This is going to be short:
I was in Boulder the past week for some family things and I had the opportunity to get coffee with an old friend/teacher/mentor. He is an MMA fighter and one of my coaches from the days when I trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. And though our arts (theatre and martial) seem to be so very different in trade, we quickly discovered that the path to following your dreams, the path that strays from the typical school-job-family-death, the path that tests you every step of the way, and especially the path that hasn’t even been created yet is one that we share. It is one that is not easy. Paving the way, making your own road, is a lonely task until you realize that every dreamer is following the same journey. My fellow bloggers (Joe and Ben), this teacher and friend, myself, my parents who started new jobs after filing for Bankruptcy in the fall of last year, my sister who has gotten up again and again and again… we’re not so alone after all.
As he and I kept relating to each other, I discovered this sort of reassuring thought. We can take joy in the challenge knowing that we are not truly alone. And he went on to say: “I used to be so afraid to take the gun out of the holster because I was afraid I wasn’t going to hit my target. My target is so far away and I don’t even know if that dream even exists at all since I made it up. Its an end point but there can be even more past it and there is something equally great beside it that I have also yet to discover. So, every time I don’t take aim, I will miss it. I had to stop being afraid to even get my gun out of the holster just because I didn’t know where the bullet was going to land.” And – in fighting, in the performing arts, and even in personal life, if you don’t take that chance then you don’t move forward. If you don’t take any step on your path, then you remain in the same place. Frustrated. Watching others pass you.
I say this now because I am preparing for a pretty important musical audition. I typically don’t talk about my auditions or castings because… I am superstitious and I worry about boasting. But this one is all too relevant to this blog and some of you, our readers, may relate. I haven’t had a true voice lesson in years and I haven’t had a book of songs … ever. In New York, you pretty much, at some point or another, have to decide to join the musical theatre auditions or move to another city where Musicals aren’t the main machine. So, I decided this morning that I am going to do a song that I love, for an audition this afternoon, for a person that I love: myself. I HAVE to do this. Someone needs to light a fire under my ass and it isn’t going to be anyone other than myself. And I realized, while talking with this friend, that I was beginning to feel this fire again. Hearing him talk about his dreams and his path and his words of encouragement and his stories of defeat. Relating to that, finding inspiration in that… I am not ready for this audition. I probably shouldn’t go – in a wise, safe, guarded world, I wouldn’t. But, in this world, I have to go. For, if I never take that gun out of my holster, it will sit there forever and targets will continue to fade into the distance. That goal will become hazier and hazier until the path to it disappears altogether.
Nothing happens unless you make it happen.
(Side note – I decided to sing Drumming Song by Florence and the Machine because we listen to it EVERY SINGLE day at Urban Outfitters. Its a song I love, its pop/rock, and I know it like the back of my hand. Here is an instance where I am taking my situation of retail-hell and turning it into … a practical tool for my career.)
I’ll be at target practice :-p