I am an impulsive person. I know this. Sometimes I act first and think later. So, when a local farm was advertising for actors to take part in the scareshow and haunted hay rides that they run around Halloween it all came together in my head: I used to love acting… then this panic stuff happened… but I’m over that now (yeah I was having a good day)… So I shot off an application, feeling triumphant. I never thought any more of it. I wasn’t expecting to hear anything and in all honesty I forgot about it.
Then I got this e-mail inviting me for an audition and my jaw just dropped (it was a few days later and I wasn’t feeling “so over” the panic thing). Instead, I was kicking myself for being so silly. I mean I hadn’t even considered how I could actually get to this farm. That’s how much I wasn’t expecting to hear anything. After umming and ahhing for a few days I decided that I would attend the audition “just to see”. I mean, drama was my passion and I know for sure that a few years ago I would have bitten your hand off for any chance to dress up in a creepy costume and scare some kiddies… and adults too if I could get away with it.
I am clearly not that person anymore. I did not enjoy the audition and its not because of the 2 hours it took me to get there (that’s 2 busses and a 15 min walk- see what I mean about not thinking things through?) It frustrates me that I just can’t connect with something that used to be my life. I always felt more comfortable in character than I did being myself: slipping in and out of character and spending days in rehearsal was my idea of heaven. It felt so easy to me. By that I don’t mean I was really good at it. Just that I was really comfortable. I truly enjoyed the challenge of trying to bring out each character that was handed to me.
I think I’ve grown wiser and perhaps owned up to the fact that i wasn’t as good at it as I imagined I was/wanted to be. Actually, I believe I got stuck in a rut when I found a type of character I was good at and inadvertently turned all my characters in the direction that made me more comfortable. I lacked variety. I believe I could have been better if I had realized what I was doing and made a conscious effort to stop, but that’s easy to say with the benefit of hindsight. not that this matters to any of you… unless you happen to be the drama teacher who I believe tried to tell me this on at least one occasion in which case I know I should have listened. I realized this sometime in the second year of my Drama degree and it took a loong time for me to stop kicking myself…. maybe one day I’ll write that story.
I was so out of place in that audition room. I’ve never tried to carry on improvising while my brain stopped working from awkwardness and nerves but I now know why some people hate acting and maybe have some clue what stage fright feels like. It’s gawd awful.
I didn’t give up I stayed through out the whole thing, but I tell you the relief that I felt on leaving was about the same as hearing the bell for the end of the school day after being stuck in a double period of German language I never could get my head around.
I wonder what happened to me. Am i still more affected by the anxiety issue hanging around in the background? Is the realization of how young, clueless and slightly obnoxious I was making me cringe so much I can’t focus? Or have I truly lost my passion for the theatre… am I just over it an feeling awkward as I would around a former lover?
I did get offered a part after this audition. I couldn’t take it for a number of reasons. Turning down a part would have been unthinkable a few years ago… but I just felt relief… perhaps I’m running scared.
Hmm… I’m curious about this change in me… I don’t like it to much.