I’m not ready

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Our show opened this weekend.

And I kept telling myself “I’m not ready.”

I mentioned how I landed the show in last week’s blog post (no audition necessary).  But I didn’t talk about what the show actually requires.

It’s called 52 Pick Up.52

It’s a 2-actor show that is told in 52 scenes.

Like a deck of cards, the title of each scene is written on a card deck, shuffled at the top of the show, then the cards are turned over one by one.  The actors must perform the play in its entirety, in random order, every time the show is performed.

Not only am I responsible for performing the entire show (at random), but there are no scene changes, no costume changes, no leaving the stage.  Once you’re on you’re on.

It’s a huge acting challenge.  Not only for me, but for all of my fabulously talented cast mates.  We’ve divided our show into multiple casts which are shuffled for each performance as well.

52tech

No two shows are ever alike, and no two casts will ever bring the same perspective to their performance.

It is truly a unique concept.

But it’s also a huge responsibility.

And as one of two actors assigned to the FIRST PERFORMANCE, I genuinely felt like I was NOT READY.

When that performance schedule was announced, I immediately started making excuses in my head.

I was just on a road trip.  Someone else should take my place.

I’ve got a business to run.  Someone else should take my place.

I don’t have time to make all of the rehearsals.  Someone else should take my place.

I won’t have enough time to invite people.  My roommate has a friend staying on the couch.  I have to get my oil changed….and on and on and on.

You get the idea.

I was looking for any reason I could find to get out of just doing the work.  I was nervous, uncertain, I’ve never done a show quite like this before, and it’s uncomfortable.

And you’ve probably had this experience as well.  Maybe it was an upcoming audition.  Or a big meeting.  Or a huge opportunity that fell into your lap.  And you just didn’t feel quite…ready.

But here’s the truth.

You will NEVER feel ready.

No matter how successful or experienced you become, when you are stepping up your game, it is uncomfortable.

If it were comfortable or easy, we could all become our most amazing fabulous selves from the comfort of our couch (and our pajamas).

But if you’re ready to step it up a level and embrace your highest self, you are not going to feel ready.

It’s just the way it is.

Now that I’m on the other side of my fear, here’s what I learned (or at least was re-reminded of):

You are more ready than you think

Our preview show went off without a hitch.  Before we opened, my scene partner and I powered through all 52 scenes (our first time rehearsing the entire show together!).

I was pleasantly surprised at how well I actually knew the show.

There is nothing like accountability to help you get your sh*t together

52yoga

The audience paid good money to see our show.  Their presence pushed me to give my best.  They showed up for me, which inspired me to show up for them.

While our director let us know, “This is a preview, feel free to call for a line if you need it-” neither of us did.  We stepped up to the plate and gave it our all.

Lots of people want to help you

Soon after I got cast in the show I went on a road trip (with my mom. If you missed our travels, check it out here).

I put off learning my lines for most of our trip.  When I got back to town I tried to power through and learn as many lines as I could on my own.

That’s really tough.  At least for me.

When I got to the first rehearsal, I was expecting to be the actor who was behind everyone else in my process (and knowing I had been assigned to the first preview, I was in even more of a panic).

But what I found was a friendly, generous and supportive cast.  Several of my cast mates went out of their way to make extra time to help me learn my lines.  They were so helpful and so wonderful, it was really awesome.

It would’ve been easy (and totally acceptable) for my fellow cast members to focus on their own process and their own lines.  But many people went out of their way to help me feel solid in taking on the first show.

Plus, the entire cast was there for opening night cheering me and my scene partner on.

There are so many great people in this business who are willing to help you.  Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

Excuses take as much energy as actual work

For all the time I spent procrastinating, freaking out, and trying to find an excuse for not “being ready” – I could’ve invested that energy into doing the actual work.

Fear can spin all kinds of reasons for why you can’t do something.  But the truth is, only action gets results.  Invest more time in doing things that support you and less time spinning your wheels in the downward spiral of fear.

The rewards are worth it

I was dreading, fearing, avoiding this preview show.

But in all honesty, it was such a great experience.  It was such a high to have performed a great show, with such a supportive audience, and to have stepped up to the plate (despite my fear that I wasn’t ready).

I can’t wait for the rest of my performances!

If you’re in LA and you want to check it out, I would LOVE to see you in the audience!

I have two remaining performances:

Saturday June 21 @ 4:30pm

Sunday June 22 @ 6:30pm

Tickets can be purchased here.

And even if you can’t make my performances, check out my fellow cast mates.  Each show will be completely unique (and you may want to check out multiple performances).

See you at the THEA-TAH!

Leave a comment.

When did you have an acting experience that you “didn’t feel ready for” that pushed you step it up a level?  Share your story in the comments.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

David August June 10, 2014 at 2:24 pm

You inspired me to blog:http://laacting.davidaugust.com/2014/06/i-dont-feel-ready.html

Break a leg in your show!

Reply

emily June 11, 2014 at 2:03 am

Love what you wrote! Thanks for the good wishes.

Reply

David Mitchum Brown June 11, 2014 at 1:59 am

Good for you!

Reply

emily June 11, 2014 at 2:03 am

Thank you!

Reply

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