Tuesday, January 31, 2012

128. Juilliard Drama Audition 2012: Part One

(I wrote most of this post from the waiting room at Juilliard on the day of my audition. Yes, I brought my computer to the audition. I wanted to have it available to me…in case I got the opportunity to write…which I did! Hoooray!)

Here I am...writing. Writing is much more calming than sitting and sweating and looking around at everyone else...who are also sitting and sweating.

Although, I must confess I sweat alll the time anyway...I have this medical condition (no joke) called Hyperhydrosis. So basically, my armpits are producing moisture all the time…and especially when I get excited...then I’m majorly sweaty. It has nothing to do with regulating my body temperature. I am just allllllways sweating. Hot, right? So anyway, today is no different. I am just wearing a shirt that doesn’t show the sweat marks so much.

I woke up this morning at 6am. I took my time getting ready. I don’t like to rush. In fact, I LOATHE rushing. I ate breakfast at home (scrambled eggs and black beans...the breakfast of champions) and then stopped by Brooklyn Bagel on 30th Ave for a small Hazelnut coffee with cream and sugar. What a treat!

I took the N from 30th Ave to 42nd Street…Transferred to the Uptown 1 to 66th Street. When I stepped into the Uptown 1 subway car, I started to scan the car to see if I might be able to spot fellow Juilliard auditioners in the group. There were two suspiciously “actory” looking persons in the car. A gorgeous young lady with her hair pinned back in a 1940’s style and big clear blue eyes as well as a lanky elvish looking young man in a puffy green jacket. And, sure enough, I saw both them in the warm-up room later! Score!!!

After arriving at the beautiful glass palace that is The Juilliard School and checking-in, I was escorted into the waiting room marked “M thru Z.” I am “Wilcox,” so that makes sense.

The room has huge vaulted ceilings and bright white walls. The sun was shining through the windows and you could see the balconies of the adjacent high-rise apartment buildings with plants in planter boxes and the occasional lawn chair.

I ran into a lovely gentleman (I will call him Simon), who I seem to run into every time I visit Juilliard (and Yale too, for that matter). He reminds me a bit of a young Morgan Freeman. He’s auditioning for grad schools this year also (obviously)…and it’s been fun to keep running into him. I gave him a hug and we wished each other broken legs this morning. Maybe we’ll get to be in class together some day…or do a show together some time in the future. At any rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t the last time we ran into each other.

The morning warm-up with Richard Feldman and Kate Wilson was sooooooo helpful and awesome. We all sat on the floor...all 155 of us... in this ginormous orchestra room and listened intently as Richard reminded us to have a broader perspective about this day…That today is just a step along our journeys as actors. I wish I could have recorded his speech. It was really inspiring. And as I looked around the room and into all of these faces…so amazingly talented and dedicated and YOUNG, so full of hope and promise and energy... I thought, “Wow! What a gift to be standing in the midst of the future of the American Theatre! How freakin’ awesome is that!!!!???” Richard made us all laugh, made us feel welcomed, appreciated and understood as he shared with us his personal insights and perspective. After he was finished speaking you could feel the room pulsing with joy and excitement.

Then it was Kate’s turn with us. She told us all to stand up as she walked to the center of the room. We did a vocal and light physical warm-up. Nothing fancy or fantastic...all the nice familiar things that we’ve all done in many a voice and speech class before. It was a wonderful feeling. We were all breathing together, with a sense of camaraderie.

The warm-up dispelled both the physical and psychological tension. When we had completed the warm-up we all applauded Kate and thanked her as we began to file out of the room... As our applause died down...funniest thing happened...we heard cheering and applauding coming from the hallway behind the double-doors. I thought to myself, “What the heck is going on in the hallway? Did Kevin Spacey just show-up for a visit or something?” As I passed through the doorway, I sawall of the current Juilliard students lining the hallways and I realized that they were all applauding and cheering for US as we made our way back to the waiting room. I could not help cracking-up! I was grinning ear to ear. What a surreal experience! It was incredibly kind of them to show that kind of support and generosity to all of us “Juilliard hopefuls.”

And it was just so silly...Anything to distract us from being nervous...So brilliant! I loved it.

Sat in the waiting room for a few minutes. Met an elegant young woman who was sitting near me. (I will call her Rebecca.) We chatted a bit and then I headed up to the 4th floor warm-up rooms.

Having space to warm-up is suuuuuuuuch a gift. I did some yoga stretches, spoke some of the lines from my Shakespeare monologue really, really, really fast, as a sort-of tongue-twister...took some time just to breathe. But I was waaaaay too excited to really spend too much more time on any of these things. I did NOT practice any of my monologues. I wanted them to be nice and fresh...like I’d never spoken them before...and if I forgot one of my lines...so be it...better that, than to sound like I was doing a recitation.

Spontaneous. Surprising. THAT’s the goal.

So I headed out of the warm-up room and back down to the “M thru Z” waiting room on the third floor. I was there for several minutes and then my name was called and I was escorted to the hallway outside of the studio where I would be auditioning.

“Who is in the room?” I asked the monitor, a first-year grad student.

Her answer made me raise my hands up to the sky and praise the Heavens! Dude!!! I don’t know how I could have possibly been so lucky, but I was assigned the BEST audition room possible. I cannot even BELIEVE my good fortune. Seriously. Thank you, Universe. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In the room was...Richard Feldman (swoon), Darryl Quinton (swoon), and Rene Houtrides (double-swoon).

The hallway was dim, but as I walked into the room and it was like walking through the gates of heaven…The light was streaming through the windows filling the entire studio with this glowing light. It warmed my heart and made me soooooo happy.

I chose to do my scariest piece first…THE SHAKESPEARE!!! Ahhhhhhhh! If I could get through that one…then…I could get through anything.

I figured…if I’m going to go down…I’d like to go down in FLAMES…so, best to tackle the scariest piece first.

Then I did my contemporary piece.

Richard didn’t quite know that I was done with my contemporary piece…so he started talking to me before I was actually finished, but I just stayed with it, until I was finished…then happily gave him my attention.

He asked me to do the piece again…only this time he gave me a character adjustment.

As I was contemplating how I was going to incorporate his note, I realized that I could not for the life of me remember the first line of the monologue (I was not focusing well...and my brain was not connecting), but Rene REMEMBERED MY FIRST LINE and fed it to me! How AWESOME is that!? Ha!

Teamwork! Amazing.

She was really listening!...Or maybe she was familiar with the piece, either way…I was VERY IMPRESSED and grateful for her generous kindness in my time of need.

Soooo … I started the monologue again…incorporating the adjustment…then Richard stopped me about three lines in and clarified his instruction…He wanted me to MOVE around the space and pretend that I was cleaning up after a long day of work…and say the monologue too.

Ohhhhhhhh! I seeeee.

So that’s what I did. It was tough to concentrate on the secondary activity. I kept feeling like I was about to forget my lines, but I just kept moving and trying to picture the layout of this imaginary restaurant I was in and the words kept coming out and I was doing weird things with it that I didn’t expect and saying it differently than I’ve ever said it before. But it felt good…freeing in a way…to be able to let go of any preconceptions I had about the piece and just play in these new given circumstances he had given me. Actually, it reminded me a lot of my on-camera class at The Barrow Group. I KNEW I took that class for a reason!

And I realize now that all that monologue practice commitment device that I gave myself earlier this month (to do at least one of my monologues every day for a different person)...no matter where I was…or who I was with…that practicing my monologue in these different/strange/unconventional situations really helped to prepare me to be flexible enough to just “go with it” and just pantomime away…focusing on cleaning my imaginary restaurant and basically just throwing the words away. It was really fun!!!

I got about half-way through the monologue before Richard stopped me.

Then…he asked me if I’d like to sing. I said I’d LOVE to sing. So I sang “Make Someone Happy” again, just like I did at my NYU audition and I tried to breathe…sometimes succeeding and sometimes not.

Then Rene asked me to sing again…only this time with an adjustment…this time I was all alone, singing to myself, totally sloppy drunk, sitting in a chair that was facing sideways and drinking bourbon. I asked if it was okay, if it was gin instead. She said that’d be fine.

So I started to sing to myself and Rene was sort-of side coaching me through it and telling me to take a drink as I continued to sing… and it was sooooo fun...I was improvising. I slouched in my chair and sang to the ceiling and then went to find my glass of gin (imaginary of course) which was underneath my chair…then when I got to the line about “someone to love is the answer”…it was toooo emotionally overwhelming…I took a sip of my “gin” and tried to continue to sing, but it was more like croaking and out-of-breath speaking, as I realized that I was all alone and drinking and singing about having someone to love…which I DON’T have…and it was terribly, terribly sad all of the sudden and the tears started to form in my eyes and I completely lost my voice. And then Rene stopped me.

I gathered my composure quickly and stood up from the chair. Richard, Darryl and Rene all said “Thank you.” And placed the chair back on the side of the acting space and thanked them and made my exit.

It was an exhilarating audition experience!

They treat actors with the utmost respect here and honor us for the courage that it takes to even BE HERE auditioning at JUILLIARD. I’m getting a little choked up just writing this…That may sound silly…but there is sooooooooooo much disrespect toward actors in the “business” and it’s incredibly refreshing to be here, in a place where people really, honestly honor the contribution that actors give and how much courage it takes to be vulnerable in front of others and show your honest, true heart…even in the face of possible rejection.

Then I stood in the hallway for a moment...trying to get my heart to stop pounding out of my chest...and concentrating on not throwing up from excitement...and then the monitor caught my eye and said that I was free to relax in the waiting room until “the call-back list” gets posted.

I had about 3 hours to wait...while everyone else was auditioning in the many audition rooms...So I went back to the waiting room to collect my breath and record my thoughts for you.

Tomorrow I will tell you all about....THE LIST....

Stay tuned.



Monday, January 30, 2012

127. The Odds

"Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves." - E. Joseph Cossman

If you only consider "the odds," why would you ever attempt anything difficult or "competitive"? You wouldn't...you'd just give up before you'd even given yourself a chance to try. And maybe you'd pat yourself on the back for being "smart" and "logical" (a.k.a. safe and boring).

But has being SAFE ever helped you to better yourself or your life or your sense of self-worth or your financial outlook or...anything other than just being safe

I mean, "safe" is fine if you just want to continue to confirm for yourself that you have no other option than to do what you're doing now and venturing out would lead to almost certain failure.

"So many things now are completely up to us, more than ever before. Where and how and when we work and invest and interact and instruct and learn...If you think you have no choice but to do what you do now, you've already made a serious error. It seems to me that passing the buck on this merely because it's easier than choosing is precisely the wrong strategy. It enables an abdication of power that will be very hard to reverse. It's up to you, and that's part of the power that you've got." -Seth Godin

Fear surrounding the "slim odds of success" is a big obstacle to overcome and stops a lot of people trying things. And...yeah, sure...It's scary. It's daunting. It's overwhelming. It's discouraging. True. True. True. True.

But you know what's just SAD...Not trying at all. That's the saddest story I've ever heard.

So...What does this have to do with auditioning for graduate acting programs? Wellllll, these are some odds that have made my knees a little wobbly at times...

Perhaps it'll give you a little context, as to how many people audition for programs like Juilliard, here are some numbers (provided by Kathy Hood, Administrative Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard...Thanks, Kathy!):

Total # of applicants for Fall 2012: 1387 (964 BFA and 423 MFA)  
200 will audition in Chicago and 200 in San Francisco - the rest are auditioning in NYC.

On the day of my audition in New York (1/28/2012), 161 people were scheduled to audition and 155 actually auditioned (6 people cancelled due to illness, etc.)
18 people were called back from that group. (We actually had 19 because one other applicant, called back from the previous day, joined our group) 
9 people were interviewed.
On Friday, February 17th, emails will be sent out inviting 40 applicants (of that 1387 that auditioned) to come to New York for two days of "final callbacks." These two days will provide an opportunity for applicants to experience two days of classes where they will work intensely with faculty and have the opportunity to speak with current students. 
From the "Final 40" there will be 18 students selected for admission.

I wish I was a fantastically skilled statistician, so that I could crunch numbers and make a logical analysis and all sorts of fancy conclusions based on the above information.

However, that is not the way my brain works. My brain looks at it this way...

1387 = auditioning
18 = accepted 
1369 = rejected  

my logical brain = "What the hell am I doing here?"
my artist brain = "Maybe one of those 18 could be...me?"
my heart = "How many times am I allowed to audition before they'll stop me from trying again?"

So...Brain...Who is ruling the roost here? Who's really got the power? You or the numbers? You give your power away when you think of yourself as statistic. Failure is NOT inevitable...unless you don't even try...then it's CERTAIN.

You are a powerful human being and you have the ability to stack the odds in your favor...by learning as much as you can about how others have achieved success (no matter how statistically unlikely...somebody's getting accepted to grad school this year and it might as well be YOU), adapting the knowledge you've gathered to your own situation and taking action, continuing to make pursuing your goal a part of your DAILY life (not something that you'll "get around to someday" or you'll start as soon as you "insert your personal excuse here"...mine usually has something to do with "not enough money" or "not enough time" or "too embarrassing"), then surround yourself with supportive and inspiring people who will cheer you on and help you achieve your goal...oh, and DON'T GIVE UP! 

Then you're GOLDEN! Success is almost a SURE thing...of course, it may not always show-up in the "terms" you set in the beginning... or the way you had imagined...but you WILL be successful... eventually. Be patient. Be dedicated. SOMETHING awesome will happen. 

True story. 

I hope that will be YOUR story.

I hope that will be MY story.

F*#k the numbers.


"Success is not measured by what a man accomplishes, but by the opposition he has encountered and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." – Charles Lindbergh


Sunday, January 29, 2012

126. Vision Board: Create Your Future

Sooooo it's Sunday...

Now, what would be a sensible Sunday afternoon activity to launch us into a SPECTACULAR 2012?

Creating a VISION BOARD! (Naturally.)

Vision boards: anything on which one has placed images of what one wants, are recommended as aids for manifesting desires

And why vision board all alone, when you can throw a party and make a HUGE mess!? This is what my apartment looks like right now...

I LOVE vision boarding. And it's definitely been significant tool in helping me to clarify what I want for my life, especially with regard to my current grad school goals/dreams/vision. In fact, my grad school vision board is the background art for my blog!!! Here's what it looks like in it's entirety:

Everyone has really embraced this creative undertaking today and I am sooooo proud of the fantastic visions for 2012 that came out of our vision board party.

Every word choice and image is a personal reflection. To others your vision board may look like a bunch of random words and images, but when you look at your OWN vision board...you see a story...a story of your life in the future...your hopes, dreams and fears in plain view, but only YOU will ever experience your vision board in a visceral way. At a glance, it can ignite your passion and remind you of who you TRULY are and what you really WANT.

But don't take my word for it. Make one yourself...and see how it makes you feel.

Just grab some magazines and flip thru the pages collecting words and images that inspire you. Then take some scissors, make some cuts...stick it all on a poster board with a glue-stick...and anything else that you'd like to add to your vision and... voilĂ !!!...Your vision for 2012! You can hang on your wall and see it EVERY DAY. It will keep you INSPIRED and MOTIVATED to take action to create your vision alllllll year long!

I hope that these photos will be an inspiration for you to create your own vision board!...

Mike's vision board (in process)

Carianne's 2012 is going to be EPIC and HOPEFUL!

 Mindy's 2012 is going to be BRAVE and WICKED!

Julia is looking forward to a WONDERFUL LIFE in 2012!

Sarah will be experiencing a RISING CAREER in 2012!

Thanks so much to all who showed up to the party!!!

Now....manifest THAT Universe!


P.S. And from the blog-o-sphere...Vision Boards are still coming in!!! Send me photos of your completed vision boards and I'll happily add them to the blog, just like the one below! Email me at viavirginiawilcox at gmail dot com. Happy clipping!

Shavey is going to BE ELECTRIC in 2012!!

Erin has set her sights on upgrading her life!

P.P.S. Fiiiiiinally finished my own vision board for 2012! Here it is!!! (Better late than never.)

Virginia Wilcox, April 8, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

125. Dreams Do Come True

"Don't worry about how bad you do the first time. You learned how to walk as a child by continually falling on your face trying to take your first steps. Life is the same way." - Caleb Wojcik, Expert Enough

Two years ago...I failed to get accepted to grad school at NYU, Yale and the University of San Diego.

Last year...I failed to get accepted to grad school at NYU and Yale.

Today I auditioned for Juilliard and made it through all the cuts to the veeeeery end of the day. And since my last name is Wilcox, I think I may have been the very last auditioning hopeful to exit the hallowed halls of Juilliard tonight.

To me...just getting called back to Juilliard is a HUGE success. I am grateful just to have had the opportunity to audition there, now that they have an MFA program. And (reminder to self) if I hadn't been rejected from all those schools in the past, then I never would have had the experience I had today. Soooo, I am glad...GLAD that I failed before.

I will be writing all about this incredible day at Juilliard in future blog posts. I promise.

But for now, I want to give a shout-out too all the courageous souls that came out to audition for grad schools today...and every day.

We are allllll the future of the American theatre. And, called-back or not, doesn't change the fact that you have passion and talent enough to have come this far. DON'T STOP! Keep auditioning...for grad school or for whatever!...Plays or musicals or TV or film or voice-over or ANYTHING that strikes your creative fancy. Just keep doing your work! The work that you LOVE!

We all have so much we can give...our unique human perspective...to enlighten, to reflect, to entertain...through our work as actors. And I hope that you know that this is just another step along that path. And sometimes failing is the best part of the journey. Doesn't seem that way at the time, often, but with hindsight...it may prove to be a HUGE blessing.

So keep moving in the direction of your dreams, no matter what! Have faith! The more you fail...the more you know you can survive it!!!...And then you can open yourself up to unforeseen opportunities, greater than you ever could have imagined.

Thanks for all your support through this process, everyone. Today I truly felt like I had an army of blog-following angels surrounding me with love.

I am overwhelmed by it all and exhausted from this looooong day and ecstatically happy to be alive.

Off to bed.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

124. Bathe Your Brain

You know how soothing it feels to take a warm bath...and let your muscles release all those toxins down the drain?

Well, what about bathing your brain in some soothing affirmations to help calm those pre-audition nerves?

These affirmations are taken from Jack Plotnick's AMMMMAZING online book New Thoughts For Actors, with just a couple of minor adjustments from me. I hope you'll find one or two that'll help your brain find the peace that will help to do your best work and have a joyful audition experience.

·      I release my need to control this audition.  I know that I am not strong enough to control it, and therefore ask my higher power to be there to lovingly guide me through it.

·      I am going to approach this monologue as an improv.

·      I release and destroy my need to be an “Actor”.  Let them be the “Actors”, and have all the responsibilities that come with it.  I am just here to be myself and have fun. (or simply “I’m not an actor.  I’m just here to be myself and have fun.”)

·      (For Comedy) I release my need to be funny.  I am here to tickle myself.

·      (For Drama) I will not make choices, however I will allow choices to happen.

·      I release and destroy my need to impress them.  F^*k them.  I can allow myself to hate them. 

·      I release and destroy my need to get this job. I already have a job. My job is to be a joyful artist.

·      I am going to take it from where I am
·      I am grateful for all the good in my life.  I am worthy of all the good in my life.

·      All is well in my world.  I am one with the universe and have more than I need.

·      I am relaxed, trusting in a higher plan that is unfolding for me.

·      I release and destroy my attachment to results.  I am here to enjoy the journey.

·      I release and destroy my need to feel unworthy.  I know that I am worthy of all the good in life and now lovingly allow myself to accept it.  As I repeat this affirmation, my outer effect of procrastination fades away and I no longer feel the need to delay my own good.

·      This, or something greater, for my highest good, and the highest good of all concerned.

What's the point of thinking a thought, unless it helps you create a joyful reality for yourself?

Bathe your brain in some warm, loving thoughts...rinse and repeat, as needed.

Thoughts become things...think good ones. Be loving to yourself.

Think, think, think...and let it go,

P.S. No blog post on Friday...day off (as usual).

P.P.S. Me + Julliard Audition + Saturday = Excitement

P.P.P.S. I'm at 95 email subscribers! Isn't that CRAZY? I think it'd be so cool to get to 100 before the project is done. Tell somebody you think would like the blog to subscribe! The more the merrier!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

123. Remember: THEY are auditioning FOR YOU

Sometimes it helps to hear  from a "pro" to really get a proper perspective on a situation...Ms. Laura Linney's thoughts on auditioning...
"I...want to audition the director. I...want the opportunity to be in the room with the producers and the director and get a sense of...Do I want to spend an enormous amount of time with these people?" - Laura Linney, American Theatre Wing interview
True dat.

We often get so caught up in wanting to make a good impression at auditions that we forget to pay attention to our own experience. Same for grad school auditions. I mean, I don't really care how many fabulous alumni there are or how schmancy the school's reputation...Is this the right program for ME? So we must really ask ourselves as we go through the audition process..."Do I really want to spend 3 or 4 YEARS with these people? Are they reeeeeeeallly worthy of my trust or just blowing a lot of hot air? And do I feel good about PAYING THEM A LOT OF MONEY to help shape me as an artist?"

So, as you’re going in for your next audition or your next job interview or whatever, don’t forget to pay attention to these kinds of questions…

“Am I impressed with THEM?”
“Are these the kinds of people I am inspired by and excited to work with?”
“Am I being treated with respect in this process?”

You have a valuable contribution that you bring with you...your talent. They need YOU!

Don’t ignore the signs and signals that your senses are telling you about the total experience at the audition/interview. It is nooooot worth the time for you, if the entire process is going to feel like TORTURE. 

Life is too short to spend it doing stuff you hate...or with people you don't really enjoy working with. Right?

There is always another job out there...lots of them…fun ones…lucrative ones...with fun people…with creative, talented, like-minded folks that will appreciate your contribution to the project and treat you with respect. And if you can't FIND a job like that...then MAKE it yourself...with friends.

Annnnd don't forget that you won't even be AVAILABLE for the awesome jobs…If you’re always taking jobs that you don’t really like. I know it can sometimes seem "smart" to do it for the money or the resume credit or the glory or whatever...and those kinds of jobs can all be stepping-stones to other destinations...I get it...But don't let your soul get sucked out in the process or let yourself lose sight of the prize...the ultimate goal: Getting to do what you love with people you love (and getting paid to do it is nice too)!

And with school…YOU will be paying THEM to attend...Soooooo...

If you want to make sure that you are really going to be happy in that program and feel like you’re spending your time/money/life-energy well…you’d better pay attention to your instincts and listen to your heart. Make sure that school’s got the right philosophy and all the criteria YOU need to give you a good, positive experience…and not just a fancy name and super-famous alumni. 

Imagine how awful it would be to end up paying them a lot of money for a three-year-torturous-experience? No thanks! That's why I like to say "Rejection is God's protection." 

I mean, say you do get accepted...and you go to a school or take a job that you have certain "reservations" about...once you get over the excitement of getting accepted and feeling like “Ooooo! They like me, they really like me”…then you actually have to GO to class EVERY DAY or to rehearsal EVERY DAY…Is that a place that you’re going to look forward to BEING every day, filled with people that you’re going to look forward to being WITH every day?

'Cause this is your LIFE...and you only get to live this one once. And, last time I checked, schmancyness does not equal happiness.

So as you're auditioning...don't forget that HOW they do anything is (most likely) how they’ll do EVERYTHING. In other words...

“Is the audition monitor/greeter friendly?”

“Is the audition well organized?" 

"Are people being respectful of the time and efforts of those auditioning?”

If you are seeing red flags of unkindness, disrespect or disorganization...R.U.N.  

If they’re treating you rudely from the moment you walk through the door at an audition or a job interview…you can BET you’re going to get more of the same throughout the process. We’ve allllll had the experience where we’ve KNOWN that there was something OFF about an audition from moment #1...so DO NOT IGNORE your instincts. YOU ARE RIGHT! It's not worth your time/love/blood/sweat/tears/energy to spend three to four years confirming your suspicions.

Everybody's got their own values that are important to them. I've definitely got my own.

But rather than spending more time on my soap-box, I will pass the torch and use some of my favorite inspirational quotes to illustrate the qualities and attitudes I look for in an ideal creative working environment:

"One’s ability to succeed is always proportional to one’s willingness to fail." – Mike Dooley

"Giving positive reviews requires humility…A willingness to be pleased requires modesty and even innocence." – Gretchen Rubin

"To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life." – Samuel Johnson

"Turns out, many people in supervisory/leadership roles have become so afraid of having to act on edgy ideas and dance with uncertainty, they’ve unintentionally blinded themselves to the existence of the very thing they clamor for." – Jonathan Fields

"My hope was to create a space where we all feel comfortable being open about what we’ve been through and what we’re going through, what we’ve learned and what we’re learning, so we can help ourselves and each other." – Lori Deschene, Tiny Buddha

"When people know that they do not know, then people can find their own way." – Tao Te Ching

"Fulfillment doesn’t come from clearing hurdles others set for you; it comes from clearing those you set for yourself.” – Robert S. Kaplan, Reaching Your Potential, Harvard Business Review

"The freedom to make mistakes provides the best environment for creativity.” – Jack Plotnick

"You may want something, work hard to achieve it, and in your process achieve something even greater than your original goal. So don’t get married to what you imagine is the result of your pursuit, just be involved in the pursuit. Besides, you already have a job. Your job is to be a joyful artist. No one can take that away from you…Remember, you don’t know that this job is what’s best for you. Getting this job could actually keep you from getting the wonderful job you were truly meant to get.” – 
Jack Plotnick

"Do you want to know why I have an issue with compromising, economizing and settling for less? I have to work just as hard whether the bar has been lowered or raised…Dream even bigger." – Mike Dooley
"Self-reflect on what your true desires in life are. Keep asking yourself if this is truly your desire or just something you think you out to do. Ask yourself if the desire reflects you in the present or if it is part of an outdated dream…You need to be inspired by your intentions and excited about cooperating. Those attitudes will draw support and help manifest those intentions." – Lena Stevens

"When you are on your death bed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying. Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness." – Inspiration and Chai Blog

"Trusting our values is more important to taking action than desiring and striving for certain outcomes." – Leo Babauta, Zen Habits

"Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great." – Mark Twain

Pay attention. Listen. Observe. Ask questions. Follow your heart. You are right.

Grad school is a BIG commitment. Make sure you are evaluating if they are the right fit for YOU.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

122. My Humble Takeaways From TEDxBroadway 2012

I had such an incredible time at the TEDxBroadway conference!!! Soooooo inspiring for the future of Broadway!

(For more info about TED conferences go to ted.com, see my post #114, or check out Howard Sherman's LiveBlog of the event for alllll the nitty-gritty details.)

Every presenter at TEDxBroadway addressed the following very important question...

What's the BEST Broadway can be in 20 years? 

No conclusions were made...but that wasn't the point. The POINT was to relish the question and explore all the GLORIOUS possibilities, all the fantastic OPPORTUNITIES that the future could hold for Broadway...if we're willing to work together to help CREATE that new reality. AWESOME!!!

Mostly, I just sat and listened and observed and let it all soak in. But I was moved to take a few notes to share with ya'll. So here were some "take-away's" from some of my favorite presenters at TEDxBroadway. 

I hope that this post will help inspire YOU to want to be a part of creating a thriving future for LIVE theatre on Broadway and everywhere...from sea to shining sea!!!

The following are my humble takeaways from the many super-fantastic speakers that shared their hearts, insights and crazy-crack-pot-genius with all of us. (Please excuse me if these quotes aren't word perfect...It was dark and I was writing fassssst. Did my very best to stay true to the intent of the speaker's message.)

"The timeline to 2032 will be written by some of the very talented people in this room. We create ideas and ideas create the future." - Ken Davenport 

"We must ask: why is this LIVE?" - Jordan Roth

"No one sets out to create something unremarkable...If it falls short, it doesn't change the original intent and good will." - Jordan Roth

"Theatre can become part of the social fabric of people's lives." - Randy Weiner

"This show is so incredible that it doesn't need a marketing budget." - Randy Weiner (referring to Sleep No More

"We are poised for another renaissance and creative forces will lead the renaissance." - Patricia Martin

"This generation experiences truth as emotional truth. They believe what they can feel." - Patricia Martin

"Forget an out-of-town try-out. What about an internet try-out?" - Matt Sax

"Great customer service is about creating that total experience. Don't miss out on the opportunity for human connection in every interaction." - Frank Eliason

"How you treat your employees dictates the quality of customer service they will give." - Frank Eliason

"Drive change by storytelling, not by numbers." - Frank Eliason

"Create the future and let other people adapt to you." - Kara Larson

"Is this really the right audience?" - Steve Gullans

"Broadway is an idea factory...We open hearts and minds." - Damian Bazadona

"Expanding the exposure of Broadway is the way to grow." - Damian Bazadona

"We must increase financial opportunities to attract great talent and innovators to Broadway." - Damian Bazadona

"...Cooperation..." - Barry Kahn

"I'm in. Are you?" - Vincent Gassetto

"How can we upgrade?" - Juan Enriquez

"Does Google equal immortality?" - Juan Enriquez

"We are all self-created voyeurs." - Juan Enriquez (referring to Facebook)

"What kind of humanity do we want to create?" - Juan Enriquez

"Put all the pettiness aside and think about the good of Broadway." - Joseph Craig

"Don't be the turkey." - Greg Mosher

"We must ask ourselves: What business are we in?" - Greg Mosher

"Read The Innovators Dilemma." - Greg Mosher

"You can't Google a broken heart. That's why we need Shakespeare." - Greg Mosher

And my favorite takeaway from the entire day...

"How are YOU going to take what theatre does best and reinvent that tradition in the future?" - Juan Enriquez 

Big huge thanks to Ken Davenport, Damian Bazadona & Jim McCarthy for organizing the event.

And thank you to the generous co-sponsors:
...and the supporting sponsors:

You can follow @TEDxBroadway on Twitter...if you're into that sort of thing.

And...word on the street is...there may be another TEDxBroadway next year!!! Whoo-hoo!!!

Here's to the future of live theatre on Broadway! Let's make it AWESOME! 


Yes, it's true...I actually had business cards made with the blog address on it. I KNOW IT'S SILLY! But I love this blog sooooo much, I couldn't help it!!! They came in handy too...I actually gave out a few at the event. LOL! So weird to introduce myself as an "actor-blogger." But, if the shoe fits...  :-P


Monday, January 23, 2012

121. The Paradox Of Creativity

"Creativity is paradoxical. To create, a person must have knowledge but forget the knowledge, must see unexpected connections in things but not have a mental disorder, must work hard but spend time doing nothing as information incubates, must create many ideas yet most of them are useless, must look at the same thing as everyone else, yet see something different, must desire success but embrace failure, must be persistent but not stubborn, and must listen to experts but know how to disregard them." - Michael Michalko, Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking, Psychology Today

Sunday, January 22, 2012

120. NYU Grad Acting Audition 2012

Here's an overview of my day, but not just ANY day...My NYU audition day!!!

6am Woke up to my alarm (pressed snooze 3 times).

6:20am Showered, dressed, made myself breakfast (most important meal of the day: scrambled egg whites, black beans & tablespoon of cream cheese), packed myself a bag of snacks for the audition (lots of waiting…don't like to get low blood-sugar), grabbed a change of clothes for yoga (later this afternoon) and my ticket for On A Clear Day (seeing my friend Alysha perform on Broadway tonight).

7:45am Took the N train down to the 8th St/NYU stop. Listened to Lovely by Sara Haze on the way.

8:30am Arrived at 721 Broadway, NYU Tisch School of the Arts and checked-in on the 5th floor. Found a quiet spot next to a file cabinet in the waiting room. I feel very comfortable with file cabinets…so naturally, this was a good spot for me. ;-p

9:30am They called my name and I went into the “warm-up” room, which had this really annoying gigantic mirror. I say annoying…because I really wasn’t interested in self-consciously staring at myself in my final moments before heading in to audition...Distracting...Unnecessary. So I turned away from the mirror, took several deep breaths...did a little “mountain pose” and some “half-lifts” and I was about to go into some “downward-facing-dog” and I heard a knock-knock-knock on the door… “You ready?”

Heart stopped for a second and then began to beat again.

9:35am Walked "calmly" into the audition room… Behind the table: Ben (an alumni) and Scott (faculty). Both incredibly welcoming and kind…I said, “So which one of you is Ben and which one is Scott?” They laughed and introduced themselves.

Then Scott said, “I didn’t know they were telling you our names out there.”

“Oh, they didn’t.” I said, “I asked what your names were. I figure it’s only fair, I mean, you know who I am.”

I smiled warmly.

They smiled warmly… “So which monologues would you like to do today?”

I told them my two choices, set aside my water bottle and my glasses, grabbed a chair, brought it to the center of the room and started my contemporary monologue.

Felt good.

Then I did my classical monologue.

Felt good.

Scott and Ben were very attentive, taking notes and quietly listening. Scott only sipped his coffee once!

Then when I was finished…Scott asked, “Why are you interested in attending grad school?”

That is the question that must be asked, naturally.

This was serious business! Sooooo I grabbed my glasses (which would help me see them better) and then went into a passionate little five minute speech about being in an environment where I will be encouraged to stretch myself creatively, wanting to establish a strong  foundation for myself as an artist before I move along to the next step of my career path, and feeling such a strong connection to the NYU community and hoping to be a part of that. There was probably some other stuff I said too, but I can’t quite remember it all. The brain doesn’t always retain as well when the adrenaline’s pumping.

(You guys know all about it anyway, since you read the blog.)

It was exciting to get to share my thoughts with them. Oh! Also…I did mention to them that this was the 3rd time I’d auditioned for NYU. They didn’t know that. Apparently they didn’t have my “file” in front of them or anything, which is fine…if they had, it would have been as thick as a dictionary and they may not have been able to see over it. ;)

Then Scott sort-of had to interrupt me to ask another question. I smiled and laughed and said, “Oh, yes, thank you…please feel free to cut me off at any point. I could talk your ears off about all this stuff for hours. Seriously.”  I thought about mentioning the blog at that point…but thought better of it. I think I already sounded obsessed enough with NYU…Didn’t want to scare the guy.

He asked a GREAT question next…Really awesome question…I really wish that I could have been a fly on the wall in the room of other people’s auditions…to hear their answers to this question too.

NOTE TO SELF: If I am ever an alumni, sitting behind the audition table and interviewing potential applicants…I will ask this question also.

“What is your greatest fear about the program at NYU?”

In my head, I’m thinking: Fear? FEAR? You are asking me about FEAR, sir? Oooooooooh, let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about this alllllllll daaaaaaay looooooong.

I said, “Actually, this year has been alllll about overcoming fear, for me. Or, I guess, being okay with being  afraid, but just f%^king doing it anyway.” (Yes, I used an expletive in my interview. It’s true…They didn’t seem to mind.)

“Honestly? My main fear…is not being accepted to NYU…again…for the third time. But my fear of the program itself? Hmmmm.... Oh, I know…Okay, so my first year auditioning, I think I had this idea in my head that NYU was going to be, like…A GOLDEN TICKET… Such that if I could only get into NYU that it would “save me” and somehow I’d be automatically successful or something like that. But now, after going to the callback weekend my first year and speaking with alumni and getting more familiar with the school and what the graduates go through, I know that NYU is not going to be my “prince charming.” So I guess, my greatest fear of the program is that I’d go into it with the expectation that NYU was going to be my career savior or something. But I know now that that’s not the truth. I have to be my own “prince charming.””

“You’re absolutely right.” Scott chuckled to himself. “We should all be our own “prince charming.”” Ben laughed and nodded in agreement.

At this point, it was clear that the interview was over. They thanked me for auditioning and said good-bye.

I remembered to grab my water bottle (score!) and said, as I headed out the door, “Thanks for letting me talk, guys. That was really nice.”

9:45am Back in the waiting room…Waiting for the names to be called for “round two”…The callback round.

10:25am Hannah (Assistant to the Chair) is such a sweetheart. She got everyone’s attention and kindly said she’d be calling the names of those who’d been selected to stay and see Mark Wing-Davy and Janet Zarish. She made it very clear in her announcement that you would still be “in-the-running” if you weren’t asked to stay for the callback today. But I doubt that anyone in the room really believed her. EVERYBODY’s body language was screaming… “Call my name!!!”…No matter how hard they were trying to be chill about it. I looked around the room as everyone was listening intently. I saw a lot of thoughts written on people’s faces… Mostly hopeful, or trying to look cool, and a couple seemed absolutely terrified.

After all the names had been called… there was a stillness in the room, a hush…as the reality sunk-in for each individual. Of course, to look around the room…all you saw were blank faces…but I wasn’t fooled. I could hear silent hearts breaking…and the contained joy of elated hope in others. You didn’t want to look too happy. It might make the other people feel bad. You didn’t want to look too sad. It might make the other people feel bad. Oh… how we all hide our emotions…to protect ourselves…to protect others. It’s fascinating.

So with a stilted, detached coolness…the slow movement began…packing up of bags and picking up of coats…either to head out the door…or to move to the next waiting room where the “called-back” would get to sweat and wallow in hopeful “what-ifs” until they too would be released into the unknown, just like the rest.

My name was called. So I grabbed my stuff and headed to the second waiting area.

11:00am Waiting. Eating my snacks. Getting to know my fellow auditioners…James (from Buffalo) will also be auditioning for Juilliard, Yale, ACT and USD this year…and Anna (originally from Virginia, but lives in NY now) is auditioning for NYU the first time this year and only NYU. Two wonderful human beings, both very kind and supportive and open, I wish them the best of luck with their grad school auditions!!!

11:20am More waiting. More eating my snacks. Julian (a current third-year grad student) was helping to run the callback. Got to have a nice conversation with him. He’s originally from Tokyo! Talk about being far from home! Told him a little about my time in Shanghai. Asked him if he was hoping to stay in NY after graduation or maybe try out LA? He said he was open to both…and it’d all depend on what happened at showcase. Exciting, right? (Side note: I got to see him in Measure For Measure last October, at NYU, and he was definitely a stand-out. There’s something very sort-of Johnny Depp about him. His energy is very sexy and dangerous on stage. And who wouldn’t want to watch that? He’s going to have a veeeeery successful career, I think.  He’s going to be acting in NYU’s upcoming production of The Wild Duck in early Feb. Check it out if you want to get to see Julian and have one of those “I-got-to-see-him-in-that-student-production-at-NYU-before-he-was-a-super-star” kind of experiences.)

11:45pm My turn to audition for Mark Wing-Davy and Janet Zarish!!! Soooooo exciting! Took a few deep breaths before I walked into the room…If I can just remember to breathe…then I know I’ll be fine. Seriously. Breathe. Don’t forget to do that. It’s essential…

Whew…this is the part where I started to unravel last year…so if I can just not be intimidated and be vulnerable and open and honest…then THAT’s my measure of success this year.

Walked in the room and greeted them both with a smile. They both seemed to remember me this year. Janet is always very warm with me. But Mark is soooo hard for me to read!!! I couldn’t tell if he actually remembered me or if he was just jumping on the bandwagon because Janet was treating me with such familiarity…Anyway, whatever…I’m grateful for it, either way! I’ll take friendliness where ever I can get it.

Mark picked my non-Shakespeare classical (Of course! He allllllways picks that one as my first piece.) Since I had just done this one for Ben and Scott, I should have been all warmed up with it. But, even so, getting through the first couple of lines was tough…Staying focused on the piece and NOT thinking “AHHHH! I AM AUDITIONING FOR MARK WING-DAVY AND JANET ZARISH. AHHHHH! THIS IS IT. THIS IS THE MOMENT. WAIT! I AM TOTALLY STANDING OUTSIDE OF MYSELF AND WATCHING ALL THIS HAPPEN…GET BACK IN THE MONOLOGUE, WILCOX!!! STAY FOCUSED! THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING…NOT THIS CRAZY, WEIRD, AWKWARD SITUATION OF AUDITIONING. LET THAT GO. PUT THE GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES IN YOUR STOMACH AND SAY THESE WORDS AS IF THIS MONOLOGUE IS REALLY HAPPENING TO YOU RIGHT NOW.”

After I got my focus back…it felt like I had blinked my eyes and it was over. Somehow I got through to the end.

Was I totally “in-the-moment” the whole time? NO.

Do I think it was an accurate representation of where I am in my work right now? YES. Definitely.

So I do feel that the monologue was a success. I’m not going for a PERFECT performance. I am going for an honest snapshot of my current abilities, warts and all. I’m auditioning for SCHOOL, after all.

And hopefully, they’ll see some potential in me and my flaws and think… “Gee, if only we could have three years to help this girl work on improving her skills, we might be able to help her become a super awesome acting savant…Then she’d be freakin’ fierce! And we’d be super proud to have her as an alum.” THAT’s what I’m hoping for.

Then came a great moment in the audition that potentially could have been a disaster if I wasn’t prepared for it…Mark and Janet asked me about the origin of the classical piece. AND THANK GOD I ACTUALLY KNEW SOMETHING ABOUT IT! This is where doing your research reeeeeeeally comes in handy. I was able to give a little background about the author and why I chose the piece. Whew!!! Puttin’ my history degree to good use!

That. Felt. Good.

Then Mark asked me for a second piece…a contemporary monologue. This was NOT the one I had done for Ben and Scott earlier. Soooo there was no warm-up…I hadn’t spoken these words at all today…which was actually a good thing, I think. I was able to be really fresh with it…and allow the moments in the monologue to really surprise me. This is a piece I’ve been doing for yeeeeears. So it was really great to be able to share it with them and feel 100% confident that I would NOT forget the words.

My biggest obstacle with this piece, is that it’s got a dialect written into it…and I’m suuuure my dialect is NOT accurate, by any means. But, again, I’m not going for perfection…just honesty. So if my dialect is not good…that’s fine…I will do my best to be consistent with it (at least) and remain emotionally connected to the character’s circumstances (at best). But I will NOT subconsciously apologize for not being able to do a good dialect…and therefore shrink and sabotage my ability to communicate this story! I will be BOLDLY myself as this character!!! And if that’s BOLDLY bad…then, so be it.

Though I know I am not a very accurate judge of my own work, I feel like this monologue went well. It certainly did not feel bad. Mark and Janet seemed to still be “with me” at my monologue’s conclusion.

Then Janet asked me what I’ve been up to this year.

Wow! What an opportunity!!! An open-ended question!!! I could take this one annnnnywhere I wanted to go! She’s letting ME drive this interview now. AWESOME!

How to tell my story? Where to begin? Soooo many directions I could go…Infinite possibilities.

So I chose to talk about my job. I told them that after I came to the callback weekend my first year auditioning that I was highly influenced by all of the discussions of the importance of getting your financial “ducks in a row” and how that was a very important consideration in applying to grad school, since NYU is a HUGE financial investment. So I decided to focus on getting a solid/steady job to be able to pay off all my consumer debt…while preparing to audition for grad school for the 2nd…and then the 3rd time… And told them about how my success at my job has been a financial blessing, but has also given me clarity that I do NOT want to be an executive assistant for the rest of my life. That I want to be an ACTOR. Then I mentioned the blog (had to throw that in there since it’s been such a HUGE part of my life)…and ended with an open-armed declaration that “If I just keep on putting it out there to the Universe, that this is what I reeeeealllly want, it’s gonna happen someday. I have to believe that.”

HA! I cannot believe I really said that to Mark and Janet. LOL!!!....But, it’s TRUE.”

Then, they asked me if I’d like to sing a short, little something.

I smiled.

Of course! I’d LOVE to sing.

So I sang the following

Fame, if you win it, comes and goes in a minute.
Where’s the real stuff in life to cling to?
Love is the answer. Someone to love is the answer.
Once you’ve found them, build your world around them.
Make someone happy. Make just one someone happy.
And you will be happy too.

They thanked me for coming and auditioning. I thanked them and curtsied (trite, but true)… and stepped out the door…back into the real world…back into uncertainty, but with a sense of joy…that I had accomplished what I set out to do. I had come back again to audition for the 3rd time.

11:55pm Got back to the waiting room to grab my stuff…And suddenly realized that I FORGOT TO TELL THEM ABOUT MY CONFLICT FOR CALLBACKS IN MARCH!!!! Oh, crap! (See yesterday’s post, if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) Ha ha ha ha! I got too caught up in the moment...talking about dreams coming true and the universe and crap. Ooops! Damn it! ...Best laid plans… I guess I’ll have to wait and see if I even get invited to the final callbacks…and then I’ll address it with them over the phone.

Whah-whah. It might be a moot point anyway. Who knows? Never can tell with these things. Sometimes you feel like it’s a total love-fest in the room at an audition and then you never get a call. There’s really no rhyme or reason to these things. Can’t take it personally. Just gotta let go of trying to control it or understand it and leave it up to God/the universe/the fates. Ya know?

Just grateful to have had the opportunity to try again.

12noon Walked over to the Astor Place Starbucks to buy some coffee and write this post.

In conclusion:

Did this feel like a successful audition experience?


I was bolder and more vulnerable and more transparent than I had ever been before. I gave them an accurate snapshot of exactly where I am at…And now it’s up to them to know whether or not I will “fit” into their program. Only they can know that.

But I do not have the regret I walked away with from last year (thank goodness)…which was…if only they knew…if only they knew me. (How sad is that?) But, that’s sooooo not even an issue this year. I didn’t hide myself at ALL this time. They toooootally got to see me, because that’s what I chose to show them…just me…Not what I thought they were “looking for” or what I thought they might “want to see.” Just me...they way that I am.

And the fact that I can feel good about just being me…Now THAT’s success.

Thank you to everyone who sent me a text/email/FB post of support and encouragement today. It makes me feel so blessed to have you all rallying around me in support of this dream of mine!!! What an awesome feeling…to sit in the waiting-room at NYU…knowing that there are alllll these wonderful, generous humans out there thinking of me and wishing me well. I get all gooey and emotional about it. Seriously. Thanks for reminding me that I’m not alone.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

119. The Plot Thickens

"People can cultivate positive energy by learning to change the stories they tell themselves about the events in their lives...Tell the most hopeful and personally empowering story possible in any given situation, without denying or minimizing the facts." - Tony Schwartz, "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time," Harvard Business Review, Oct. 2007.

Soooo my NYU audition is tomorrow morning at 9am. I am suuuuuper excited. It’s gonna be such a thrill to be able to get in there and FINALLY do my monologues for them after blogging about the preparations for this audition since September 5th. Whew!!!! It’s been quite a journey.

I’ve got my new headshots, in hand, with resume attached and my personal statement all printed out. I hand-washed my audition shirt this afternoon. It's drying on the radiator. I may try to hit a yoga class or a movie a little later, as a treat. We shall see.

So all that is fine and good, but what’s all this about the plot thickening (see title of blog), you may be wondering?

Well, NYU sent me an email to confirm my audition appointment and also included the following message:

“About fifty (50) candidates will be chosen from the initial audition sessions to come to New York on March 10, 11, or 12 for a more in-depth visit and audition. Sixteen (16) candidates will be selected for admission after the final (callback) weekend sessions. Please note: Final decisions on admissions are made after callbacks. If you wish to be considered for Fall 2012 admission, attendance at callbacks, for invited applicants, is MANDATORY.”

The reason that this is an interesting development in our story…is that I HAVE TO BE IN SAN DIEGO ON MARCH 10, 11 & 12. SO EVEN IF I GET INVITED TO THE CALLBACKS THIS YEAR...I CANNOT BE THERE...And, according to this email, I will not be considered for Fall 2012 admission if I am unable to attend. 

Ha ha ha ha ha! Sad face.

Is that not totally ironic? Virginia spends 5 months blogging about her goal to audition for grad school and then when she's about to go in to audition...she discovers that she may be disqualified on a technicality.

I mean...reeeeeeallly, Universe? What are you DOING?

Why can't I attend callbacks in March, you ask?

Very good question.

I have a day-job where I am responsible for assisting at two out-of-town conferences per year with my company. The next conference happens to be in San Diego, CA on March 10-14. The primary reason that my job EXISTS is for the purpose of assisting at conferences like this one. (Which is why I went to West Palm Beach last November.) 

To “call in sick” for this business trip to San Diego would be like…rehearsing for a  play for 6 weeks only to tell the director that I couldn’t make it to the opening night performance. NOT COOL. That is NOT how I roll. EVER. I believe in following through with my professional commitments, even if it breaks my freakin’ heart and means sacrificing my chances for acceptance at NYU this year. I cannot shirk my responsibility to my current job, no matter how much I may want to get my MFA from NYU.

So, if I am asked to stay and interview after the monologue portion of the audition tomorrow. I will be very honest about my situation and tell the auditors at NYU right up-front that I cannot make it to the callback weekend this year. I will explain to them exactly why. Then, I will respectfully offer to come in for a callback at another time, or sit-in on a class or do anything else that may be required in order to give them the opportunity to see whatever they need to see from me. 

Who knows? They may be willing to accommodate my request, since I attended the callback weekend two years ago. Doesn't hurt to ask. However, I am also prepared to respect their decision not to make an exception for me. I will understand if they feel strongly that my missing the callback weekend will not allow them to be able to truly evaluate my chemistry with the other students they are considering for admission in 2012. I know that they're interested in creating an ensemble. And it's difficult to assess one's ability to "play" with others...without seeing them "play" with others. I get that. I will be sad to be disqualified on this account, but I will understand. 

Then...I suppose, I will know that it’s not meant to be this year, not for NYU at least.

It’s a strange feeling I'm having right now…Knowing that I'm about to be walking in to an audition that I’ve basically been preparing for over the past 3 years (if not my whole life), and yet, I know that I may be completely disqualified from the running...based on a technicality. 

Ha! What are you trying to teach me with this, Universe? What’s this all about? Bleh!

In the past, auditioning for NYU has been the closest I’ve gotten to acceptance to an MFA program…and now it’s looking like NYU is off-the-table as an option this year. 

If you’ve just joined the blog recently…and would like some background on my past audition experiences with auditions/callbacks at NYU…Check out the following posts:

38. Recap – Year 1 – NYU Auditions
47. Learn On The Job, Get Paid, Feel Good

Anyhoo, I’m going to go in to that audition tomorrow and give my 120%, and I plan to be completely honest about my situation. We will see what happens. Gotta let it go. Can't control it. Whatever is supposed to happen...will happen. But I cannot compromise my values...and shirking my responsibilities...not an option.

Thanks for your support, guys! Wish me luck!



"Where can we find support for our reinvention? To make a true break with the past, we need guides who have been there and can understand where we are going. Reaching outside our normal circles to new people, networks, and professional communities is the best way to both break frame and get psychological sustenance." - Herminia Ibarra, "How To Stay Stuck In The Wrong Career," Harvard Business Review, Dec. 2002.

P.S. Had a wonderful and nurturing experience practicing my monologues at the Astoria Art House Salon. This time for an actual AUDIENCE! How cool is that!? The Salon happens once a month at 23-35 Broadway Astoria, NY. The evening is free for performing artists to try out their work in front of an audience of other supportive artists, students and friends. The whole point of it is just to be able to practice in a no-pressure environment. It's the best!!! The next one is Feb 17, 7-9pm. (Interested in attending? Want to stay updated? "Like" them on FB.) All are welcome to observe or participate. If you are in the area, and would like to have the chance to overcome your fear of singing in public or try out a new monologue or play an original song or read a poem that you wrote or have some actors to read a scene of a new play you’ve written.  Astoria Art House  is here! They'd love to support your growth in your work. Come check it out. Donations are always welcome, but it’s FREE if you can’t afford to pay. I loved my experience there. I got to practice a mock-audition. Did two contrasting pieces…then did two other contrasting pieces and then polled the audience on what they thought was my strongest paring…Which Shakespeare piece was the most engaging?… I got to ask them questions about things that I had been wondering about…Did this work or that?…What was their overall impression?…It was sooooo helpful to hear everyone’s perspective and insights and a huge confidence-builder too. They were all very supportive…It felt great just to get up there and try it out and know that people care! It just goes to show… you put yourself out there…and the universe brings the right people into your life to support you in just the way you need. Thanks,  Astoria Art House ! Cannot wait for the next Salon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

118. You Are The Decisive Element

My friend Christine posted this quote on my FB wall today and I have to share it with you all because it's real good and very "Acceptance-Project-y."

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Hope you enjoy that as a little bedtime food for thought.


P.S. (RE: Monologue Practice) Haven't been getting enough sleep. Got home. Did my monologue for my roommate L. Hardly even know how it went, I am so tired...too tired to care. Anyways, I did it...so I can check that off the list. I like checking things off of lists...even in my tiredness...I can always muster some excitement for lists.

P.P.S. Personal goal for 2012 accomplished...Druuuuuum Rooooolllllll...I opened a Roth IRA today. LOL! It's TRUE. Isn't that so random? But I've been wanting to do this for yeeeeeears, just have never had enough money to do so. But I ain't getting any younger...so I finally saved up $1000 so I could freakin' open one of those things. Now...I think I'm going to set up an automatic transfer of like $50 a month to go into it. Hopefully, some time in the future, I'll be able to afford to contribute more, but for now I am just happy to have finally set the thing up. Makes me feel soooo OLD in a way, but good. I don't want to be broke my whole life and my future self will be soooooo happy with my past self for having done this....Oh, and the BEST part of this story is...I asked the banker who helped me open my Roth IRA to listen to one of my monologues. TRUE STORY!... Ha! Isn't that hilarious? I am crazy.... Anyway, he said yes and very kindly listened and wished me luck on my grad school auditions. What a sweetheart?! Thanks, Gary!

P.P.P.S. Happy Birthday to all those wonderful people born on January 19th!!!! No matter where you are or what you are doing, please know that I am thinking of you and sending you silent thoughts of love...always.

P.P.P.P.S. The "Interview With Daniel Talbot" posts Part 1 & Part 2 received over 200 hits yesterday. WOWZERS! Super awesome! Annnnd...BTW...Daniel's play Yosemite is incredible. I saw it last night... And...words...how to find the words? Let's just say...I had to leave the theatre immediately after the show because I knew I couldn't hold myself together and I wanted to be able to cry-my-eyes-out alone on my walk back to the subway. I seriously LOVED the play. It was so REAL and HONEST. I love that it hit me so deeply. I was so moved by the relationships in this heart-wrenching depiction of family connection. Families are so complicated. You love them...even when everything in your logical mind tells you that it's too painful to bear...you do anyway. You just love them. It may make you want to die...or kill someone else. You can't stop though...You just can't stop loving them anyway...Thank you, Daniel.

P.P.P.P.P.S. No blog post tomorrow. It's Friday.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Reminder: My NYU audition is on Sunday!!! I am very excited. And I'd like to request that you remember me in your prayers this weekend... Please send wishes that I will be joyously peaceful of spirit whilst auditioning. Your support is deeply felt and much appreciated. XO!