Hey! How do you like my big green bird on the stage? That’s how I feel when I’m at an audition; all vulnerable and on the spot. Well sometimes I feel totally awesome, like I’m super-cool. I feel like this chill chick who has a mysterious confidence and is so ‘right on’ if you know what I mean. But other times that feeling completely vaporizes and I’m left an apparent doofus. (What an odd little word that is, but I like it; it’s appropriate.)
A few weeks ago I went to an Equity Dancer Call for a Broadway revival of “Anything Goes.” Haha (that’s me laughing with myself.) I used to be a decent dancer but I haven’t been in class for several years (not months mind you…years!) Am I crazy? Yes – I think so, but that’s beside the point. I decided this was going to be a swift kick in the pants to get my rear in gear and back into class, and it was. I figured the possible painful and embarrassing experience would teach me a thing or two and be worth it in the long run. So I looked at the audition as a free dance class instead of what it really was (a freakin’ Broadway chorus call.) I know, nice place for an experiment Mak.
Want the report? Here it is: I was a good half a second behind everyone else on that floor (okay maybe two,) my extension left much to be desired, and I was smiling. I was smiling and having fun because I knew there was no way in ‘hells kitchen’ I was getting a call back. Oh my, it was…well it was shameful – and secretly delightful.
Was I scared? Heck yeah! But I found a piece of myself that was lost in a dusty corner somewhere. It was totally worth it. I did it for me and although I’m sure there were girls checking me out and thinking to themselves, “what is she doing here,” at least I made them feel good about the fact that they were better than me. So I did something for my personal growth and gave them a boost in their self confidence (I could check-off my good deed for the day.)
Life is (hopefully long) and in the end your only measure of growth is with yourself – no one else. So, while you’re at it – why not risk falling on your face once in a while?
I talk about yoga all the time, but I’m going to mention it again anyway 😉 There are some poses that will literally drop you on your face if you’re not careful. Anyone tried the crow pose recently? Let’s just say I’m working on it…
I love yoga for the principals it teaches of patience, growth and progress. You may practice your whole life to master a pose with the full awareness that nothing can truly be mastered.
Isn’t that beautiful? If nothing can truly be mastered than there should be no hesitation in trying something new because we’re all just progressing at our own pace along this never-ending road.
“The greatest risk in life is not taking one at all,” says some wise person somewhere.
Playing it safe is good in areas of – well, you know… all those ways we’re supposed to be safe. But your life is not in danger by trying something new (unless its drugs so let’s not be stupid, ok?) Your livelihood may be at risk though by NOT listening to that inner drum of yours. That drum that is beating away, pining for a change or a chance.
So here’s the challenge for the day: risk being bad, risk being the newbie, risk being the oldest one in the class, risk falling in love with something new, risk sharing your thoughts and ideas…
I know, I know… “but I’m too old, too tired, too out of shape.” “I don’t have the funds, I might be laughed at, I might suck, I’m totally out of practice…” Truth is, you might fall flat on your face 🙂 But who cares?!
You can either sit in your safe little box or bust out and say, “here I am!“
So, ladies and gentlemen…HERE I AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And here’s my short list of things I’m going to risk being bad at in the coming year:
1.) writing a screenplay
2.) directing a short
3.) rediscovering Shakespeare
4.) kickin’ it in my old tap shoes
My list will go on and on – it’s a problem I have. That’s why I need to simplify every once in a while. But if you take all your goals and aspirations and narrow them down to just a few general categories, you’ll find it a lot more comforting. You’ll notice that you’re living your goals in the here and now.
For instance, I came up with four general categories or phrases that most of my goals fit into:
- I want to GROW by learning and experiencing new things – by taking healthy risks.
- I want to INSPIRE and motivate others with love and passion for all things good.
- I want to build a large FAMILY, a network of blood relatives and adopted friends.
- I want to CREATE safe places, works of art, harmony and tangible projects to be experienced by others.
There. Now my list isn’t so long and precise.
So…HERE I AM! I’m putting it out there for all to see so hopefully I won’t chicken out and sit in a cardboard box that says, “Here sits the ambitions and dreams of one, Makenzie Caine (Small, Greimann…whatever the heck my name is) waiting to bust out, but too scared to try.”