Sunday, April 1, 2012

180. Last Post Of The Project

"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." - Jack Plotnick, New Thoughts For Actors

Let's start by revisiting the mission statement of this blog as I envisioned it back in September 2011:

"This is my 3rd year applying to the MFA Acting Programs at NYU and Yale and my 1st year applying at Juilliard. I am blogging to record my process of preparation. From Sept 5th, 2011 to Apr 1st, 2012, I will post 6 days a week on all subjects related to my creative process and my application and audition preparation... Though my short-term goal is to be accepted to the grad school of my dreams, this is but a step toward the long-term goal of building a life/career that will be joyful, sustainable, creatively fulfilling, profitable, challenging, of service and FUN!"

Did I complete the project according to the guidelines specified above?


Do I consider this a success?


Did I get accepted to grad school?

The jury is still out, actually...Well, I do know this...It's not Yale and not Juilliard, not this year anyway.

But I am currently an alternate (one of two) for the 2012 entering class for NYU Grad Acting. Soooo I could possibly get a call if someone drops out...even up-to the day before classes begin. OR...I could never hear from them again.

Either way...I got waaaaaaaay further than I have in the past two years that I've auditioned for grad schools...and, more importantly, because of the blog the EXPERIENCE of the entire process was sooooooo much more fun and challenging and rewarding than it ever was before.

Do I consider this a success?

Yes...I'm going for progress. And progress has been made.

One of the other reasons I started this blog, was because I WISHED SO MUCH that someone else had started a blog like this to share their process when I was first auditioning for grad school.

My first year, the process was sooooo lonely and I had NO CLUE what I was doing and I reeeeeeeally wanted to know what the process had REALLY been like for other people that were eventually accepted. I mean, what were they really thinking at the time when they were preparing to audition? Were they really as unsure as I was about whether or not they would succeed at this endeavor?

But I didn't know a lot of people that had been through it, and those that I did know...I was too scared to ask them to reveal all the inner-workings of it all.

And, besides, it's easy to look back in retrospect once you've already succeeded and go "Oh, I did this or that." But what were you ACTUALLY THINKING at the time before you KNEW you'd succeed???...That's what interested me the most.

Were these successful people having the same thoughts and struggles as I was? The same kind of experience? Or did they know some secret that I didn't know? Were those people that had gotten into these programs just as scared as I was that they weren't good enough to "make-it?"...Yet...they made it happen anyway. So if they could do it...why not me?

The nice thing about auditioning for graduate school can keep trying again.

2010 = 1st year of auditioning at NYUYale  = calledback at NYU, but not accepted

2011 = 2nd year of auditioning at NYU & Yale = waitlisted at NYU, but not accepted

Soooooo when I came upon my third year of auditioning at NYU, Yale and now Juilliard (since they now offer an MFA)...and I realized that I had learned a lot about what it takes to make solid showing at grad school auditions...I thought, "Dude! I could write a blog about this! Ha!" And though I am no expert...I am certainly more knowledgeable than I was my first year.

So I decided to write this blog myself since there might be someone like ME out there...auditioning for the first time...wondering what to expect...needing a little inspiration and encouragement to stay focused and keep their head in the game throughout the process. So if that's YOU...then I wrote this blog for

On that note, here is a TIME-SAVING TIP FOR USING THIS BLOG and really makes it easier to use (I hope!)...I've included a "TOPICS" section on the right sidebar. See if there are any words that pop out at you that might be reflective of where you are at in YOUR PROCESS or a topic relevant to YOUR LIFE. Click there. Read. The "TOPICS" are a huge time-saver to point you toward cool subject-matter that might be of interest to YOU.

Happy reading!

Next item on the agenda for today...

Just want to take the time to say THANK YOU to some very important people that have supported me along the way to making this blog exist and to help me in having the best possible experience applying to grad school in 2012.

These folks have racked up some seeeeerious positive credit in their good-Karma-accounts...

First and foremost thank you to my 100 EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS!!! You have been the most active participants in this journey. It is for YOU that I have posted every day. Your attention has kept me accountable to staying-with-it through this process and giving it my ALL.

I have always tried to honor your commitment by sending you inspiring quotes, words of encouragement and my own honest personal hopes that we can all help each other to pursue our creative dreams in our own unique, authentic way.

Thank you for alllll of your comments and emails over the span of the project. (I read every single one. Bloggers are c r a z y about receiving comments from readers. It is our greatest joy.) I know you've had the option to "unsubscribe" every day. So thank you for sticking with me and continuing your subscription throughout the process. You have made a difference in this girl's life. :-)

And thank you to...

Kathryn Bild (my monologue coach and author of my favorite acting book Acting From A Spiritual Perspective)

Adam Gilbert (MyBodyTutor and blogging inspiration)

Dylan Patrick (NYC headshot photographer, who does ammmmmazing work at a totally affordable price and is one of the nicest people you've ever met)

My four friends that agreed to let me interview them and post their words-of-wisdom on the blog:

And a big THANK YOU to Dorothy Wilcox (my mom) for donating her court-reporting skills and transcribing the interview recordings into text, so that I could post them on the blog for your reading pleasure.

Thanks to the faculty and staff of the acting programs at NYU, Yale and Juilliard. Your job is to create an environment where young actors, like me, can learn and grow and train for a successful career in the performing arts. And all three of your programs strive to do that in the very BEST way for your students. Very admirable. In my humble opinion, it's actor-utopia!

And though I've never been accepted for admission. I still appreciate what you do. You facilitate positive change and artistic growth in young people's creative lives, giving them the tools to succeed and thrive as artists in the "real world." That's AMAZING! Thank you for all the support and guidance that you are giving to the next generation of emerging artists. Our entire world will benefit from this investment.

A special thank you to Robert Parsons for being my teacher, mentor and friend through-out all my years applying grad school and well before then too. Thank you for reminding me that I've "got what it takes" even when I've forgotten what that is exactly. Your enthusiastic support has made me feel like I'm not crazy for choosing this life...and that I WILL be able to support myself financially with my acting-paychecks some day! Thank you for believing in my abilities as an artist and encouraging me to continue to follow my heart.

Thanks to all of the wonderful people that wrote me recommendation letters for Yale, NYU and Juilliard this year. And to those that wrote me letters for my applications in 2011 and 2010, as well. You know who you are! Your support has been essential in this process. Thank you.

Shout-out to Matt Steiner for being an exceptional friend and writing me a very well-timed letter of encouragement that came into my inbox at a very loooooow point in the process for me. He wrote...
"...This project may have felt, at times, like a vehicle to take you to a place where you would then make some great artistic contribution. But, to me, this is the greatest artistic contribution that you could have given to anyone at this point in your life. You've given the rest of us the permission to fail. And in that, you've encouraged us to risk enough to succeed. I'm very proud of you, Virginia. Congratulations." 
I meeeeean, could anyone possibly say anything more encouraging than that? Seriously. And thank you, Matt, for collaborating with me in getting my monologues recorded on video and uploaded to YouTube. The whole process was a JOY because of you. Thanks for helping to make that happen!

Thank you to Ms. Brittany V. Green for writing the guest posts about your NYU Callback Weekend. And congratulations on your acceptance!...With a scholarship to boot! You are going to grow sooooo much from the experience! Cannot wait to see what's next for you! So happy that we connected at Juilliard callbacks. Congrats on NYU.

Thanks to all those folks that attended the MIXER and the VISION BOARD PARTY! Soooo much fun. And if anyone else out there has completed a vision board for me a photo and I'll post it on the blog!

HUGE THANK YOU to Adam Baker of ManVsDebt for interviewing me for his documentary. I'm Fine,Thanks. It's scheduled for release in Summer 2012. Best of luck with the rest of the filming and editing process. I think it's an incredibly timely and moving project that's taking a time to reflect on the issue of complacency in our modern society. I cannot wait to see it!!!

And thanks to alll of the other bloggers that have inspired me with their incredible words of wisdom...I don't think I've ever commented on a single one of your blogs...but you've changed my life sharing your experiences online. You're in my inbox daily. I am grateful to: Zen Habits, Everyday Bright, Happiness Project, Seth Godin, Ramit Sethi, Jonathan Fields, Stephen Pressfield and Ken Davenport.

If you want inspiring new perspectives coming into your inbox every day...I'd highly recommend subscribing to any of these blogs.

Four authors that have inspired me beyond what my limited vocabulary can express: Dr. Wayne Dyer, Anna Deavere Smith, Jack Plotnick and Julia Cameron. You've given me support, guidance and mentorship through your written words. You've helped me relocate my core whenever I've lost my focus, forgotten who I am or what is truly important to me. Thank you for taking the time to write.

Some special mentions...Anna Alaimo, Jessica Raaum, Josh Heath, Haley Pulli, Alexis Jeanene, Dione Rábago, Marisa Abdoo, Claire Kennedy-Vega, Keola Simpson, Peter Evans, Chris Fore, Erin Shaw, Vanessa Nelson, Mary Schneider, Jake DeGroot, Alysha Umphress, Christine Kapp, Clint Alexander, Stephen Kling, Joey Costello, Nick Dothée, Laura Ware...and many, many more...You have alllll allowed me to talk-my-face-off about creative process and acting and blogging and dreams and hopes and ya-da-ya-da-ya-da...and you've all listened and nodded and responded in kind and made me feel like you all care. So thanks for being my friends!

Thank you everyone that has NOT been supportive of this everyone that has everyone that has made snarky/judgemental everyone that has looked at me like I'm totally INSANE when I've told them about what I'm doing. You have made me stronger by reminding me that I am not looking to others for outside approval in order to motivate me to do this project, but that it is my own inner creative aspiration to grow as a human being that ultimately keeps me going.

I have learned that by doing the best job that I can with this project, my commitment to daily practice will result in an improvement of my skills and that by having FUN with the process I am able to release my attachment to the outcome.

The PROCESS is the point.

It is ME I have to inspire and impress. THAT'S HOW TO BUILD CONFIDENCE. So thank you to all the nay-sayers. You've been truly motivating force.

Annnnnnd....Thanks to alllll the folks that have stumbled upon my blog from Sept 5, 2011 to Apr 1, 2012...and to all of you that will read the blog in the future!

Many of you have found the blog through Google or FB or Twitter or a recommendation from a friend...Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave comments or email me. I'll do my best to respond.

(You know what totally blows my mind?...Up to this point I've had over 28,000 hits. Wowzers! Who knew so many people would be interested in reading about this subject?! Crazy, right?)

Oh! And thank you to all the folks at my day-job. You don't know how much you all mean to me. And though I haven't told any of you about this project...yet...I love you all and look forward to seeing you at the office every day. My time with you is limited and therefore I appreciate it all the more.

And last, but not least, thank you to the higher power...God...the Universe...whatever you'd like to be called. I know that you are working your magic in my life and I am grateful for your silent protection and the loving gift you've given me...this life. I will continue to try and do my best with all that I've been given every day.

Those are my "thank yous."

So what's next for me?

Who knows?

But if you want me to keep you'll have to subscribe by email. That way, any updates I post will be sent straight to your inbox.

I will NOT be posting six days a week anymore. (LOL! I need to have TIME to do other things again.) But I will let you know what happens with NYU...for sure. And if I decide to apply to grad school again next year... And...if there's anything else that I feel INSPIRED to post about...that I think might be relevant and interesting to you guys...I promise I'll post about that stuff, as it comes up.

Thanks for reading.

Best wishes to all for 2012 and beyond.

Virginia Wilcox

"There's nothing anyone can do to prevent you from reaching your potential; the challenge is for you to identify your dream, develop the skills to get there, and exhibit character and leadership. Then, you need to have the courage to periodically reassess, make adjustments, and pursue a course that reflects who you truly are." - Robert S. Kaplan, "Reaching Your Potential," Harvard Business Review

P.S. I'll leave you with this...

(Thanks, NKD.)