That title is from George Carlin, who’s a hero of mine. If you don’t know him, start with his piece about stuff and enjoy going down the rabbit hole of his genius.
But it’s that advice that he gave as he neared the end of his life that I find myself think about this evening, as I plan my day tomorrow. Depression has taken a brief reprieve (potentially because I did something as simple as begin the search for the right psychologist), and I’ve been taking advantage of that to the best of my ability- in fact, I had my first big audition here in Melbourne just yesterday.
While I don’t feel comfortable admitting who they are at this moment, I can tell you that it is paid work (which is a huge tick right there as any slogging actor knows), and it’s ongoing all year round. So naturally, after not acting in anything big for over six months for The Brain Room I was pretty nervous, and I said it was probably unlikely the audition would go anywhere.
I entered the space, confident, determined to do my best- but not overly concerned and/or desperate as I know I have been in the past. And here’s the thing- I fucked it up. Not a lot, but… enough. A fudged word, here and there, a need to improvise through to the next bit I know, move along, move along, hope they don’t notice. But I did what any actor does on stage and faked it, kept moving forward. I tried to have fun with it and ended up only showing my mounting discomfort at staying on the metaphorical bicycle right at the end.
They seemed cheery. Nice people. They told me that I took direction well, and I projected well and that even though I messed up “I didn’t let it show” which is important.
I nodded, I smiled, I said “thank you”, but in my head I was quietly confident that it would proceed no further. I received compliments from the casting directors, but as far as I was concerned it was just them trying to be nice so I wouldn’t throw a chair at them on exit. I’d heard it all before.
Imagine my surprise then, when I learned I had a callback! A real one. For real acting. What a huge step. What a opportunity. What a-
Okay seriously, who’s messing with me?!
I was legitimately shocked. But then I remember that sage advice from my husky voiced hero, George, (fun fact, a lot of my heroes have weird or overly loud voices, go figure), it’s important to not give a shit.
I went in there, confident but not needy, not too intense, just wanting to perform for the sake of performing. Not too long ago I may have cancelled on my audition just to save myself the embarrassment my brain conjured up for me. Now, I seem to be handling writing out my schedule, keeping to it, and even doing work WAY BEFORE A DEADLINE.
Tomorrow I go back in there to improvise and do work with other actors, which I’m so excited about. Amongst that I’m going for an audition for a music show among lots of other creative endeavors.
And I’m okay. I am legitimately okay. I’m not freaking out, despite the fact I am busy and having to balance many things.
I owe it all, I think, to finally taking Uncle George’s advice. I feel deeply passionate about my work, I’m willing to go through hell to get closer to my goals. But I think I’m finally finding a balance, learning to relax, when to let go, to not give a shit. I didn’t get that thing? There’s another thing. No feces given.
I don’t give a shit, for once. And it feels great.