Things have been going very well for me recently. I’m happy in every aspect of my life. I have a great job. I have a wonderfully supportive group of friends and a loving family. You’re probably thinking, “oh great, rub it in, brag a little more you…worm dick.” But, keep reading, because that’s not the point of this.The point is to pinpoint why and how things have gotten so great recently because they weren’t always like this. The one word that comes to mind is PERSISTENCE. This has been something I’ve wanted to touch on recently because I know a lot of friends who have not gotten the things they’ve wanted. Dreams that did not come true. Goals that were never accomplished. I’ve got friends who didn’t get into the Conservatory and those who didn’t make a Harold team. I’ve got some friends who didn’t get into either. It sucks. I know. It’s a terrible feeling, but…wait for it…YOU NEED TO FEEL THIS. Why? Because it’s going to make you a better person. A stronger person. A more resilient person. If anyone knows, it’s me. All my life people have been telling me NO. Did I make it into the Conservatory when I first auditioned? NO. Did I make a Harold team? NO. Did I make a Playground team the first and second time I auditioned? NO. No. No. No. No. No. But the more important question, in fact, the most important question of all is. Did I give up? NO. I could have closed up shop and moved on with my life after I didn’t get the things I wanted, but I didn’t. I know that you have to work at it if you want it. No one is going to hand you anything nor should you want them to. So, what did I do? I kept at it. I kept performing. I kept taking classes. More importantly, I kept LEARNING. You can never stop learning. If you think you know it all or you think that classes are beneath you because you’ve been doing something for a long time….you’re sadly mistaken. I’ve gone through iO, I’m almost done with the Annoyance, I’m making my way through the Conservatory, and I’ve performed in over 100 shows (31 in a row at one point), but the other night in class I learned something (improv-related) that blew my mind and made me feel like it was the first day of school again.
I’ve gone through audition after audition that resulted in denial emails. I’ve refreshed my email until my fingers hurt and cursed the auditors in my head with things like “well they don’t know what they’re missing” or “I’ll never step foot in that theater again.” Obviously that’s the wrong mindset to have, but I had to learn that the hard way. I remember going into every audition thinking “I’ve got this” and then not getting it. Then a few months and a few classes go by and I look back and realize I wasn’t as prepared as I am now and go into the audition again thinking “I’ve got it this time.” Then I don’t get it. Repeat this horrible cycle over and over. Every time I don’t succeed I look back and realize I wasn’t ready. Instead of thinking, “oh yeah well fawwwwwk you” I started thinking and saying, “It’s not my time yet.” The key word there being yet. As in, IT WILL HAPPEN. I just gotta keep going. I gotta keep taking the hits because that’s how you learn. That’s how you adapt. That’s how you overcome. We are constantly improving in everything on a day by day basis. As time goes by we get wiser and wiser. That applies to life in general. Every day you’re more enlightened because you look at the mistakes you made yesterday and improve on them. Who I am today is a baby compared to who I’m going to be tomorrow.
I truly believe that EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. If you’re sitting around commiserating and asking yourself, “WHY WHY WHY?” The answer is simple: It was supposed to happen. We fail and we fall and we get hurt because we need to learn what that feels like because it’s a terrible feeling that we never want to feel again. That sentence was weirdly phrased, but you get the point. Life would suck if everything was easy. Sure, I guess it’d be cool to be handed everything on a silver platter, but then again look at those who have. The majority of people (celebrities) who were handed everything end up taking advantage of it or taking it for granted and pissing their lives away because they never knew what it felt like to be the low man on the totem pole. If you’re someone who worked your way up from the bottom and have really experienced the ups and downs than you learn how to appreciate the things you’ve accomplished. That’s how you stay humble. That’s how you grow a backbone. That’s also how you stay hungry because you never want to be on the bottom again. Once you’ve worked your way to the top you better do everything in your power to stay there. Otherwise, someone (who has also busted their ass) is going to come and take it from you at the drop of a hat. There is and ALWAYS WILL BE someone nipping at your heels.
In addition, you need to fail because when you succeed it makes the moment so much greater. If you got everything you wanted right off the bat than where the hell is the challenge. You’d become desensitized to winning. It’s all about the journey. It’s about not making it and then going at it and trying again. It’s about tearing yourself down and thinking you’ve got nothing left and then going back in one more time and coming out on top. It’s then that the tears will come again. It’s then that you’ll realize that it really wasn’t your time yet, but it sure as hell is your time now. Nothing is easy. No one is going to hand you anything. So, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to sit in your house and cry? Are you going to drown your sorrows in alcohol? I can’t tell you what to do nor am I qualified to. All I know is what I’ve been through and how being persistent has got me to where I am now.
Look at it this way. Life is a book. You’re the author. You just have to decide what the next chapter is going to be about. That’s if there is going to be a next chapter.