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Sunday, June 26, 2005



I auditioned for Washington Improv Theater (WIT) this weekend. I didn't want to get my hopes up, but part of me thought I might have a shot. When I woke up Saturday morning I was a ball of nerves. The audition itself ended up being a lot of fun, and I was remarkably relaxed that afternoon as I waited to hear whether I would be called back for the second round. They said they'd call by 6pm -- at 5:45 I was suddenly stricken with nervousness; at 6:05 I was morose; but then at 6:30, when I returned from a walk with my dog, I found the message light blinking on my answering machine: I got called back! I was ECSTATIC. I screamed, I jumped up and down -- I was bursting with happiness. I went out with friends and as we parted ways at the end of the night, one of them said to me, "you know you've been glowing all evening." What a great feeling, to be so happy it just shines off you.

But then at the call-backs today, I was off my game. I felt like shit. I had one good scene but otherwise I felt off, and lame. In part it was because I didn't really click with my audition group; so much of what makes improv fun, and good, is chemistry. In part I think my nerves got the best of me. And in part I think I just had an off day, which I know happens to everyone. Whatever the cause, by the end of the audition, the feeling of failure had sunk into my gut like a ton of bricks. I can do better. Let me try it again.

They were going to call by 8pm tonight if I got in. They haven’t called.

I know I’ve been doing this for under a year. I know I should feel proud of myself for even trying, and excited that I got called back. But instead I feel like I just got so close to something I care about, and someone shut the door.

I wish I didn’t want it so much. Intellectually, I know that it's not like I'm left with no creative outlet – I still have the feeling of community that comes from my involvement with WIT, and I still get the joy and stimulation that comes from getting to do improv every week in class, and through a practice group I'm part of. But my heart wants more. I am hungry for the next level. I want to be part of a group of performers who get to know each others’ rhythms, to feel the “group mind,” to perform for audiences…I want to be part of a performing troupe.

I can't tie this up in a neat little bow - it's 9:43pm, and part of me is still fantasizing that the phone will ring, and they'll explain that it took them longer than expected to make their decisions. But mostly I know that isn't going to happen, and I don't know how to deal with the disappointment. Intellectually, I know I'll bounce back; but my heart doesn't really give a shit about my intellect right now.

Let me try it again.

I think it is really courageous of you to audition. Congratulations on getting a call back. No biggie if you don't make it this time.
I know I'll see you on that stage one day soon. You're fabulous!
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