Part Five: The Interview
I’m standing with Kathy, away from all of the others. She looks down at her clipboard for a second and then back at me...
“We’d really like for you to stay for an interview, if that’s alright. I know you must be exhausted. It’s been a long day.”
"Yes! YES, I’d be happy to stay," I chirp. Are you kidding me!? I will SLEEP here all night long if necessary. There's nowhere on God's green earth than I'd rather be than HERE.
OMFG!!! I can hardly contain my elation! This is the BEST! This is my first time auditioning at Juilliard, because of their newly christened MFA program and I actually made it all the way to my FAVORITE part…The Interview.
I LOVE interviews. I mean, clearly I'm passionate about talking about the process and creativity and my journey and the art form and stuff...so much so that I started a blog about it all. HA!
I turn away from Kathy and make my way back to my seat. The room has started to clear as folks have been gathering up their stuff to go...I say goodbye to several people that had been released for the day, including Toby. (Hope we'll see each other at the callback weekend in March! Fingers crossed!)
It was such a gift to have spent the day with soooo many wonderful actors. They really do have a knack for attracting some good human beings to the program at Juilliard. Everyone I came into contact with was exceptionally kind, compassionate and encouraging. Juilliard seems to value those qualities in their actors.
I lay down on one of the couches to rest my eyes, as the other 8 folks asked to stay were called into their interviews one by one.
Again, I’d be laaaaast.
For once, I was not at alllllll concerned, nervous or apprehensive in any way. I have never felt more prepared for an interview in my entire life. Or maybe I was just too exhausted to be nervous. Either way...I was oddly calm.
There’s a calmness that comes with clarity, I suppose. And I am very clear on why I’m here. I may not be the most talented, but with the passion and dedication I have to contribute, I just might be the most unabashedly committed. And that may not be "cool," but at least it's real. I am super excited to have a chance to be part of this community of artists...Even if it's just for today! I can't deny it! And I cannot think of anything better that I could possibly be doing than graduating from Juilliard in 4 years. No joke. That's pretty much the greatest thing I could imagine.
I’ve spent a lot of time this year getting to know Juilliard by watching everything I could find online, touring the school, attending the information sessions, and seeing all the 4th year shows. But, not only that, I've also been getting to know MYSELF waaaaay better than ever before by blogging about this whole process of preparation for grad school auditions. This blog has been the greatest catalyst for change in my life that I've ever experienced.
So, in other words, I know me and I know the school well enough to feel with deep conviction that I'd totally LoVE studying here for four years...with NO reservations what-so-ever.
"Thank you, Universe! I get to share my story! Fun!!!"
Around 10pm or so, I am escorted into James Houghton’s office and Rebecca Guy is seated by his side. His office is decorated in a modern style with clean lines and cool muted greys, with a simple desk, low circular glass table and two small couches. In stark contrast to the coolness of the furniture and the walls were a couple of HUGE, beautiful, warmly hued and many-colored pieces of art hanging on the walls. It is a beautifully balanced space, showing an affinity for both…stark simplicity contrasted with deep, rich, complexity. Love it. I feel at home.
Jim welcomes me in and I am directed to sit on the couch. Jim and Becky sit in two rolling chairs, opposite me.
As we begin, they make me feel as if I were a colleague or a friend rather than an applicant. Their kindness and curiosity and respect for my efforts in auditioning for Juilliard are deeply felt by me. I am happy to open-up and share... I discuss the blog! It is sooo fun to get the opportunity to talk about it and how incredible that whole experience has been with all of you guys this year.
(The preparation process has been so fulfilling (in and of itself) that I've actually found that I'm LESS attached to the weightiness of the outcome. I mean, I still want to be accepted to grad school. But if I don’t…I will it won’t be because I didn’t try my hardest and give it my ALL. And that by sharing my journey, there’s been value in it to other people too!!! We all (secretly) want to pursue a crazy dream…even if it doesn’t turn out the way you’d hoped or expected, you still grow from it.)
The interview is coming to an end and Jim asks me where else I am applying. I tell him NYU and Yale. Then he wishes me the best of luck on my journey and I really feel like he means it deeply. So no matter what, I feel a great sense of joy in the notion that someone that I respect and admire so much respects me back! To me, THAT’s better than any acceptance letter could ever be. That is success.
I am hopeful that I will get an email on February 17, asking me to come back to the school for the callback weekend in March! That would be WAAAAAY awesome, but if not…at least I know that even in this crazy-long audition day, I represented myself accurately, unapologetically, unreservedly, and passionately, with all my fears and flaws.
Juilliard really got an opportunity to see who I am…now only they can know if I am the right fit for their program, the kind of artist they’re interested in spending the next four years getting to know and helping to stretch and strengthen as an actor.
This day has been a dream come true...But it is a day that would NEVER HAVE HAPPENED if I had listened to allllll my doubts and fears. So I'm going to pull out my soap box and remind you all of a few things that I need to remind myself of...
Don’t underestimate yourself. Don’t let others underestimate you. Dream big. Put yourself out there. There will be people who will reach out and support you in your goals. Don’t forget…You’re not alone.
Thank you to you all for reading and giving me the opportunity to share my story with you.