It started when I wanted to see what came up on Google if I typed in “MFA dance programs.” What came up was a list of what are possibly the largest and most well known MFA
programs– and those with their SEO figured out. I sat there staring at the first hit, and then scrolled down wondering which school I should click on first. I clicked, and apparently unclicked my self-confidence. (Could they see me through the screen? Were they laughing at my ignorant query into their top tier elite institution?) That suffocating, diminishing blanket that hovers and squeezes you whenever you walk into an audition came right back over me. I thought I had grown larger than that blanket, but apparently I’ve just felt mostly comfortable for some time. I hadn’t felt that vulnerable exposition in a while.
That little anecdote is really leading to two things:
1) Applying for programs is scary. You are brave. Auditioning is scary. You are brave. Interviewing is scary. You are brave. Doing things where you put everything on the table– where you go all in– and might not get anything back is terrifying. I’ve known some people to LIVE on that feeling. I, however, want to shrink into the smallest version of myself. I’ve always wanted more courage because that shrinking feeling is the absolute worst. If you’re a shrinker like me, practice putting yourself in places that are scary. People tell you to “fake it til you make it” but I can’t think of too many things more miserable than wearing a false self. So I try to go back to the place where I do feel confident, where I feel like I am my full self, and pull of those things into the new, scary place. It takes some discipline to not let the fears run rampant.
2) Let’s do something that pushes us out of our comfort zones this year. I mean really, actually pushes you. I think we all take some small and fairly safe risks. But it takes courage and motivation to really push yourself. And maybe it’s only one thing this whole year. And I want to know what it is. Share, because you will inspire someone.