with perseverance

I woke up Wednesday morning from a sweat-inducing dream.

I was hanging out with friends when I suddenly realized that my audition was that day, halfway across town in rush hour, and I was nowhere near ready – my clothes were dirty, the ones that were clean I couldn’t find, there were random people in my room crowding me while I’m trying to hurry and get ready, my bangs had grown into my eyes, my hair was weirdly dyed blonder but only on the top portion of my head (a reverse ombre look of sorts – I’ll save you some time and just tell you: not attractive). I had left my mini straightener in a tennis shoe in my suitcase that was somehow also plugged in so it was smoking and melting the shoe, my accessories kept falling off… you get the picture.

After being out of town the last two weekends for a bachelorette and a wedding, things have been a little hectic… the craziness of my dream was merely amplified reality. Needless to say, when I woke up, I was quite relieved.

See, I had a big audition that afternoon, for a big role on a big network. I had had the material for longer than any other audition I’ve ever had as the casting directors really want the actors to “nail the comedy.” No pressure. (Although, doesn’t that go without saying?) And I guess I was a tad anxious about it.

I coached on the material and felt comfortable with it. That is, after I had gone through the various
stages of an upcoming audition:

– “I’m so excited.”

– “I’m really nervous.”

– “I totally got this.”

– “I have no idea what I’m doing.”

– “This is fun!”

At some point I end up completely doubting my abilities as an actor, and thankfully at another point I end up coming around to trusting myself (hopefully in time for the audition!)

I have to trust that the years of training I have had are there – they are in me, they will sine through – and I have to trust that I am enough. I have to walk in that room and show these people that this part was made for me.

When I woke up from that dream, the freshness of a new morning with a clean slate awaited. I could essentially go back and do my audition day right. (Sort of like Back to the Future, no?)

I thought I would start by focusing on God instead of myself and my to-do list for a change, and lo and behold, He had some insightful things to say.  My sister gave me this book by Gary Thomas called Simply Sacred. I turned to the devotion for the day, and it couldn’t have rung more true with what I’m dealing with in acting.

The gist of what Gary had to say, although his focus was on that of marriage, applies to all areas of life, and that is this:

“What is there to be proud of if we haven’t even been tested?”

We live in a world of instant gratification. Modern technology allows us immediate access to information, constant communication with others, and basically just creates a general sense of ADD when it comes to our attention span.

We are selfish beings. We live in a fallen world. This will never be resolved until we are in Heaven. And that’s why we need Jesus so desperately.

I know that in my career with acting, I want to book a role, and I want to book it yesterday, please. But if I had immediately gotten that part on Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior that I auditioned for mere weeks after moving to LA, odds are I would have not only taken it for granted, but I would have taken all the credit.

There is something to be said for working at something – working long and hard at it, through blood, sweat, and tears as they say – that brings so much more appreciation and gratification when you finally begin to see your efforts pay off. There is something to be said for staying faithful and trusting the Lord with your life and path, despite the doubts that creep in and second-guessing that we do.

I have had this verse on my desk for the last couple of weeks that has been such an encouraging reminder of where I am right now in my career. It’s Hebrews 12:1:

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

with perseverance

It could just as easily say, “Let us run the race marked out for us.” But it doesn’t. The *with perseverance* part is key.

We aren’t promised the road will be easy. We aren’t promised we won’t encounter obstacles and trials along the way. We aren’t promised that we will reach our goal immediately. We are to live our lives, with Christ as our focus, and persevere down the road we believe He has called us to travel.

What is if that you are striving towards in your life? I don’t know about you, but I need a constant reminder to persevere, knowing that in the end, the reward will be all the more sweet.

By the way, I made it to the audition on time, early in fact, and did the absolute best I could have imagined. And now the waiting…

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