When Abby first asked me to write for her blog, my initial thoughts were, “why me? I’m not that inspiring. What would I even say?” I didn’t know what I would write about, but I was too flattered to turn her down. Little did I know that just a few days later I would have something to share, something that I hope will encourage and inspire others to bravely introduce their gifts and talents to the world.
First, a little about myself: I am a freshman in college majoring in Theatre and minoring in English. I love musicals and musical theatre and I have had the privilege of working with Abby in several productions. Outside of theatre I love kayaking, reading, calligraphy, and some good granola.
One of the things I love about theatre is that you are always learning something new, even if it’s something weird like how to describe the taste of a banana (seriously though, if you ever take Acting 1, you might find yourself doing this). Recently I learned a very important lesson that I would like to share with you all.
I had been in college for only a few weeks when the first auditions for the theatre season were posted. Naturally, all the freshmen were talking about trying out. So there I was, still incredibly in awe and a little terrified of the upper-classmen, preparing for an audition that I knew virtually nothing about. I didn’t know how to pick a good song, where to get accompaniment, or what the directors expected of me. As the auditions drew near, I began to feel very anxious.
All this culminated one morning in praise chapel. I was standing there, trying to focus on the words to the songs, but continually finding myself distracted by the coming auditions. “What if I don’t get in?” I asked myself. “What if I can’t measure up? What if I am not good enough? What if I don’t have what it takes to be a theatre major?” As I pondered these things, I became increasingly worried and desperate to get into this show. I thought of it as a way to prove myself and show people I belonged in the theatre program. Then something happened. In a moment of silence, God broke into my thoughts. Amidst all my worry and the unnecessary significance I was staking on this one audition, He spoke directly to my needs and said, “Try. I am with you. You are free.” And I realized then that all He wanted was for me to try. I don't need to be the best, I don’t even need to get into the show, but I do need to try. I wasn’t walking into this alone, He would be with me. And what’s even better is it doesn’t matter to Him what the outcome is. I was free to try, free to succeed, and free to fail.
That day the Lord graciously replaced my anxiety with peace and lifted a burden off my shoulders. While I had previously been too afraid to try, I was now determined to give it my best shot.
After thinking about this, I realized how many good things have come out of me trying something new. I got my first tech position in a show because I wasn’t cast. And because I gave that position a shot, I was offered another position at the same theatre. The same thing has happened with my own personal projects. I once threw out an idea of doing a medley for a youth group fundraiser, and people thought it would be fun, so I tried it. This led to me directing two short films, which helped me gain confidence to assistant direct a children’s play. None of these projects would have happened if I had been too scared to try that first medley. Now, just for the record, I was terrified to do that medley, but I stuck it out and tried it anyway and I am glad I did.
Fast forward to now, several weeks after the audition, and I am preparing to play an ensemble role in the show! We are at the beginning of the rehearsal process as I write this, but by the time you read this, performances will be just around the corner. I can’t wait to see where this show will take me and all the things I will learn along the way.
I want to encourage you all today to take a chance and try something new. You don’t have to be the best, but I encourage you to work with your strengths and see where that will take you. Remember, you are never alone and He doesn’t expect perfection. He just wants you to do what you can and enjoy it.
Hi, I'm Abigail Dorn, the founder and director of Arts With Love.
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