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.



April 20, 2011

When Phoenix Theatre informed me, via website, that its general auditions would take place at the end of May, I thought that the auditions would occur, you know – at the end of May.  Not three weeks from Friday!  Eeeeeee THUD.

Ever-so-fortuitously, that is also the weekend of my staycation with Rosalind at the Arizona Biltmore,  a grand ol’ resort that I never in my life thought I could afford (Rosalind won a contest…I love Rosalind).  So I am going to get the audition over with early Friday evening, and then get stinking drunk and loll around on my expensive bed all weekend with a bottle of rum.

Audition preparation is deeply, obsessively underway.  I have reached out to my secret connection for some new song material, I am booking an appointment with a voice teacher for some pre-audition coaching, and I am staying up till 2 nightly, reading play after play in hopes of finding a decent monologue.  I constantly sing potential audition songs in the car to Moo and Juice – I love them so, they do not judge me when I don’t quite hit that high note.  And Moo loves to sing along…the only problem arises when I play “Oklahoma” from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – I have to sing along VERY LOUDLY during the part where she wants to “blow those little FUZZERS HATS right off.”  Ahem.  Sure, that’s what she’s saying.  No, let’s not listen to it again.

I worry that I am placing too much importance on this audition – setting myself up for a deep depression in the future if I don’t at least get a single call back.  The fact is I still don’t have very much experience, but I KNOW I could prove myself if they gave me a chance, and OH MAN I want to work with them so badly.  Almost as badly as Moo wants a Barbie.

Not until you’re 6, Moo.

…I hope I don’t have to wait two more years before I get my shot with Phoenix Theatre.

Audition Nightmare

May 17, 2010

I had a dream that I went to my Phoenix Theatre audition (next Sunday), and there were about 10 pregnant women there, including Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga.  I have no idea why my subconscious is interested in Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga.   But in my dream, I instantly knew that with 10 pregnant ladies present, any orginality or excuses I had about my performance were out the window – plus – Oscar nominee.  Crap. 

Then it turned out that we weren’t actually going to be performing for our auditions – instead, it was a written test.  So we had to write down, from memory, the lyrics to both songs and the text of the monologue.  Unfortunately I hadn’t memorized my monologue, and also I had to go to the bathroom.  When I got back, they announced that anyone who hadn’t finished was eliminated.  I begged to be given another chance (after all, I’m pregnant!  I can’t help it if I have to go to the bathroom all the time!) – but the lady in charge pointed at all the other pregnant ladies, and then pointed at the door.

Vera Farmiga got to stay.

I know why I had this dream – because I haven’t been preparing like I should, and because Rosalind gave me a long lecture on Saturday about how I would regret backing out, should prepare as best as I can this week, and basically just stop whining and get some balls.  She even threatened to show up next Sunday and drive me there herself.  So after the lecture and the dream, I took advantage of some time alone to pick up my monologue and start memorizing.

Then I practiced my songs, and I made a startling discovery.  I can’t sing!  I have no idea where my diaphragm is – you know, that handy muscle used for breathing – but it’s not where it used to be, and I suspect that a tiny pair of knees is currently embedded in it.  So I have to gasp for breath between each rasped note, and I just cannot sustain a note for the life of me.  I am going to look like a gasping blowfish washed up on the beach (and wearing sensible heels).

…Maybe they’ll find me amusing?

A Very Foolish Idea

April 16, 2010

So all the local theatre companies are starting to announce their shows for the upcoming 2010-2011 season…and I couldn’t help but notice that Phoenix Theatre is putting on “Nine” next year, and Theater Works is putting on “Chicago.”

Nine!  Chicago!

And, like, a whole year from now!  I would look fairly normal by then!  (Never mind the fact that I ate almost an entire bag of Sun Chips today and am currently devouring a bag of cinnamon raisin bagel crisps – oh yes, Fat Face has definitely set in.)  The baby would be about nine months old!  Moo will probably be able to fix us all dinner by then!  And despite Herbie’s rather panicked expression when I floated the possibility of me trying to do a show in a year, I think he could totally handle the two kiddos.

There’s just one problem – both Theater Works and Phoenix Theatre hold general auditions, meaning you go to one audition and basically try out for allll of the shows at once, even if you’re only interested in a particular show.  Then they whittle it down and hold call back auditions as the shows approach – or something like that.  I’ve never done a general audition.  I suspect they are SCARY.

And also, they’re next month!  Or maybe even June!  So if I was going to try out for “Nine” or “Chicago,” I would have to audition as a huge, Fat-Faced, 8-or-9-months pregnant warbling giantess. 

Not really ideal for this kind of show:

But I still think I might do it, ridiculous though it may be.  Maybe I could staple a picture of what I normally look like to my resume?

Herbie came home last night grinning from a great day.  He’s had a lot of great days lately, and I’m so happy for him, and what it means for our family, and I’m grateful for how hard he’s working.  But when he was telling me the story of his latest accomplishment, so buzzed with that feeling of attack-and-achieve!, suddenly all I could think about was how I don’t have any stories to tell that aren’t about Moo.  I used to have other stories, not very long ago, and I wish that I did again.

Voice Mail

February 24, 2010

So I got a message from Tempe Little Theatre yesterday, asking if I would like to join the cast of Sweet Charity, like NOW.  Apparently three girls have had to drop out due to medical reasons and so they’re a tiny bit frantic, trying to fill out the cast before they open in about a month.

They’d heard that the director had some reservations about my pregnancy (so is THAT why?  it’s not that I suck?), but if I felt I was up to it…

I said no.  No, thank you, because even though Katy Choreographer’s involved, I’m not feeling the vibe with this show.  And because I am getting big quickly, and my back hurts.  And I’m tired.  Oh, and I’m having a BABY.  And I should probably get ready for that.  Say, dive into that office/disaster and turn it into a baby’s room, which will definitely take every last minute of the next few months (especially because I would so much rather watch Lost and ice dancing than wade through piles of…. I don’t even KNOW what’s in there).

But OH I miss theatre.  I miss being on a stage, memorizing lines, learning dance steps.  I miss being me, and not Mommy all the time.  I love being a mother more than anything, but now that it’s been almost a year since I’ve been in a show (sigh), I feel my identity being swallowed up by this little daughter of mine, so hungry for me and my attention all the time.  I’m a good mother, but I think I was an even better mother when I was more…filled with myself.  And now there’s another little hungry one on the way, and in a few short months I will be swallowed whole.  Willingly, of course.  Happily consumed by motherhood – but counting the days (weeks, months), until I can audition again.