I took my daughter to an audition today. While the young actors were acting and singing their hearts out in a room down the hall, we parents (and some of the kids waiting for their turns) were treated to a little advice from the audition organizer. "Audition well," he said. "Go in, and give it your all." (I know, not earthshattering--I'm getting there). "You can control how you do in the audition," he continued. "You can't control the outcome of the audition. So be your best 'you,' and then go home and forget about it."
I thought a long time about what he said. We are accustomed to believing
that we can change the course of history with what we do, and perhaps
in some cases, this is true. In many, many cases, however, what we do is
not enough to get us what we think we want, whether that outcome is
winning a game or getting a job or landing the lead. We can, perhaps,
improve our chances by doing the research or putting in the practice,
but in the end, outcomes are based on so many factors besides our own
value, that if we expect results every time we pay our dues, we will
likely be very disappointed.
Should this mean that we give up reaching? Give up striving, and
auditioning, and doing what it takes to get ahead? Of course not. Success
never (well, rarely) comes from not trying. We can always control our part. But when
our part is done, we'd might as well move on. Because the rest will just
fall how it does--beyond our control, and sometimes in our favor,
Just when you least expect it--advice for life from an audition waiting room...