Acting Brave

Everything is huge right now. I have dealt with so much change in the last couple of months and I’m trying to keep up and keep my mind clear and keep from getting too overwhelmed. Change is hard whether it’s a good or a bad change. After a really discouraging audition season, I dragged my heels to an audition for a Chicago agency that I wasn’t prepared for, and I got a callback. Then I dragged my heels to the callback for the New York agency and was a little more prepared, and I was asked to make a video for the director. Then I sent the worst audition video I’ve ever made to the director and I got a callback in NY. I FINALLY took the audition seriously, went to my callback doctor, Roberta Duchak, and was ready to walk in and walk out with the part.

I had the most insane callback. I had to sing my highest note to my lowest note, with every register and every vocal tone that I have in my bag of tricks. I had to do a ton of sides (some of them cold reads), a DANCE call (more like choir-ography, but I still sucked), and I had to RAP. You read that correctly. I had to rap. I didn’t just have to rap. I had to SIGHT-READ rap. Normally, I would’ve been so thrown by this. I would’ve frozen up in the dance call. I would’ve been paralyzed by the fear of looking ridiculous. But something happened to me. I think it was partly because everything seemed so unreal. I think it was partly because I didn’t know anyone in that room. I think it was partly because of how ridiculous it was that I was at a callback half a block FROM BROADWAY being asked to rap.

So, I’m not sure exactly what the cause was, but Harmony’s bravery grew 3 sizes that day. I was pitiful in the dance call, but I didn’t get upset. I was laughing and being sassy and just going with it. I didn’t flinch when they asked me to perform a rap I’d never seen before. I jumped around and was a big ass idiot. We were all laughing and having a good time and I got the freaking part IN the room. I booked my very first New York audition on my very first try.

I’m telling you this because:

A. People keep asking me about the process.

B. I think it’s a good and ridiculous story.

C. It is a reminder to me and others that we take ourselves too damn seriously. If I had gone in there all uptight and fearful, I don’t think I would’ve got the job. We need to remember that we’re not curing cancer, we’re playing pretend. And while, of course, we take our craft and our art seriously, we can’t forget our sense of play. We can’t forget our sense of joy. Joy in our art. Bravery in our art. Isn’t that why we do this? I am never truly fulfilled, no matter how high profile the gig, unless I am being challenged and pushing my boundaries. I’m only happy when I’m Acting Brave.

I’m at my parent’s house right now, preparing for this crazy journey. In two days I’ll be in New York, rehearsing in Manhattan as a working actor. I’ve dreamed about this my whole life. Next time I talk to y’all, I’ll be in New York!