“I need more from you, it seems as if your holding back” says the director on our first meeting about our project. I know this. I got this. but this criticism still stinging.I prepped and racked my brain to give this character life. I studied the greats trying to capture their spirit and put together their essence with my own perhaps this was my first mistake.
First off, I’m new to this, raw unfiltered emotional dude who loves this woman and she dares not to love him enough. The role did spark a fire in me that while always there, was damned due to my insecurity in allowing the negative comments from years past to penetrate my consciousness and never break free from it. In preparation I fasted, I exercised, my mind and my heart to get it right. I got this. I know this.
The third rehearsal goes something like this “have you ever felt when someone told you something and you know it is untrue but you still listen”? the director says looking stern and uncompromising not a smile in site.
My reply….. I know the feeling well it seems like this is my way of living all the time, the world has a contract to tell people what they want to hear be gentle they say, don’t hurt feelings they say, and have us walk around thinking we are something that we are not. I got this. I know this. The up coming weeks go by fast and with each rehearsal I feel better, I feel supported, I feel the universe is with me every step of the way. Feedback is great, I’m on top of the world on this particular day I meet the playwright she loves how the piece flows but thinks a song is needed to push the piece into the stratosphere.
I’m excited thinking I can do more, I can be more bring my full self. I sing the song in rehearsal but you can hear a pin drop. Silence. Is this good? It seems like 20 minutes have gone by and then I hear the directors uncompromising and stern voice….”are you comfortable with this? Because you really can’t sing and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, we are gonna have to get it together or find an alternative”. Rehearsal ended but the comment/critique set with me, ate with me, came to bed with me that night. It rises in me as I started each day. What do I do? Quit the show and go back into my shell? Stay in dreamland and live there for the rest of my days? I mean it is my favorite place. Can you guess what I did?
I regrouped, picked myself up and realized that while I was nowhere near where I wanted to be I could get there with practice and tenacity. I prayed, practiced and I meditated. First show of the run. Nerves. Sweat on the brow. Lips shaking. Well wisher’s, crowd silenced, some laughs and it’s the end. Standing ovation. I’m shocked looking at my leading lady who was also shocked. They actually liked it. I’m elated that I didn’t muck it up, I have a talk with spirit that same night while I try to explain my feelings about the experience, the emotion and my goal for the duration of the rest of the shows I feel a chilled finger pressed against my lip not allowing me to speak.
” you feel it now don’t you, it was always there. You compare with no one. You are your own person with your own gifts, talents and technique. Will you be everyone’s taste? No. You were not designed that way. The people you have met and critiqued you were to strengthen you, push you to go farther then you knew you were capable of. I’m proud of you and I know there’s a lot you want to say but you do realize I already know the words you want to say. You Recreateand create that’s why you’re here, don’t ever doubt, always trust and believe. You’ve enjoyed my work on this planet and now I demand you give this same courtesy to every living soul out there, don’t make me come back and give this speech again”.
Spirit then smiles and gets up to go. I’m trying to speak and maybe say thank you, get words out but that something keeps my lips in place I then hear clear as day like a song… “I wish you joy and happiness, but above all this I wish you love” she then fades away. I knew I was always loved at that moment.