Rejection and Resilience – The Show Must Go On!

Molly Mahoney DAG Photog

Rejection. It exists.

It is a HUGE part of pursuing an artistic career.

Imagine that you are at an audition for the entire creative staff of a huge Broadway show. The room is filled with 36 dancers who are all “triple threats.”

They are stellar singers. They are astounding actors. They are fierce dancers.

And, there’s YOU!

That alone is a lot to take in.

The choreography is perfect for you stylistically. You have this callback in the bag. The choreographer explains that there is an “8 count” of improvisation in the middle of this dance combo. He wants you to pretend like you are a

“USO dancer in the 1940’s dressed in a turkey costume.”  (Yes, you read that right.)

After you get over the initial shock, you get that bubbly excited feeling in your chest, you know you got this!

When it comes you kick your face and exclaim:

Bkak! Bkak!

Thrusting your chest like a turkey. Each time you give a good old proud turkey chest thrust. Slowly, you begin to realize that the 1940’s vintage top you had worn to the audition feels a liiiitle looser than it did when the audition started.

You look down and to your terror your shirt has completely ripped open, leaving you exposed not only to the 36 triple threats,  but also to the full creative team (director, casting director, choreographer)! These people potentially held your next career move in their hands and you’ve just flashed them!!

What do you do? In the split second you have a choice to make. You can…

A. Scream and run out of the room never to be seen again.

B. Laugh uncontrollably mortified and unable to finish the dance combination.

C. Cover your chest and give that number the best energy you’ve got. Standing with confidence accepting the fact that everyone in that room is mortified for you so you don’t need to be mortified yourself!

What would you do?

Well, I can tell you what I did when this happened to me at an audition for South Pacific on Broadway. Oh yeah, lucky me! Wait… seriously tho, lucky me!! I took a split second pause and decided I’m gonna keep going. I not only finished the combination with more pizzazz I’ve ever given any dance combination EVER, when we were able to end in our own pose, I went straight to the splits and gave it a big TADA!!

I thought to myself, if there is ever ever a time I’ll get a callback, this is it!!  

Sadly, this is what was called the required call. So no one got a callback. Ha! (Broadway shows are required by the Actors Equity Union to hold periodic auditions, so that AEA members are able to be seen.) However, when I went to an audition for the same casting director a few months later, you had better believe I reminded her of the story. I walked in and said

“Hi, I am Molly Mahoney, the girl whose top ripped at the South Pacific audition!”

She instantly threw her hands in the air screamed for joy and told me it was one of her most favorite audition moments to date.

That was the perfect proof in my positivity pudding!

Resilience my friends! You can’t beat it.

I have SO MANY stories like this. Moments when I’ve fallen or I’ve seen someone fall, and been amazed by the recovery. If you can really thank the universe for the moments when you fall and celebrate on the way up. You will put yourself in a position to succeed.

We are all going to fall at some point, we might as well make it count.

So, here’s your assignment.

Practice falling! Get out and try something new, goofy and maybe even a little embarrassing. 

Get a resilience buddy and challenge each other! The only way to build your resilience is to get out there and put it to the test.

And while you’re at it – you might find yourself in need of a little confidence boost to get you started! Don’t worry I’ve got you covered! Click HERE to receive my 5 Ways to Boost Your Confidence Today! This tips have transformed my clients, and I know they will inspire you too!

Shimmer and Shine,
Molly

 

** Molly and I tapped our feet off in a production of “Crazy For You” many years ago, and she now has an incredible business called The Prepared Performer, honing her students and clients to give incredible auditions that book them jobs, and teaching them how to sing with confidence and great gusto. Molly interviewed me for her newly launched Podcast after The Wealthy Artist Summit and now we are inviting you to the party!  Click below to learn:

  • What to do in the face of constant rejection
  • How a good audition equals a full bank account
  • How to stop competition and comparison from sabotaging your performance
  • How to Rock every performance and audition

Found

Jane Bracelet

I’m grabbing my coat, shoes and bag, and on the cubby right before me lays a circle of purple beads, right in my line of vision on the wooden shelf, sitting as if waiting.

I thought I had lost it.

It’s been months since I even considered it, and honestly, had accepted was truly gone.

I grab the bracelet and place it back on my wrist, slipping onto my skin quickly as though the absence was never felt.

It lines up on my right arm, nestling in between the cedar wood mala  and silver hoop, reunited and comfortable, catching the May afternoon sun.

 

Back in 2012, I was the dance captain for a production of the musical A Christmas Carol. Our ghost of Christmas Past was a spritely spirit named Ephie, who filled the dressing room with positivity, laughter, and music. She used to leave random gifts and cards for people outside, just as a way to brighten a stranger’s day. I loved being around her, and as I was going through a dark time in my life, I bathed in her glittered light, sitting in hope of better days.

We were all watching the original HBO season of The Comeback starring Lisa Kudrow, playing the role of Valerie.  The ongoing dressing room joke was to insert the show’s character “Jane” into any sentence we could. Jane was Valerie’s poor overworked assistant in the series, and her name spit out in every breath and demand Valerie made.

“Jane, Jane, this wig, I just don’t know. Jane, can you get me another red lipstick? Jane, Marley is making too much noise with his chains!”

It had endless possibilities, and we laughed every time.

When the show closed, I returned to NYC to a husband who no longer loved me and wanted to leave. I had kept my crisis a secret while in the show as purely a survival tactic, grateful for the light jokes and sisterhood of the dressing room.

Now sitting in the pure dark of my loss, I missed the cast and the show. I missed Ephie’s light.

 

I didn’t see Ephie for a year, and when Christmas time came in 2013, a package arrived on my door from her. My neighbor had placed it on my welcome mat, and I bent down to pick up a simple brown shape, crinkling in my hand as I eyed the unknown return address. Inside was a purple beaded bracelet with four white beads in the middle spelling:
Jane

I jumped on my phone to thank her and posted a picture on Facebook, tagging all the girls of the dressing room. Ephie had made them for all of us as a gift.

I wore the bracelet almost everyday as a reminder of her spirit and the power of laughter. It was one of my favorites.

 

Last year I was at Zen service and took off my bracelets once I sat on the cushion to free my wrists and place my hands in a mudra. I thought I had picked them all up when I left, but didn’t realize until I got home that the purple bracelet was probably still lying in the Zendo.

I wasn’t at service for a few weeks, and I forgot to ask about it. Then, so much time had passed, I just let it go. I had lost so much in the face of my divorce that I reasoned my time with the bracelet was done. Maybe someone else would find it and enjoy it. Maybe someone named Jane would wear it.

This week, I was gathering my things after service and was one of the last to leave. The wooden cubbies were all bare, as my purse and coat had actually been on the floor. Just as I was pulling the strap over my shoulder, I looked down and there it was.

Jane

Lying there, so perfectly, like a gift left for me to find; like the gifts Ephie used to leave for strangers.

How long had it been there?

Had I not seen it before?

Was it always lying here waiting for me, until I was ready to find it?

I smiled for the moment, remembering our dressing room and the bond we formed over this short time.  I still haven’t seen Ephie or many of those women from that Christmas of 2012, though they all know of the great changes that occurred in my life.

But I will never forget seeing her bury a little package at the foot of a tree with a card, her long blond hair flying out from her flushed face as she excitedly ran away, leaving the opportunity for a stranger to make a discovery.

A discovery for themselves.

Christmas Carol

 

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