Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don't Cheat Yourself

I hear this a lot at New York auditions: "Oh the show's already cast. Why go?"

I've fallen prey to this mentality myself, particularly with an upcoming EPA (Equity Principal Audition) this week for "Evita." I love the show, I can sing the heck out of the role, but it's already cast with the amazing Elena Roger who did the role in London.

But you know what turned it around for me? Besides the endless encouragement from my friends (whom I am so grateful for), I was reading an article about Elena, and it started with, "Five years ago, you'd have had generous odds on the career of Elena Roger panning out the way it has."

She's tiny... and so am I! ;) "I don't have a complex," she says. "I have a big nose also. Another girl would be cutting her nose to be an actress. I was always very sure about myself."

You've got to check her out on YouTube. Her portrayal of Edith Piaf is astounding!

She was discovered performing in her native Argentina when the producers for Evita went looking for "the real thing." Even though she barely spoke English and she had to pay for her airfare to get to London to audition, she did it! Talk about odds, right?

It is ridiculous to me how we often head-trip ourselves out of going after what we really want. After all, I've been cast from EPAs, and it is such a rich reward every time I go.

I'm growing from the work I'm doing just from preparation for this audition. I had a great musical rehearsal on the weekend - still high from really hearing the music after all these years, letting it soar through me and inform me - and I've been doing my acting homework on the piece as well. I LOVE IT!

And as I've realized time and time again, it's not about trying to please "them." It's about doing the work I love, and showing up to the audition to put my work out there. It's a wild thing auditioning. I feel like a sculptor, putting my piece together LIVE, moment by moment in front of someone. It makes me think of Sondheim's brilliant song,  "Finishing the Hat."

We are "living, evolving, flawed organisms, still being shaped."

Don't cheat yourself out of what you can discover when you commit yourself to a creative endeavor.

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