I had purchased a room for the night, so I decided to drive down and just give it a whirl. Although, on Friday, I was in Columbus during the Arnold Classic and went with my dad to see the bodybuilders and expo. Being there, i was surrounded by people in my business. Trainers, athletes, scientists, body builders, celebrities, etc. I felt at home. I knew what was going on. I knew what it took to get to where they were. I had so much fun. We left the Classic and I drove straight down to Kentucky. I arrived later in the evening and stopped by the convention. What happened in the next few minutes messed with my head and scared me to all bits. I first saw the sign of upcoming Broadway shows that were coming to the Rupp Arena. Then a few "actors" came running by me. Then i saw a dance call in the main area with everyone practicing, being loud, and just making a scene that anyone who doesn't follow acting would just consider "annoying". My only thought from this and that stayed with me through the weekend was "What are we doing?". What are we trying to accomplish? Are we actors because we're too lazy to do anything else? If we were put on this earth to be actors, why don't we spend 9 hours a day becoming the best we can be? What would happen if there was no such thing as acting, I mean really? Had we just not grown up yet? What is the end game of being an actor? Fame? Consistent work? Being the best at what we do? You can be cast in the greatest show ever, and 6 months later be unemployed, what is the meaning of that? Why does that bring happiness?What is the purpose of theater and getting cast in shows? These questions came flooding in and I looked around and felt sorry for everyone there.
Should I have been taking everything more serious? Did my not caring attitude hurt me or help me? I left the arena and went straight to a sports bar and had dinner and watched the games until it was late.
I woke up the next day with such a calm demeanor and relaxation I had never felt before. I woke up, warmed up, got dressed, went down and had breakfast, and made my way to the audition. I sat on a chair listening to my ipod, waiting to be seen, maybe get a callback and head back to see my family in Columbus. Then I had another sense of rolling my eyes when we all gathered in a room to do a group warm up. No. Maybe I shouldn't be here. I've been to over 500 auditions in NYC and not once did a group warm up ever cross anyone's mind. Was I too old to be here? Was my attitude just not right for what a student should have? Why did a group warm up and watching actors rehearse their audition as if they were searching for one last realization of the material that would put them over the top bother me so much? I'm not an elitist. I don't even think I'm a very good actor. That's why I want to go to grad school. But between what I experienced at URTA's and these few moments at SETC, something happened inside me that affected my audition that day and, since today is June 7, every day ever since then, which is: Why don't I stop trying to impress everyone and just do what I know I can do.
Holy shit. It might not seem a lot to read that, but I promise my life has changed ever since. I was the first person to go in my group of 20 and I walked on stage, practically forgot I was auditioning and just trusted all the work I had done in rehearsals and my feelings and emotions at that given moment and just performed. That's it. Entertained. I got wrapped up in this career because i liked to make people laugh. I liked to teach people things. I liked to be creative. Somewhere along the way I stayed in this business because I wanted a role or to be loved by people because maybe I didn't get the attention growing up lacked in self confidence along the way. But at that moment, I just talked. I played my comic timing. I talked to someone with intention and trusted myself. Something I had always done in shows, but never in auditions. And when I walked off after 2 and a half minutes, I could've cared less if I didn't get one callback. But just like any other feel good story, the opposite happened. I got called back to every single school that was auditioning that day.
The other thing that happened was after my audition, I witnessed and observed the desperation and "acting" that was done by the majority of people. I feel like 85% of things that happen to me on a daily basis is to teach me, so I wasn't judging these people but learning from what I was watching and knowing that I was witnessing a turning point in what would make me a better teacher than I ever thought I would be.
"Fuck it". What an attitude to adopt. My dad had told me. My grandpa told me. And here I was. 34 years old and it finally made sense.
I went into my interview/callbacks with that same attitude because of what I had experienced the day before. I didn't have to go to grad school. I wanted to go to grad school. At the end of the day, I was going to be ok. I love training people. I love working with kids. I 'm smart. I have personality. Sadly, I'm an unbelievable bartender and waiter. I went to each one like it was a first date. Let's see what happens. No one should be promising anything else to anybody. Just talk, get a vibe, and see what happens. No pressure. No matter what happens, life will keep on going and everyone is going to be ok.
And then I was introduced to The University of Central Florida...........