Sunday, June 03, 2007

Notes on failure

Some time ago I made a wonderful discovery. I auditioned for that show I was in last summer, A Comedy of Errors, and at first I thought that I hadn't been cast. When I first began to absorb the defeat I realized something. I was pretty OK with it. More so than I had been with any other show. Mostly because when I thought back to my previous failing (see all 800 posts about how I wanted to be Ophelia in Hamlet sept-nov 2005) and thought, well hey this isn't nearly as bad as that was. Probably no role will ever crush me like that. Not just because it was Ophelia, but a chance to play it in my final year of university in a show with my close friends. It sucked a lot. I worked very hard and I didn't get it. But I made the most of it and moved on with life. Most importantly I know now that I can audition for anything and nothing will ever hurt like that again, so I will always be able to take the high road and move on.

So that is how I shall regard my latest sour news. I did not get in to York Univeristy's MFA program. This was also largely based on an audition as well as several letters of intent and recommendation, a CV, transcripts and a whole lot of work that is feeling slightly in vain now. I spent a lot of time and money and energy on that school and I have to admit, despite my best attempts to remain level headed, I really wanted to get in. It has been a tough pill to swallow, but it was the school that I wanted the absolute most. There are going to be a lot of no's in the world of acting for me, so it is good to have hit a big ass one right now. The program may have been very cool but there is nothing stopping me from reading plays and learning more about acting on my own.
The important thing now is to move on, so that the next time I am applying to school or for an actor training program I will have this experience to teach me that I am capable of carrying on.

Theatre and acting have probably had the ability, even more than love, to make me my happiest and most destroyed. My happiest moment in all of high school was having the play that my friends and I wrote win at the Sears Drama Festival while we all won awards for acting and writing. Being a theatre student at Laurentian was probably the greatest time in my life so far. I will never forget the first time I really felt "it" on stage, or rehearsing Taming of the Shrew with Josh, or watching Brie's face as she walked off stage after her monologue for the Vagina Monologues, the standing ovation we got at the end of Isobel, or the overwhelming response Andrew's performance earned in Hamlet, or doing my scene with Frank in Aminta . These are some of the greatest memories I have and it is in these moments that I know I'm alive and none of the other crap in all the world really matters. I'm there on stage or back stage or just in that damn theatre with all my energy and heart poured into every minute and something wonderful happens.

I guess I can't really describe it.

"I found a whole bunch of friends with the same dream, and that makes us kind of like a family..."


So that's where it's at. Life feels pretty miserable right now, but that's only because I love theatre so much and it has made me feel so wonderful. It might not always make me happy, and I don't know if it's the ONLY thing I can ever do. But people who say "the only way you'll ever be an actor is if it's the only thing you can ever see yourself doing" are idiots. If you can't see yourself being anything other than an actor how the hell are you supposed to be a fire fighter or a CEO or a teacher or any of the other thousands of roles you will have to be in a play. If I'm going to get good at this art what I have to do is keeping on living like an artist.
Even if it hurts.

Well I'll let Butters tell you the rest:




GOTH KID: Well I guess you can join up with us-
GOTH KID #2: Yeah, we're gonna go to the grave yard and write poems about how pointless life is.
BUTTERS: Uh, no thanks, I love life.
STAN: Huh? But you just got dumped!
BUTTERS: Well yeah and I'm sad, but at the same time I'm really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It's like it makes me feel alive, you know? It makes me feel human. The only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt something really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good, so I guess what I'm feeling is a beautiful sadness. I guess that sounds stupid.
GOTH KID #2: Yeah.
STAN: No Butters, that doesn't sound stupid at all.
BUTTERS: But thanks for offering to let me be in your clique. But to be honest, I'd rather be a crying little pussy than a $#%&$@ goth kid.

1 comment:

Joe said...

I'm sorry to hear you didn't get accepted at York, but it sounds like you've got a good sense of perspective about it all. You can always apply again, or go a different road.

"Lu lu lu I got some apples..." :-)