“Hope deferred makes the heart sick”.
These 6 little words describe a season in life that we all find ourselves in occasionally. You’ve known it and I’ve known it. It’s that apathetic season where you’ve stopped expecting great things to happen; you’ve accepted that life today is how it will always be; you’re bored, cynical and every day feels like you’re walking through wet cement.
The crazy thing is that you occasionally catch a glimpse of another life; the one you know you’re meant to move toward but it’s like peripheral vision; you can’t quite touch it or explain it. You just know that you’re not doing what you’re capable of.
In your theatre life, this apathy –
- Stops you auditioning for roles because you’re not being cast in a lead so you hang out in the chorus and ‘have fun’. Nothing wrong with this but let’s face it, you haven’t really taken this as serious as you could have; you’ve been running on passion until now but even ‘natural’ talent hits a brick wall eventually.
- stops you from pursuing a new passion. You’ve toyed with the idea of directing but never taken it seriously because you didn’t know how to get the necessary skills.
- prevents you from facing new challenges. You enjoy working on stage crew but would really like to take on stage management but it all seems a little intense.
What if you improved your performance skills and kept on auditioning until you got a role? What if you gave directing a go? What if you did some study and offered to be a stage manager?
When we live with ‘what ifs’ hanging around our lives, it’s like leaving something to rot in the fridge; you can ignore it when the door is closed but every time you open the door the smell hits you in the face, reminding you that it’s still there.
If you leave that thing in the fridge long enough, it will eventually decompose to nothing or, worse still, affect other things in the fridge. The same goes for those passions and dreams we ignore. We think that giving up or ignoring them will be less painful and perhaps, for a while, it is. But what if …
WHAT IF … you developed that passion for directing; studied and read, explored and inquired? What if all this exposes a true talent hidden behind that passion?
WHAT IF … you did some learning about the role of stage manager or found a great singing teacher or practiced your accents and found that you were actually quite good at them?
WHAT IF … you eventually find yourself embracing that passion you had ‘hidden in the fridge’ for so long?
WHAT IF … a little learning exposes some real talent?
It’s about here that most people catch themselves and stop hoping. “Oh, but that could never happen.” They go back to apathy and letting things rot in the fridge, because they think it’s less painful.
LESS PAINFUL THAN WHAT?!
Giving up on living a full, passionate, deliberate and creative life? That’s pain! That’s unbearable pain! We’re all capable of so much more than we think but most of us live just enough to get by. You’re a creative person [or you wouldn’t be reading this article]. You are naturally passionate but you have to protect that passion, feed it and encourage it to grow.
If you want different results you’re going to have to change how you approach your theatre life. You’re going to have to learn new skills to support your passion; you’re going to have to open your mouth and ask for a chance to use your skills and then continue to repeat this cycle over and over throughout your life but it’s so worth it!
Choose to clean out the fridge, dump the attitudes and fears holding you back, get going on building your skill base, put your passion back in your life and stop deferring hope!
You might just find what you’ve been looking for [and you’ll end up with a clean fridge].