How Do You Measure, Measure…Yourself?
So at work today I’ll be breaking into tears intermittently. Last night I cried myself to sleep. (And I know I’ve mentioned it before, but crying myself to sleep results in a worse hangover for me than overdrinking ever has.) I have a headache and when people ask me what’s wrong I can’t answer without crying. Oh sigh.
No, there was no major tragedy.
Nope, no accident.
Seriously, no one died.
I just got my hopes up (really high) and I got them dashed pretty hard this morning. To top it all off I feel like it isn’t that big of a deal and I’m just overreacting. But knowing that I’m overreacting isn’t enough to keep me from doing it. So, I have to take action. I don’t really have a truly positive action to take so it’s time to vent. And, as with the last few times I’ve vented on here, I’m hoping that getting all of this out will really get it out of me and I won’t have to think about it anymore.
Because I’m tired of thinking about it.
And crying about it.
And agonizing about it.
So, this is the story. This week I tried out for a play. A great play: RENT. On Monday I went with my best friend and her sisters and I sang a rock song and I did a good job. Not my best, but certainly good. And I got a call back for Maureen!
They gave me music to sing for the call backs and I spent hours practicing it. I agonized over every little choice that had to the show and/or my call back. What to wear, how to move where to look…everything. I even went to the second night of auditions to check out the competition and I sang for them again (upon retrospect I think I should have sung a different song, but the moment is passed so I’m trying not to dwell).
Then last night were call backs. I was insanely nervous and I had been wondering if I was sexy enough to be Maureen or if I had enough personality or talent to pull of singing the lead for a musical. I was actually shaking, and I wondering all of this until it was my turn to sing – and I nailed it. (At least I thought I had.)
Then they auditioned the Joannes and called up some of the Maureens to sing with them – and I wasn’t one of the Maureens called. I watched, I listened. I put on my reviewer/director’s eye and broke down the competition. I still thought I had done better – or could do better – than the ladies who were up there.
After that they called for anyone who wanted to sing another song. Well, I wanted to sing the duet they had just finished, but they hadn’t asked me to do it so they obviously didn’t want to see that. Right? On retrospect I think I should have asked to do it, but I thought that maybe I thought maybe I could just wow them with my acting chops when we read scenes. And I did GREAT! (At least I thought I did.)
The rest of the audition went on how they go … and then we went home. There were 8 lead roles, 12 supporting roles and a huge chorus. I was still crossing my fingers for a lead role, but I figured at the very least I had earned a supporting role.
I was wrong.
I looked at the cast list this morning and I’m in the chorus. And, as I said, I’m crushed. I had my hopes up so high. And I thought I did better than so many of the other people there. In fact, I thought I did better than several of the women who got supporting roles and one of the women who got a lead role. What had I done wrong? What had I done right? Why hadn’t I at least gotten one solo? I’m thinking about asking an acquaintance who was helping with casting, but I don’t want to cry all over him – or myself again, for that matter. (My mom said that I probably just wasn’t skinny enough compared to the other actresses.)
So I’m swimming in emotion about it all and I have rehearsal tonight. I know I’ll be happy about it eventually but right now I’m crushed. I wanted to be Maureen – or Joanne. Or at least Alexi Darling. But I’m just soprano number 1.
At this moment it feels like the story of my life. I’m just never quite good enough to make the cut that I want to make. And I really do want to get up on a stage full of people and wail for them. In the past I didn’t have a strong enough voice or anywhere near the confidence. But now…I think I can do it. At least I thought I could do it last night right after I sang “Over the Moon.”
Honestly, I don’t feel like it was fair casting. I don’t think I should have been so low on the cast list.
I sort of wish that I hadn’t been called back if I was only going to wind up in the chorus. It’s like my hopes got up for nothing. Of course, the last show I auditioned for I didn’t even get into the chorus. But there’s like 70 people in this show – how was I not going to at least get into the chorus?
During this process I found myself vacillating between the idea that I was amazing and I could totally do this and that I sucked. I felt the same way while applying for graduate school. One day I would read my sample and think, “Yes. This totally shows how much potential I have.” And at other times I would read it and think, “There’s no way I’m as good as the other people who will be applying.”
This just underlines my basic confidence issues and problems with arrogance and humility and low self-esteem. I have far too much of the bad traits and far too little of the good ones. And somehow, even though they are completely dichotomous ideas I seem to have them all that the same time. I lack confidence and yet I am somehow also arrogant. I’m not all that humble, but at the same time my self-esteem is far too low. How can this be? And how the hell can it be remedied?
Last night my best friend told me that I was acting weird. Like my attitude was bad or something. And maybe it was. I do know that I was being a little catty even though I was trying not to be. I told her that I must have some old demons resurfacing. Something in me that needs to be overcome. And I don’t want to have to fight this fight right now. But I also don’t want to have to feel this way again.
So…I guess the question is what can I learn from this (besides the words for my part in the chorus)? I guess we’ll see. And I guess singing for an entire theater full of people will have to stay on my bucket list. Maybe I’ll get a chance to play Maureen another day.