My theme for 2016 is Carpé Diem. Despite feeling like acting and breathing were equally vital to my existence for much of my life, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t acted in a play in over 4 years. So, I took steps to bring acting back into my life – including applying for the TBA (Theatre Bay Area) General Auditions in San Francisco. And then, I was given one of the coveted audition spots!
I’m sharing this particular story with you because this audition was an “on the spot” moment for me. (aka a moment that mattered – a lot) Throughout the process I experienced firsthand what my clients experience in their “on the spot” moments. We are more alike than we realize – experiencing very similar things in the “moments that matter” – the only difference between us is which moments matter most to each of us. For me, this audition is one of the biggest in years. For you, the moment that matters might be a meeting with an authority figure at work, a public speech or a conversation with your partner. As I share my journey, track the parallels to your own experience of Speaking Soulfully when it matters.
It’s hard to convey the magnitude of these auditions to non-actors. There are hundreds of theatres in the Bay Area – and they all come to watch actors like me audition at the Generals. If you don’t get a TBA slot, you can in theory audition for every theatre company separately. However, that would require applying and getting accepted into hundreds of separate auditions – and then you have to clear your schedule and go to 100 different auditions. On top of that, some of the bigger theatres don’t hold auditions for non-equity actors outside of the TBAs.
For the lucky few actors who do get a slot, the audition length for each person is only 2-minutes. Yes, you read that right. After the introduction, each actor has 2 minutes to show everyone what they’ve got before someone yells “TIME”. It’s also challenging because in many ways it’s not really acting. Instead of interacting with a playmate (another actor) you have to stand and look into space and act “as if” the other character is there.
When I applied and accepted my audition time, I was rooted in a Sense of Purpose. And then, all hell broke loose!
This is often how it goes … In between our moment of commitment to a moment that matters and the arrival of the event itself, our Soul Suckers take over. Remember, their job is to keep us safe. They don’t like learning, growth, vulnerability or transformation of any kind and they attempt to avoid those things at all costs. In case I didn’t make it clear earlier, the TBA Auditions are one of the most vulnerable events for an actor in SF.
Just moments after learning I’d gotten an audition time, my Soul Suckers chimed in, telling me that I’d lost my mind. They said things like, “You’re crazy for returning to acting with the biggest audition of the year. That’s just stupid.” They wanted me to cancel the audition. They tried to distract me from thinking about it and procrastinate and not prepare. What did I do? I released them from the responsibility of being in charge. I acknowledged that they had a point – a kernel of truth: returning to acting with the TBA auditions was a bold, risky move. Instead of letting them derail me, I took their input under advisement and dedicated myself to preparing.
Next week I’ll share how things went and how I continued to walk the Vocal Presence Path on the day of the audition. In the meantime, mull over these questions:
– What’s something in your life that (like acting for me) nourishes you as much as breathing? When’s the last time you did that thing?
– If you’ve recently committed yourself to speak in a moment that matters to you, notice what your Soul Suckers are saying and doing to attempt to stop you. What’s the kernel of truth in their messages?
– What would it look like to extract that kernel of truth and flip it on its head?
– What is the Sense of Purpose that you rooted in when you said yes in the first place?
All my best,