As many of you know -or don’t know, but now know- I have always dreamed of living in Europe. I have very fond memories of being about ten years old and learning about the continent of Europe in a very early social studies class and it seemed like this mythical abstract region, it was certainly a place that was very complex, with many languages and micro-cultures and this older history that just didn’t quite exist in the United States -the United States is such a young country by comparison.
I enjoy a bit of history, so if you will please stay with me while I backtrack a bit, your patience is much appreciated. The United States was officially founded on July 4, 1776 when the representatives of the original Thirteen Colonies signed the Declaration of Independence. Just imagine that these individuals were the spokespeople for their entire colony. The original Thirteen Colonies were: Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia. These delegates signed the Declaration of Independence -which declared that the U.S. was an independent nation, thus a new nation was born and we (new America) were freed from British rule and the Monarchy. Included in the young-ish history of the U.S. -relative to European history, it’s important to note that during the time period of 1776, slavery was still institutionalized and in practice. Also, well before the Declaration of Independence was signed it’s important to note that Indigenous Tribes inhabited the lands of the United States. Historically, Native Americans can be traced back waaaayyyyy before major European exploration and colonization, even before Christopher Columbus’ 1492 arrival to the Americas -this was 284 years before American independence, but it’s still a part of the complex history of the United States.
So, in this social studies class ten year old me was wildly daydreaming about relocating and establishing a life for myself in Europe, while simultaneously dreaming of acting on stage (at the time I was extremely shy but I mostly wanted to be a great Shakespearean actor, memorize all the classics, and sing Phantom of the Opera, CATS, the Sound of Music, and Les Miserable type of musicals). I used to take my hairbrush and recite movies and dialogue from plays I had seen in my childhood bathroom mirror while standing on the top of the toilet-seat lid.
Fast forward many, many, many years to a time when I was studying at the Actors Studio and auditioning and working in New York City, and there came a point where I wasn’t sure that I wanted to keep acting. In fact, I quit. There’s no other way around the word. I completely and totally quit, and felt like the biggest failure on earth (that wasn’t the first time I “failed”, but more on that in another post) It’s such a dirty word but there… I said it. I quit. Q.U.I.T.!!! But, that quitting was the catalyst that propelled me to finally move to Europe, to re-calibrate and start over.
Anyway, I randomly decided to get an international English Teaching Certification and to work at a Preschool while I found my identity and professional goals outside of my acting career. Why teaching you may ask? First, I absolutely adore children. They’re sweet, pure and curious about the world in the kindest sense that it is totally infectious. I always hoped that if circumstances in my life were right and that I met the right person, I would love to have two children of my own. So, my coworker learned about auditions for the 2019 Vagina Monologues here in Prague and she talked me into auditioning. I was supposed to audition on Wednesday, but truth be told…I was incredibly reluctant about going. I actually cancelled my audition, not once, but twice -which is super unprofessional, I know(!!!), I’m shaking my head in disbelief at myself as I confess this. Eventually, by the grace of the universe, there was a cancellation for an audition slot on Friday and I marched out of my door and to the audition! The director was really really sweet and I had fun, a lot of fun! I auditioned for the role of “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy”. Which, if you have read, seen or know of Eve Ensler or the play, there’s a lot of “surprise, triple orgasm” moaning. The role is juicy and complex, and as an actor, I was so excited to explore the character. Did I mention the audition was hilarious and so much fun?! So much fun that I finally felt more alive again, I’m twirling my hair with my finger and wondering why I quit in the first place.
Auditions are auditions so, we’ll see that happens, I find out if I get cast on Monday.
To my audience, have you ever “quit” something, only to get back into it when the time was right or you were more prepared and ready? What was it, what did you learn and how did you feel?