Trust Falling

The ups and downs of conquering your fears

This year was a milestone in terms of my personal goals.

Throughout high school I was active in the theater program, but only ever working backstage. Due to a lack of confidence, I decided never to audition out of fear of rejection, or worse-actually making it in and having to go on stage. But, at my core I am nothing if not desperate for attention. I was convinced to audition for Ferris’ production of “Ajax in Iraq” and, to my disbelief, actually got a part.

Ideally, the rest of this column would be more than just a cheesy, half-assed inspirational puff piece, so I’ll try to restrain myself, but I make no promises.

Finally deciding to say “screw it” and at least attempt at an audition was the first step in learning a lesson I probably should have learned back in elementary school: summoning the will to conquer your fears is a good thing. Kind of.

My life has changed from my first “acting” experience but not in the way I imagined it would.

On the positive side, I can finally say I did it. It was a sort of one-man trust fall and I didn’t end up on the ground, which perhaps in itself is a cause for celebration.

On the negative side, I’ve been nothing short of uber-critical of myself regarding my performance. No matter what anybody tells me, I don’t think I’ll ever be convinced I was really any good.

Conquering that thing you’ve been scared of for so long is indeed a good thing, but unfortunately it is not the end of the journey to the top of Maslow’s hierarchy.

Will I ever be involved in another show? I truly have no idea. I’m still unclear about how I feel about the experience. Perhaps the more important question is will I ever have the same amount of “courage” (or whatever compelled me to audition) again? I dunno. For real, I have no idea.

I suppose there is an immense amount of intrinsic value to finally saying you did the thing that not even you thought you could do, and perhaps that feeling may hit me once the show is over (I’m writing this as of Sunday), but as of now, I’m just sort of confused.

A short caveat to all this: I do not endorse not conquering your fears. Just don’t expect a great, revelation-bringing life-change to ensue.