Friday, May 1, 2015

believe you can

I'm least for one or two posts. To be honest I haven't really missed blogging. What I missed was creating and writing, but not necessarily expressing that creativity through my blog. I have somewhat mixed feelings about blogs right now- there's so much curated content and product placement that it just doesn't seem real anymore. It feels like blogs have become part of the social media conundrum of only sharing the best 1% of life. As much as I may not like it, I get it. I get that blogs have had to evolve from when I first began reading blogs and writing my own blog. I'm happy for my favorite bloggers who work hard and make a successful living at it, but it may not be where I want to create anymore and that's ok.

Anyway...I digress. I'm not here to say goodbye (at least not yet), I'm here to share with you some exciting news!

The first bit of excitement is that I've been accepted into the School at Steppenwolf. My entire summer will be spent studying the craft of acting and I'm thrilled! It's a very intensive program so the only thing I will be doing for 10-weeks is learning and growing as an actor. I've never had an experience like this before- I wasn't a theater major in college and I always worked a part-time job during school, so now I get the opportunity to just focus on what makes me happy. It's going to be incredible!

It's funny how everything worked out. I was in a play this past winter and didn't have anything planned afterwards so with only a few weeks before the deadline I decided to submit an application. The application process involved writing an essay, getting a letter of recommendation, and then if you're invited to audition you have to prepare a monologue, as well as a scene from several play options they give you. I worked with an amazing teacher to prepare for my audition, which really helped me to feel confident going into the audition. My goal was to just do my best by committing to my choices and being honest. I left the audition feeling like I was successful in doing just that.

I wasn't fully attached to the idea of getting accepted into the school, but when I didn't get a callback (I thought not getting a callback meant that I didn't get accepted) I was still disappointed. Isn't that how it always works? I had heard from several actor friends that there is a callback process and if you don't get one you're pretty much done. Although now I know that I probably didn't get a callback because the casting director was in the room when I auditioned, so there was no need for a callback, but I didn't know that at the time. I just thought that I didn't get in and that was that. I allowed myself to be disappointed for a few days then I realized that I needed to do something. I needed to create. I decided that the something I needed to do was to finish a short film script that I'd been working on for quite some time. I figured if I was going to spend money on tuition for Steppenwolf why not use that money for making my own short film. I was taking action to create energy.

When I received my acceptance email on April 1st I was completely shocked! I thought it was some cruel April Fools joke...good thing it wasn't. I was then faced with making a decision- to accept or not to accept. I asked for some advice from a few trusted individuals before coming to my decision. It was this perspective from the acting teacher I coached with that excited and inspired me the most.

"Yes, now you’re in the position of really needing to decide whether or not you want to DO IT!! What an awful place to be! ;-)

But - here’s how I look at it - it’s one summer of your entire life - you can shoot the film anytime - no need to see this as an end to that. It’s a great gift to be amongst artists and collaborators for ANY amount of time - money comes and goes. Why not grab the bull by the horns and live life on the edge for a summer? Of course, there’s also power in saying no, you need to gauge for yourself what decision inspires you more!"

She is wise and inspiring and I'm so grateful that our paths have crossed. So I decided to live life where's it's most exciting- on the edge- so I said yes. But it's good to be reminded that there is power in saying no. And I can always make my film another time.

The second bit of exciting news is that I quit my day job last Friday. To be honest, it wasn't a happy ending. I didn't go into work that day expecting to quit my job. I had already requested to take a leave of absence while at Steppenwolf, knowing that when the school was over that I probably wouldn't be going back, but I still wanted to leave on good terms. It was good to have an end date though. I knew that I could handle four more weeks of this job, but then something happened that day and I just couldn't put up with a certain kind of behavior anymore. It wasn't an easy decision. I've never just quit a job like that. I've always done the responsible thing and given notice, but sometimes enough is enough and you have to do what's best for yourself. I won't go into details about what happened. I don't know if this blog is the place to discuss it, maybe some day, but not today.

I think it was inevitable that I eventually just had to walk out. Honestly, it was a long time coming. I'd put up with outrageous behavior for 3 1/2 years too long. Sometimes you have to deal with people and situations that you don't like- that's part of life- and I stuck it out that long for various reasons, a few of them being that the job was easy, I had flexibility, and I liked my co-workers. There comes a time though when you have to stand up for yourself and no longer accept being treated unkindly by another person. You don't bring out the best in people by being mean to them. Leaving that negative environment has probably been one of the best decisions I've ever made. I've been so much happier this past week. I'm taking this time before Steppenwolf starts to focus on me and get back to creating my happy. Sure, we might have to tighten our wallets a bit since I stopped working sooner than we anticipated but I'm trusting that it will all work out. I'm living on the edge of trust. It's a scary but exciting place to be.

So whatever it is that you want, believe you can and do it.

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