It was during my second intensive acting session at Margie Haber Studio. I had just watched a playback of my audition tape and I was shocked by how disgustingly unattractive I looked. Physically yes… but it was even more than that. My eyes were completely void of emotion… they were just… blank. The instructor dismissed the tape as ‘lifeless‘ and moved on to the next student.
Lifeless. That night on my walk home from class I cried. Hard. I called my mom and said I was ready to hang up this dream. By the time I got to the front door, I was too exhausted to think of anything besides drowning the day in food and wine.
I am no stranger to an occasional meltdown… especially since I started on this acting journey. But normally the morning sun shining through the bedroom curtains and my dog snuggling her soft cold nose against my cheek usually refreshes me enough to shed the prior night’s despair.
The next morning was different though. The misery had sunk in and my body felt too heavy to pull
from bed. I tried to shake it off and start my day with positivity, but it was useless. I was completely submerged in a murky lagoon of depression, with no chance of surfacing for air.
Over the next few weeks, while the classes rolled on, it only got worse. I couldn’t muster the energy to go out, didn’t feel worthy enough to attend auditions, and… for the first time in my life… I couldn’t find the words to write. And that scared me.
Writing, socializing, exercising… those are my prescriptions for bouts of mental anguish, yet I had no interest in doing a damn thing besides laying around sobbing.
And then finally, FINALLY, the acting classes ended. No longer did I have to squirm as I watched playbacks of my pathetic attempt at their craft. But it made no difference. I had sunk so far into the lagoon that I couldn’t even see the light of the surface anymore. So I accepted that this was the new me and stopped trying to sit at my computer and force my fingers to type, it was useless. I felt like a failure with nothing to show for herself at 26 besides a few pathetic dreams.
And so life went. for awhile. And then one night I was walking Shelly on the quiet dark streets behind my house and I stopped to listen to the trickle of a neighbor’s fountain while I gazed up at the mellow moon. And in this seemingly ordinary moment I knew that the surface wasn’t too far if I was willing to swim.
So I swam and swam, until I finally did emerge from the lagoon, not feeling refreshed, but feeling grateful to be alive.
Why would I share this uneventful story? Because I needed to write again. Because I need to share something in order to feel a connection to the world. Because I learned a lesson worth sharing.
We are all human. I am just human. No matter how hard I try to make everyone believe I am always bubbling with happiness and optimism, the stark reality is that I cry too. and hard. But I think there is something beautiful about that. We all cry. Because we are all human. Life gets difficult for all of us, regardless of what coordinates we are taking up on this crazy world. And that is ok. It is ok to experience the darkness, so you can appreciate the light… even if it is just a glimmer of wonderment as you glance up at the moon.