Affirmation: "I release my expectations."
In the summer of 2018, I took a trip to LA. A mentor of mine invited me to a small showcase for some agents and managers because we both believed I might be ready for a bigger market. Earlier in the year, I'd auditioned for a manager, and it looked promising, so I jumped at the chance to be seen again. That trip shifted my life.
Before the meeting, I sat outside of the massive building where the agency was located. I sent up a prayer, feeling like I needed to nail my audition. The response I got from God: "This isn't it." I really wanted what I heard in my spirit to be a fluke, so I just kept on moving like I didn't hear it. I walked into the building with my head held high and started my audition rituals while I waited. I walked into the room, hoping that the voice I heard earlier would change His mind. I performed, but there was no magic.
I don't claim to be the best actor in the world, but when I am telling the stories I'm supposed to tell, magic happens. When I'm where I'm supposed to be, magic happens. My performance in that room was satisfactory, but there was no magic. You couldn't tell by looking at me, but I left LA devastated.
A depression set in, and it stuck around for about a month before I decided to see a therapist. This wasn't the first time I'd been depressed. It was just the first time I felt ashamed of being so devastated. It was also the first time I got fed up and sought professional help.
With that decision, I turned the page and started a new chapter of my life called self-discovery. I didn't know it at the time, but that's what happened. An audition rejection turned into a fascinating process of learning who I was, who God was, what I wanted, how to take care of myself. I started blogging a month after my first therapy session to document my journey, and it's been a mind-blowing experience.
A year later, I signed with one of the reps that were in the room on that fateful day, and two years later, I'm still on the journey.
The last few weeks I have been practicing releasing control of my life. It's one of the things I actively wrestled with God about for a year. I would let go of one area of my life while clinging to another. Or... I would let go of something that was bothering me and then pick it right back up again, not really understanding how to trust. At the beginning of 2021, I finally surrendered fully. I want to say it was because I'm super spiritual. It's not. I just got tired. Trying to control things you can't and shouldn't control is exhausting.
I let go and started enjoying my imperfect life.
This brings me to today's experience.
Last fall I auditioned for the role of Whitney Houston in the upcoming biopic about her life. I was thrilled because this was my dream role. To be honest, I thought the whole thing was a no-brainer. I look like her. Dramatic roles are my wheelhouse. I'm sure every other woman in my acting category felt the same way: THIS IS MY COME UP. I laugh about it now. To assume that any opportunity is yours is really just entitlement. But I still assumed.
I auditioned. It was fine, but there was no magic. I felt the lack of magic while I was auditioning and after the fact. I was confused about it. Prayed about it and through it, and over time I had to let it go. So, I did. I wasn't sure if the project fell through or if I wasn't the one, but I noticed the silence and moved on.
This morning I thought about Whitney and looked her up. I learned that the role was cast.
In the past, I would have pretended that it didn't bother me. I didn't pretend. I let myself be affected.
This was something that I thought I wanted.
I let myself feel.
I shed a tear.
I watched my thoughts go by.
Then as quickly as the disappointment came,
I am not kidding. That's exactly how it happened.
I was fine!
I have to take a moment to celebrate how monumental that is for me. Two years ago, it took me months to process agent/manager rejection. This morning, I learned that someone else was hired for my dream role, and I processed that thing in MINUTES. I wasn't pretending to be okay. I was actually okay.
That's the value of the work I've been doing. That's the value of taking a journey with God that I didn't even know I needed. That's the value of seeking help when I felt embarrassed. That's the value! I don't have to get stuck in my expectations. I don't have to fall apart when I don't get my way. I can feel and move on. I feel LIBERATED.
Where do I go from here? I keep releasing and moving forward. I keep creating and letting go. Remember, a year after that meeting in LA, I ended up signing with a manager that was in the room on that not-so-magical day. So, the truth is, everything that is mine finds me at the right time. I don't have to strain. I don't have to force. It finds me. I just have to be in the right place when it does.
For now, I release my expectations and just flow.