Sunday, November 9, 2014

Now Is not Always the Time to Win

Can you imagine how terrible life would be if you were successful at everything? Whatever you were interested in at five years old would be your career right now. I would be a world class grocery store toy aisle designer.

I stretched myself too thin this weekend. I got stuck in bus after bus jam after the informational meeting for a new play festival. I showed up later than I wanted to be for an ensemble audition. 12th on the waitlist. I spent most of the day hovering around the theatre, and when suddenly a slot opened and yes, actually, we were all the way to my number, I was barely prepared. I scuttled in, performed my monologue, left relieved--but much too tired to work on the play contest until this morning. If I had just picked one thing to do I might have done that one thing well.

This morning at 7 AM that's how I felt. I wrote in quiet Sunday sunbeams. I finished the piece hastily and sent it in 2 minutes shy of the 9 AM deadline. Not my best work. But every submission gets a pair of comp tickets to an upcoming preview show. Might as well.

I didn't feel bad though. Ultimately I'm glad I did both because each one gave me a personal victory. Just finishing things is, like, the best you can feel. I've said that before. Honestly, I think I was happier when I sent off my glad school apps than when I got accepted, certainly than when I graduated.

My friend Heart says "Failure is information," which is just peachy. I think of an interview from Jenna Fischer. She explained how she worked in Hollywood for eight years before landing anything tangible. How she had to learn victory for herself just by playing outside her box in an audition--even when she didn't land the gig. My victory was just doing the thing with no more than a minute's notice.  There's something pure and honey-like about knowing the opportunities we don't get go to someone else who needs them more.

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