When I was a little girl, I dreamed of growing up and being an actress! I wanted to star in movies and bring characters to life. I joined an acting group when I was 12 and on account of my pre-teen figured, played both female and male roles. We did adaptations of fairy tales and Shakespeare, and while I played supporting roles, I always wanted to be the lead. I loved memorizing my lines and learning the blocking from the script. I even loved that we would travel to perform at schools and festivals.
One thing I didn’t like were the older kids in the group who were rude, mean and unprofessional. And by that I mean actually cutting a fellow actor with a stage sword, heating up a pocket knife with a lighter and dropping it on another actors leg, teasing, mocking and getting high right before curtain. While the idea of getting high before the show might not seem so shocking to people now, to me as a 12 year old, it was. Actually, thinking back on it, its still crazy because that girl was only 14! Once during Romeo & Juliet, the guys playing Mercurio and Benvolio lifted up my dress up and showed the entire audience my green and brown boxers which was not as rehearsed. Not very Shakespearean (the boxers or the deed), but even through my embarrassment, I knew, the show must go on. When I was off stage I remember being so humiliated and not just because of the flashing and being caught off guard like that, but also because I had let those guys get to me. Here I was working hard and wanting to have better roles, and the ones who had them weren’t taking it seriously. And if by their actions, they were taking it seriously, then I didn’t want to get it that way. I felt like I wasn’t good enough and that I would always be type cast. Which I usually was, as the dorky boy.
Our time together came to a close due to a tragic event in the director’s family. By this time I was in high school and everyone in my youth group knew I wanted to be an actress when I grew up. I even had a friend who did as well and we would practice our Oscar speeches together. However, I let my feelings of failure and insecurity from my previous acting group follow me and I was too scared to audition for the school play. I didn’t even sign up for drama class. I let that dream die for no good reason.
Not taking drama in high school, however, did lead me to taking art classes which lead me to photography. If you are reading this post, I imagine you can fill in the gaps 😉 One thing I’ve learned growing up is that if you have dreams and goals for yourself, go for it! No one is stopping you except yourself. People always say, “What do you have to loose?” But recently, I’ve heard someone ask, “What do you have to gain?” If you set your mind to something and try to accomplish it, even if you fail, you are still further along than had you done nothing! Someone told me today that failure inspires greatness and I think it’s so interesting to think about because so often we let the fear of failure dictate our choices, but if we embrace the fact that we might fail, so what? At least we tried and that’s more than my freshman self can say. Just because you fail, it doesn’t define you. Maybe that wasn’t the best way to go about achieving your goals or maybe you learned so much about yourself and your dreams. Or maybe you will discover an even better dream! Personally, I think I’m better at capturing life and love through my camera than I was at pretending to be someone else 🙂
Whatever your dreams are and whatever you are facing, don’t let fear hold you back. I believe in you and I know you can do it! I am currently in a season of change and I am so excited to face things head on because I know good things are in store for me. I will not hold myself back any more. And maybe one day when I have more free time, I’ll tackle that stage again. 🙂
If you are in the same boat or if you are afraid of something, I’d love encourage you. Leave me a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you have a lovely, encouraged day! xoxo Sarah