In 2013, at the Boston Book Festival, I met this fantastic woman, Jackie Hennessey, of Venting Sessions. She was delightful, and sweet, and funny, and smart so we made friends. She introduced me to Listen To Your Mother, having been a cast member in Rhode Island. I told Robyn about it, and we both sent essays to the Austin show in 2014.
Robyn was an Austin cast member last year, and her remarkable essay will be part of the Listen To Your Mother book, which you can pre-order here.
This year, I sent in another essay. This year, I was invited to audition.
Normally, I’m pretty public with things like that. If I’m going to audition for something, I’m usually gabbling about it to anyone who will listen. I get excited, and I get talkie. I mean, I even post when I’m submitting manuscripts and collecting rejections by the pound. I don’t know why this was different, but I only let a few people in on it.
As of this writing, I have no idea whether, or not I’ll be cast. I think I made a fair showing. I read well. I didn’t disgrace myself, or faint, or freeze up. I also was not stellar. I walked out feeling very -enh- about my performance.
That I had nightmares leading up to it says all I need to say about how important it was to me, but my excitement at just having been asked to audition my piece says a lot more. It was one of those rare events where it really is an honor just to be nominated. It felt really good to present my work aloud, and to have an audience for the words I wanted to say.
I would say the piece worked because the laughs came in the right places, and the smiles softened when they were supposed to, and I gave it my all.
I would say that I need work because I have a terrible time claiming any kind of victory for my own creation. I had to dork it up as soon as I was finished because I am so uncomfortable taking myself seriously in front of people.
Paraphrasing a line from my own essay, I know that failure isn’t losing, but failure is in refusing to play because you’re afraid to lose. I never sit one out because I’m afraid to lose, but I blow a lot of raspberries at myself because I’m afraid to get caught enjoying a win. It’s a lot easier for me to clown around and pretend to be a goof-up, than it is for me to admit I think I’m kind of awesome.
I am kind of awesome, whether I get cast, or not.
Last year, I sent an essay to 3 cities and go no calls. This year, I sent an essay to two cities, and I was invited to two auditions. I have my second audition this coming Saturday. However it shakes out, I’ve already improved on my own record. And however it shakes out, I’m proud of myself for trying again.
That’s what I want to model for my kid. Enjoy the trying as much as you enjoy the winning, and you’ll never have to worry too much about failing.
Meanwhile, go pre-order the LYTM book because Robyn’s essay is so good!