Perseverance; per·se·ver·ance – steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. synonyms: persistence, tenacity, determination, staying power, indefatigability, steadfastness, purposefulness; patience, endurance, application, diligence, dedication, commitment, doggedness, assiduity, tirelessness, stamina; intransigence, obstinacy; “in a competitive environment, perseverance is an invaluable asset”
How do you persevere when you know your career will consist of failing 9 times out of 10?
My daughter is studying Music Theater Performance. A career that guarantees she will consistently be rejected 9 times out of 10. She’s already experienced a lot of success with even more rejection.
A couple of months ago my daughter was preparing to audition for a role she really wanted. She did everything right. She worked with her voice teacher on selecting and preparing a song appropriate for the show. A song that would showcase her formidable vocal talent. When she received her sides (excerpts from the script) she identified her operative words and gave everything she had to the audition. She wasn’t cast in the show and she was devastated. She grieved over not getting a part. She will experience this over and over again throughout her career.
What she did next impressed me. Clare went to her mentor, who is co-directing the show, to find out about what she could have done better in the audition. In this case, Clare stood out and didn’t blend as well with the other actresses reading for the show.
There are many reasons an actor will not be cast. And in many cases it is simply beyond the actor’s control:
- You’re too tall.
- You’re too short.
- You’re too pretty.
- You’re not pretty enough.
- You’re too fat.
- You’re too thin.
- You’re too blonde.
- You’re not blonde enough.
You get the picture……
“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews
If At First You Don’t Succeed….Try, Try Again!
Clare had gone through quite a few auditions with no success. So, she pulled on her bootstraps and started auditioning again. She landed the coveted role of Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors at the same time she landed a role in Godspell. Clare opted for Godspell as she wanted to stretch and work with a reputable director. Godspell is timely given everything going on in our beautiful city of Baltimore (but that is a post for another day). Clare continued with her voice lessons, working on monologues, and taking classes to hone her craft. She recently landed one of her “bucket” roles as Amber von Tussel in Hairspray, which will be staged by Purple Light Theater Company in residence at UMBC this summer. The cast will be opening Hon Fest in Baltimore. Hon Fest is a wonderful opportunity for the Hairspray cast and crew to showcase their talents.
Tips for Persevering
- Remain steadfast in your purpose
- Visualize your success
- Remain curious
- Say yes when everyone else is saying no
- NEVER give up – your success may come from your next effort
- Tune out the nay-sayers
- Wake up early enough to get a jump on your day
- Exercise regularly
- Take time to meditate and experience joy in small ways
- Get adequate sleep
Here’s a link to Clare’s Howard County Rising Star performance of Gimme Gimme.