – General Auditions, Phoenix Theatre”

  1. Prince Charming Says:

    Oh Mama…

    We all fail constantly. Mostly in little ways because mostly we are doing little things. Feeling the failure as strongly as you do just means that you are doing what’s important to you. It means that you are DOING and LIVING. Be proud of your ‘big’ failures. Embrace them. They mean that you are living and not just talking about living…

  2. azmattmorgan Says:

    Sorry, Mama. I hope you keep it up, because you’ve got mad skills. As for my failures, remind me to tell you about the time I tried out for the Cleveland Indians, and how not only did I not make the team, but the coach called me out in front of everybody and said I was too slow; or, probably more relatable, how there is one director in town whom I can never seem to impress at auditions, no matter what I do.

  3. Katy Says:

    In order to cope with rejection, I have to think that if I didn’t get into a show or piece or anything else, it’s probably for a good reason. When I was doing BFA auditions, I had to force myself to think that if I don’t get in, it’s not a reflection on me or my talent, it’s just that the school isn’t right for me and I won’t be able to learn and grow there. Same with shows, etc. It’s difficult because I take ev-er-y-thing personally, but I have to think that way or rejection will swallow me whole.
    In regards to being too old to dance: http://youtu.be/2KQnWkdgvsU I took a workshop with that incredible woman; she’s nearing 90 and still kicking ass and taking names. If you’re passionate enough, you’ll never be too old. You’ll find a way to do it.

  4. Beth H Says:

    Everybody else’s comments here are wonderful. Listen to them! : ) I will add that I do believe that things happen for a reason, some grander scheme that you can’t always foresee. Maybe some new & exciting opportunity will come along that you wouldn’t be able to do had you started a show with Phoenix Theatre right now. {I know that’s probably annoying to hear when all you want in life is a callback from them!) But believing that all things happen for a reason & trying to learn what I can from each experience is what gets me through the trying times.

  5. The General Says:

    1. This is ART! Not everybody ‘gets’ art. Not everyone will get YOUR art, or your talent at making that art.
    2. Casting directors (and everyone, really) see things through a filter. That filter is cluttered with the last person to audition, their level of stomach acid, what they perceive you as, how comfortable the chair is, the temperature of the room, etc., etc., etc. Sometimes the filter works for you, sometimes against.
    3. No matter how much you suck, there will be those that think you walk on water. No matter how good you are, there will be those that think you suck. You cannot tell these people apart.
    4. Feelings pass. Try again.
    5. Remember, The General loves you.

  6. Mo Says:

    You listen here…..you may have one night to wallow in your sorrows and feel sad that someone missed out on the fabulous-ness that is YOU…but that is all you get….ONE night! Then you wake up tomorrow and look forward to your next project! You remember why you are going after your dream and doing what you love! And you focus on what is next! The best of the best all experience failure…its how you get back up that makes you a success. You know I’m more of a sports person so I don’t have a theater equivalent- but think about this quote:

    “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
    -Michael Jordan

    Hang in there Mama! The best is waiting for you!

  7. Sonia Says:

    I keep telling myself, “You’re never as good as they say you are. You’re never as bad as they say you are.” I suppose it goes for the unspoken as well.

    I hate the American Idols of TV shows that make it seem unfair if you don’t get any feedback. That’s what sucks about this processes. No one usually tells you what you did wrong or right…in there eyes, or what you need to work on.

    The other thing that helps me is doing exactly what you’re doing. Talking to other people about it. Talking through it till it doesn’t matter anymore and I’m ready for the next audition.

  8. mamarose Says:

    Well geez guys. You really did make me feel better, and I’m not even drunk.

    Thank you.

  9. MB Reeves Says:

    Well…perhaps I didn’t help you…see…when I heard you were auditioning, I did send you positive thoughts, but that little voice in the back of my head said…Oh no! We don’t want to lose her! I’m sorry…

    I know that part of what we do is provide opportunities for folk to spread their wings and develop the confidence and experience to move on…but…it is so sad when we see you go! And I KNOW we will see you leave some day. Just don’t forget us because we’ll miss you.

    Maybe this means we’ve got some amazing parts for you this year. You knocked it out of the park on DAN-DEE and others will need that talent. Remember, an Emmy-Award-winning choreographer/director thought you were FABULOUS as did all those who saw the show and one adorable little girl I can think of too…

    Okay….I’m sorry…just went to look … they said this “callbacks will be held throughout the season”…ummm…the musicals are later…ummm … you may be worrying too soon… Yeah!?

    • mamarose Says:

      Thanks for the kind words, MB. And yes, it’s true they hold callbacks throughout the season, but their first musical was the one with the biggest chorus and therefore the best chance I had. Also it’s my understanding that they only hold dance callbacks once, so if you didn’t make dance callbacks, you’re out.

      And I would never forget DFT, you are all so wonderful!

  10. from the wings Says:

    That’s a great sentiment MB. She really is pretty great. So fun to watch. So very talented.

  11. millie Says:

    What the General said.


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