Well I thought the most difficult part of my day would be my run this morning, I was wrong. I felt good and my conditioning and leg strength was okay. Even my weight was better, 181, heading back down to the 170’s. I had a stack of business calls and meetings that needed to be addressed and contracts signed. Again more difficulty. But again, challenge met and passed. Good business was accomplished today.
Next, I had an interesting little opportunity that presented itself; this appointment would be just after lunch. For anyone that knows me I enjoy acting, however business travel and life in general has kept me away from the stage, since college the only real acting I had done was a stage play of Treasure Island, on a bit of dare from the family and an exercise to demonstrate to my children the importance of challenging yourself I auditioned and ended up landing a lead role as Long John Silver, a summer series for 13 shows. I had a blast. I was even asked to stay on as part of a traveling group doing skits, but time and business travel dictated otherwise and I essential hung up the acting while I buried myself in business.
Well an opportunity was knocking again, a part in the stage play of Fame. Specifically Mr. Myers, the Drama Teacher. Having never seen the play or movie and only knowing a bit about the premise, off I went with no expectations other than an opportunity to challenge myself once again. I think it is great to put myself out there from time to time just to remember I am still alive.
Showing up, I had little direction on what to expect, as I entered the building the place was buzzing with 20-30 theater students, it presented a palpable energy. Weaving my way through the energetic students I find my contact and pleasantries are exchanged. She is the theater director, an outgoing energetic person with great enthusiasm.
No time was lost, she knew what she wanted, and quickly said, “let’s see what you have”, “Can you sing? Dance? Where have you acted?“ Sing! Dance! Of course this was Fame… certainly there would be singing and dancing. My mind is racing as I am recalling my abilities… Looking back I am not sure how this happened but I said, Yes, with all the confidence in the world. Great, follow me.
I followed behind her and the Movement Director as we made our way through a maze of rooms and hallways, stopping at small room next to a piano. Once again, I have put myself in a place to see if I can meet the challenge. The instructions were brief and simple, I am going to “sing” and I want you to follow along with the piano. Ready. There was only one answer, “yep.” And so it went. I expected that it might be a crash and burn right there, yet as she provide a tone and pitch, I followed, up and down a scale repeating, lower still, repeat , lower still, repeat… While I am mimicking the tones and pitch, they are both shaking their head approvingly. Now back up… the scale. Still good. Finally I said, that is as high as I can go. Surprisingly singing got an overall approval. Great, not likely, but serviceable, sure.
Next came the read. Hey, no sweat, this is what I love. The acting… I was so confident in this area I felt it would be a slam dunk. Just the opposite. For reasons I cannot begin to understand and what will likely bother me for years, I just could not nail this one line, the rest were good and I feel I took the direction well too. My best… not even close, but okay. I am not sure why, I just was not hitting my best.
Let’s keep moving… we move to a dance studio. I am thinking I may have survived my train wreck on the acting, and I know I can do better and I am still feeling confident. Now the Director of Movement/Dance, takes the lead. Follow me she says. We stand in the center of a dance studio and she begins to show me some simple moves and asks that I shadow her as the music played.
After watching and practicing a couple of moves, it was my turn. A swagger up, 2, 3, 4 pose, arm in air, and drifting down to the side, saunter to the left, pose, and swagger back 8 steps. Inside my mind is racing until I finally said to myself, listen to the music and think loose hips.
We do the number about 3-4 times and we are done. The Movement Instructor places her hand on my shoulder and says “he can move” and nods to the Theater Director. I smile to myself and tell her that I appreciate the gracious comment.
Unfortuantley I still have the bad read that is sitting over my head like a dark rain cloud. They ask to for me to try it again, not all the lines were bad, but one, an important one I just blew. I try again, this time… no better. I just did not hit it. Rats.
They take my number and I am given the “we’ll give you a call” Oh well.
I really thought the singing and dancing would be my downfall. That I ended up being okay. Great, no let’s not be ridiculous, but again, serviceable. However my acting, the thing I felt I would do so well, I blew it. Could I do this part, yes! I think I would be great. But today.. ugh.
It reminded me of a bad race or a bad wrestling match. You know you are better but you cannot find it that day or that match. I thank them and head to the car pleased that I had the guts to stand there where others might have said, what… no way.
Sitting in the car, I pretty much knew I blew an opportunity and it was my fault. That stings. I must have repeated the line 20 more times since, but that is easy, I did not hit it when it counted. Grrrrr. I am not a big fan of failing, I can accept others making mistakes but I have real difficulties with my errors.
I do not tell anyone about my lunch “appointment” and I finish the rest of my work day. Tonight I’ll make something on the grill, drink a beer and think about the possibility as I lay down to drift off to sleep.
I know I will be frustrated and the most difficult part of this day will be accepting my failure. I’ll tell myself, "hey you tried" in an attempt to find solace and eventually I will drift off to sleep.
Tomorrow will be another day.
UPDATE: The next day I was called... I got the part!