There were four names on the "End of Day Callback List" from the morning session of auditions. FOUR NAMES.
I'd already gotten further this year than I had in the past two years.
No big crowds of people hovering over the list this time. Just me and a few others...I got close enough to read the names. I scan the list for mine.
No Virginia Wilcox.
I read the names again.
Still no Virginia Wilcox.
If your name is not on this list, Wilcox, you are no longer being considered for admission in Fall 2012.
It's over. No Yale for me.
(Uh-oh, Brain...Here we go…We are about to begin the Kübler-Ross Five Stages of Grief.)
"The Death of a Dream"
by Virginia (the rejected) Wilcox
STAGE ONE: DENIAL
Wait a minute…This can't be right. What if this is the wrong list? What if this is the hourly callback list?
So I turn to the girl standing next to me… “This is the “End of Day Callback list” from the morning session, right?” If I was about to walk out that door and leave New Haven, I wanted to make SURE there was no mistake and I was looking at the right list. “This is it?”
“Yup.” She nods.
“Oh.” I sigh.
I step back slowly.
No amount of staring at that sheet of paper will make my name appear.
STAGE TWO: ANGER
Damn. This sucks.
Why is auditioning for grad school so freeeeeking competitive?!
STAGE THREE: BARGAINING
If only I had done my OTHER contemporary piece…Maybe they would have liked that better? Or perhaps if I had worn the other shirt I brought. Maybe I’m not pretty enough, not tall enough, too tall, too skinny, too Caucasian, my hair is too short, I'm too old…Oh, if only I were a man! There are always waaay more girls auditioning than boys...I should have eaten a bigger breakfast this morning…I should have worked-out more the past few months...Dyed my hair...Taken another acting class…Something…If only they had worked with me, given me an adjustment, then they would have seen that I can take direction and that might have changed their minds...It was the Shakespeare! Had to have been!...If only...If only...If only...
STAGE FOUR: DEPRESSION
Dude. I suck. I am not talented enough to get into Yale. How many times do I have to get rejected from this school for it to sink in to my thick skull? Who was I kidding? The odds are IMPOSSIBLE anyway. There is no point in trying. Maybe I should just take this as a sign that I'm not meant to do this acting thing anymore...not professionally anyway.
That angry girl that called me a "second rate cruise ship actress" a couple of years ago was RIGHT...I'm never going to be a REAL actress. I'm just a fake. A "wanna-be." I should give up now.
Annnnnnnd I have to confess to everyone that reads the blog that I FAILED AGAIN. Soooooooo embarrrrassing. I am a loser. Ugh. Argh. Bleh.
STAGE FIVE: ACCEPTANCE
Well, it's time for me to gather what remains of my dignity and self-respect and head for home. Thank goodness I have a life that I like to go back to. Glad I tried. At least I won’t ever have to wonder what would have happened.
Who knows? Maybe I'll try again next year...And REALLY nail that Shakespeare monologue!
(As of 2012, the Yale School of Drama has not set a limit for how many times you can audition for the Acting program. FYI.)
Done...with all those thoughts.
Done...with my Yale audition.
It's allllllll done. That was my third and final audition for the "season."
I took a breath. And felt a surprising sense of relief as I walked out the heavy red door and out into the crisp New Haven air.
Have to give myself sooooome credit...'cause I did it. I auditioned AGAIN...and it was a waaaaaay better audition than I've ever given at Yale. And I got farther than I've ever gotten too! That's progress!
Am I disappointed that I didn't make it to "End Of Day Callbacks?" OF COURSE I AM!
But am I devastated? No...welllllll.....no.
I am going to allow myself to have a leeeeeetle bit of a pity party on my way home though...Only natural...all part of the mourning process...
This is how I party...pity...party...
Cue: Sad violin solo
As I walked back to the New Haven train station. I thought about all the restaurants in New Haven I'd never get to try,...the cute little apartment I wouldn't have to look for,...the other Yale students I wouldn't get to meet,...all the awesome classes I wouldn't get to take,...all the shows I wouldn't get to see,...the Ivy-League boyfriend I'd never fall in love with,...and the student loans I wouldn't have to take out.
Kidding aside, I can't lie. No Yale for 2012...does make me sad.
But I have to believe that I am needed elsewhere.
There are soooooo many other options out there...I could get accepted to another grad school this year (still in-the-running at Juilliard and NYU)...or maybe this isn't "my year" for grad school after all (there's always next year)...or maybe there's some other creative job or opportunity in store for me in 2012 that's even BETTER...something incredibly wonderful...not yet seen or anticipated.
I mean, after got rejected from both NYU and Yale last year...I NEVER THOUGHT I'd be writing a blog about auditioning for grad school for a third time. And this has been the most fun and challenging project ever! Sooooo it's good. It's alllllll good.
What happened at today's audition was exactly what was SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. (Mediocre Shakespeare monologue and all!)
Rejection is God's protection, right? So Yale's not the right place for me right now. And I have to trust that...as much as it may hurt my ego in this moment...I mean, everybody wants to "win the prize," right? To be the favored one...To be selected out of the massive crowd!
But when you're not selected...you have to reflect...and ask yourself...Am I sad that I didn't get into Yale because I really wanted to be there...Or am I sad just 'cause I didn't WIN?
Sometimes I just wanna win,...ya know?
Can't get down on myself for not "making it." I know I did my best. I have no control over Ron and Walton's personal preferences. (Jack Plotnick has an awesome article about how to deal with it when casting people "don't like you." I highly recommend that you CLICK HERE to read it.)
Deep down, I know that I've still got a lot to offer the world as an artist and I'm excited about being able to give my love, my passion and my creativity to a community of people that will want me as a collaborator. So I'll stay open to those opportunities...No matter where they may come from!
Annnnd when I want a little after-party-pity-party...It's nice to take comfort in some familiar things...Like a strong shoulder to rest my head on...listening to Jason Mraz on my iPhone...writing in my journal...emails and FB comments from supportive friends like YOU...who have been cheering me on and encouraging me allll along the way...and will love me no matter what happens at the end of this project...grad school acceptance 2012 or no. That's comforting.
For today, I am allowing myself the time to mourn the loss of my Yale dream.
I'm allowed that. It's only natural.
But I do know (from past experience)...that I will survive...and in retrospect...I will probably look back on this and say, "Wow. NOT getting into Yale was the BEST thing that's never happened to me."
Sending you all big love for 2012 and beyond. Onward and upward!
P.S. I would love for someone to volunteer to do a GUEST POST ABOUT YALE CALLBACKS. So if you or anyone you know makes it to the final callback weekend at Yale, send me an email at via virginia wilcox at gmail dot com, and we can discuss a guest post opportunity. I would LOVE to be able to feature your Yale experience on the blog! (You could even do it anonymously, if you're shy.) It'd be sooooooo awesome to have an account of Yale Callbacks to "round-out" the Acceptance Project! Spread the word! Thanks for your help, guys!