Or When Getting That A for Effort is the Goal all along.
As anyone who reads my blog knows, singing freaks me out. This is not a new revelation. Yet, I continually put myself in positions where I have to do it. People ask me with somewhat alarming frequency why I do this to myself. I have to wonder if the constant questioning is a reflection on my singing but I digress.
There are lots of things I am afraid of: heights, the aforementioned solo singing, science class, success and failure. Just to name a few.
Wait a minute, Sami. How can you be afraid of failure AND success? That doesn't even make any sense.
Well, if you think hard about it, most people have a fear of one and/or the other.
I had a brother-in-law who was once infamous in his family for spending WEEKS preparing a kick ass topic for a huge Speech and Debate meet. Spent a long time, had loads of research done, knew his topic inside and out. The night before the big meet, he "changed his mind" and switched topics. And LOST . . . big time.
Why would he do that do himself? After all that time spent, why would he not just go with the topic he knew?
Because what if he had spent all that time and all that effort on something only to lose anyway?
I see actors and singers do this kind of thing all the time. They worry over an audition, stress out over their choice of song and monologue, format and then reformat their resume and then just do not show up for their audition. After all that work, they just don't go.
Because by not going, they KNOW why they did not get cast. BUT had they gone and auditioned after all of that work and THEN did not get cast, then they feel a sense that all that time spent was wasted somehow.
Why is it a waste? Why allow it to become a waste?
Right now, I have several projects going on – any of which could blow up in my face at any given moment but I am doing my best to make them all happen because they are important to me.
November is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) according to the website it is 50,000 words in 30 days. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word or approximately 175 page novel by midnight, November 30.
I wrote a children's book a few years ago that was lost due to poor planning on my part and a "helpful" teenager. It had taken me almost 2 years to write the book in the first place. When the book was lost, I felt lost too. I was determined to rewrite it but had not forced myself to do so. I think in the back of my mind, I was terrified I would do all that work only to lose it again.
I WILL finish the first draft of Evie: Take 2 this year. It is much harder to write a book all over again. I am having difficulty recreating the world and wonderful kids I had spent years nurturing. I know that because I am focusing on this book that I may not "win" NaNo by getting my 50,000 words. I know it and I am okay with it. The IMPORTANT thing is that Evie sees the light of day and Nano is the vehicle I am using to get her there.
The Big Birthday Bash:
I turn 40 in 7 weeks so I decided to take the occasion to produce a huge fundraiser. I have a script to write, food to gather, donations to beg for, a gown to scrounge, posters to pose for and create, charities to contact, auditions to coordinate, song lists to assemble . . . I think you get the idea. AND I have to make that happen over the holidays.
Am I worried? Of course I am, but if I don't pull out all of the stops NOTHING will happen and that is worse than a few weeks of no sleep.
Last October, I "launched" my professional acting career and now that I am in year 2 I have decided to up the stakes. I have very specific goals for Launch 2.0 which I even have written out on the inside of my audition song notebook. I am auditioning for the Big Fat Seattle Theatres until they get fed up with me and either cast me or call me back to shut me up. I am prepping my audition materials with those goals specifically in mind. I will be choosing projects specifically with those goals in mind.
I am going to singing auditions at theatres I am intimidated by and auditioning for theatres that I have coveted from afar. I am even trying to whip out a "legitimate" song at an audition next week – something I normally run away from screaming like a 3 year old girl at the swimming pool. I will probably not have the greatest audition but it is worth it to just rip off the cliff and dive in. Who knows how it will turn out but I will never know if I don't try.
All of these projects have the potential to be huge, very public disasters. The "safe" side of me tells me not to make big public declarations about my plans. That way if I fail, no one is the wiser.
But I know how I am. The potential for a big public humiliation is what keeps me on task. Plus what do I really have to lose? If I am successful then I will raise tons of money for organizations I feel strongly about, a character that has been living in my mind will get to meet the world and my career will finally head in the direction I have always wanted .
If not . . . well, I am having a blast trying to make big things happen.
And isn't THAT worth the risk of failure and success?