Ah another oxymoron. Irony is really the bane of my existence.
A couple of days ago during acting class, I had just given another lackluster performance. I was working on a scene that I’ve had in my possession for a couple of weeks now, and after the first take that day, I was ashamed that I still couldn’t fix the problems I already knew it had. I wasn’t listening, I wasn’t present, it was comedy, but my choices weren’t big enough. Etc. etc. etc. prior to my turn, I knew what I had to work on, I knew what I had to focus on, but when push came to shove, the performance was absolutely forgettable. WTF is wrong with me???
After a couple of takes, I warmed up and got better. I know I’m capable of good acting, of good performances, memorable in fact. But I’m frustrated because I have to warm up first before I can get the moneymaker shot. Now while this is all normal and expected in life (athletes stretch before they play), it won’t do me any good in the audition room. You only have one take. One chance. One opportunity to give them everything you’ve got because right outside of that room there may be 20+ people that can not only bring it in an instant, but bring it better. Fuck me.
And another thing. Nerves. I have mad stage fright. I get anxious before a performance, I am fixated on what I could possibly fuck up on (and then I actually fuck it up) and for so many years of doing performances (piano recitals, plays, auditions) it doesn’t seem likely that the nerves are going to go away. 😦 Ugh. So what do I do when I’m afraid? Nervous? Shy? I curl up into fetal position on the floor with my eyes squeeze tight and imagine myself disappearing into the wall. No. Of course not. My version of that in the audition/class setting is that my performance becomes unnoticeable. Subconsciously I’m probably thinking, if they can’t see me, they can’t remember me, they can’t really judge me. Yes it’s my way of protecting myself. But from what? What am I afraid of?
So I’m lamenting all of this in class and my teacher says, “Thi, you know what your problem is? You lack courage!” in which I retorted with, “well then give me a shot, and I’ll definitely have courage!” my teacher rolls her eyes and says, “just bring it. To every performance, give it all you’ve got. What else do you have to lose?”
She’s right of course. What do I have to lose? What am I really afraid of? What am I protecting myself from by acting small?
This reminds me of that Eminem song…
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow/This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo