Monday, September 12, 2011

Jump and Fall 'Till You Fly

(That is an actual picture of me standing on a cliff in the Orkney Islands.)

When I graduated from High School, I wrote a song entitled I Could Be for my family, talking about how much they've influenced my life and how they've always believed in me. Here's part of one of the verses:

And now I have courage to try
I'll jump and I'll fall 'till I fly

When I wrote these lyrics, I believed every word of them. Since, I've obviously had times when I've doubted  and haven't been willing to get up after I fall.

Since my first week of school here at Brigham Young University, I've been auditioning for shows. Every single show. A year and a half, I auditioned, not getting a single role in anything.

Friday night, I was ready to give up. I was signed up for auditions for a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, but decided to skip it. I thought I was just wasting my time.

As I sat in the fine arts center, my friend Darcilee came up to me. She'd just auditioned for the murder mystery, and was wondering why I wasn't there. I told her about my fears, how I didn't think I was good enough or would ever get a role in anything.

She had two words for me: bull crap. Okay, she didn't say those specific words (because it's not her way of speaking) but that was her message to me. She didn't try to force me to do anything, but she let me know she believed in me.

I took a deep breath after she left and decided to suck it up and try again. When I looked at the audition board, I saw there was an audition that night for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. By coincidence, I'd watched the movie earlier that week. Though I only had half a monologue prepared and the director wanted two contrasting monologues ready, I decided to go anyway. Luckily she had some cold reads for people who weren't as prepared.

I felt better after the audition and had a good time, despite my worries. The next morning, I got up and immediately checked my email. I'd made callbacks. I was excited, but still not hopeful--I've made callbacks before, and nothing ever came of it.

Callbacks were a blast, and I had a lot of fun just letting go and being myself. In the back of my mind, though, was the thought that this wasn't worth it. I wasn't going to get a role. I might as well give up.

The director, Heather Starr (coolest name ever, right?) told us she would have the cast list posted by Monday morning. She said she would email us, and when I still didn't have an email this morning I figured my suspicions had been correct. Still, I wanted to check the board and see who'd made it. I knew it would be hard for me to not see my name on the list yet again, but it was something I had to face.

I walked up to the board and read that Heather's internet had been down, which was why she didn't email us. My stomach flipped. I scanned the page.

Gertrude/Player 2------Tiffany Garner

If I knew how, I would have done a backflip right then.

So what's my point in telling you this story?

Don't give up. Never give up. Someday, you'll find the right fit--the right agent/editor, the right publishing house--and fulfill your dreams. You are worth it, and all your hard work will pay off. I'm going to remind myself of my experience with auditioning as I start to query. It will be long and hard, but it will work out in the end.

I'll jump and I'll fall till I fly



  1. Oh man, isn't that the best feeling EVER? Congratluations! You're going to be great!

  2. Congrats on getting the part of Gertrude!
    Love that pic of you standing on the clifftop.

  3. Great advice! And I love your lyrics :)

  4. Such an awesome truth! I love when people share stories like this!!! Thank you for sharing. So glad you checked the board even though you didn't get an email - crazy stuff like that happens.


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