I am sitting on Delta flight # 1260 on my way to New York, New York, recovering from a late, sleepless night of last minute, frantic packing that continued into the early morning hours. Earbuds dissolve the continuous roar of the aircraft’s engines as I remain motionless in the dreaded middle seat; imprisoned with my exhaustion and the inability to move into comfort in hopes of rest.
Despite all of this, I am happy… Excited, even. I sip my ginger ale and crunch airplane peanuts in anticipation of the wonders to come with the program I’ve been waiting to experience since my freshman year in college.
Unfortunately, it has not always been this way. This day arrived sooner than I expected. I was jolted by the realization when I returned from a relaxing vacation in the Virgin Islands that began just days after the semester’s end: I only have a week before I’m in New York, and I’m completely unprepared. The last week I’ve been tweaked on fear and damning bolder of self deprecation keeping me from packing, from preparing artistically or physically for what will be a huge stepping stone in manifesting my future. I had only my 2 audition monologues used for the qualifying video at performance quality. I had my entire “book” ready, but deciding which song to perform as my primary piece caused my to break into a stress induced sweat.
Of course, that is not to say that I sat lamely and refused to work, or that I was unmotivated to prepare; I felt that I was working with such little time. Between working to save up money for the trip, settling all financial responsibilities at home, and seeing what little I could of loved ones while I was in town, the time to work was precious and infrequent. Yes, I did prepare, I just find myself wishing for more time, fearing that I will somehow “fail” or “embarrass” myself when the time comes to perform.
Then, I remember: they selected me for a reason. They gave me a full scholarship. I am surrounded by loved ones, mentors who believe in me undoubtedly, so why couldn’t I grant myself the same encouragement? I am here to work and grow, no one expects perfection.
I finally grabbed stacks of plays and read and re-read for monologues. I have about 10 I am taking, with only 5 memorized ( though I believe I can memorize the others over the next few days in NYC, as the program doesn’t start until Tuesday, June 5th.) Here is the list arranged by title then character:
Homebody/ Kabul Priscilla
Twelfth Night. Viola
The Three Sisters. Masha
Sight Unseen. Portia
Julius Caesar. Portia
King Henry IV part 2. Lady Percy
The Taming Of The Shrew. Kate
Mary Stuart. Mary Stuart.
House Of Blue Leaves Bunny, Bananas
I am bringing my entire book, but chose Bobby Cronin’s “Dear Daddy” from his new musical, Welcome To My Life. This is a song I resonate heavily with, as it is a daughter writing her late father about moving on without him. It is a beautiful power ballad that shows off my range without strain. It is also relatively new, which means no one else will have it ;).
I can no longer be my own obstacle. I am more than capable of success, it is no longer an issue of talent, or how much other’s believe in me, but how much I believe in myself.
I smile as Nicki Minaj’s song “Fly” comes on…. Yes. I’ve got this. I will fulfill my full potential and then some. I plan to get everything I can out of this program…. Soak it like a sponge, and one day, future Springboarders will sit after my Broadway performance and ask me eagerly, “What is the secret to your success?” and I’ll tell them, “I was always successful, it just took a minute for the rest of the world to take advantage of it.”
I will not beat myself up for experiencing this moment of self realization, I think it’s all part of the process. This business is all about meeting and setting new goals and rising after we fall. Better that it happened today, before the start of the program. Funny how I have learned so much about myself already.
….This is just the beginning….
“I came to win, to fly, to conquer, to thrive. I came to win, to survive, to prosper, to rise…”
“I hear the criticism loud and clear. That is how I know that the time is near. See, we become alive in the time of fear, and I ain’t got no mothafuckin’ time to spare.”
– Nicki Minaj, “Fly”
As Drake would say, HYFR. 😉