It's been two whole months now since I made the move to the Windy City and despite the weather I'm thriving! I found the perfect studio apartment in the city aka not far way from the theatres and set up all my playbills, headshots and such around the walls...I mean come on what true actor doesn't have a least one headshot framed somewhere in their place (in my case three), had my bed delivered and then it hit me...I moved to freaking CHICAGO!
I mean you say I'm going to be a successful actress and make a five year plan, which of course never goes to plan, in college and everything will be perfect. Well that was definitely not the case. I graduated from college, got my first paid theatre gig about a month later then a few months went by with no work. Of course as all actors do I worked in random jobs, even convinced one store I knew how to cook extremely well and ended up catering but I knew I wanted more and my dreams were too big to just stay in my hometown (Baton Rouge, La). Fast forward auditions, touring theatre companies and a regional theatre later I decided it's now or never and I need to move to Chicago.
Now back to the present. Here I am hitting up all the audition sites and forms, going on audition after audition when I stumbled upon an audition for a burlesque theatre. Now I know what burlesque is, you know Josephine Baker and who hasn't seen the film Burlesque but I've never done it before. I'm an actress with some dance experience (mainly in tap) but it was an audition for a play with burlesque incorporated and I said "Why not, I'm in Chicago!", and submitted myself then went on with my day. When I got my time slot email now that's when my fear set in. "Are you CRAZY! Did you really sign us up for a dance audition!" *insert bougie actor voice* [mine just so happens to be a British older man] "We are a stage straight play trained performer not a dancer." but my perseverance shut him up pretty quickly and we went to that audition and gave it our all. The next day as I checked my emails, which I do at least twenty times a day, I got the "Congratulations..." email and I was stunned. I was good enough. Me! I danced well enough to get in a burlesque show, heck any dance show for that matter.
Now comes rehearsals...where that fear started to creepy right back in. "Everyone is going to dance better than you." "Yeah you're a great actress but or you a dancer?" My answer to that is...YES! You see when you let fear dictate your every movement then that leaves you with nothing and when you are in the entertainment industry you can't live off nothing, you have to have passion, drive and most importantly LOVE for what you are doing. You see I love my craft through the good times and bad and now that I am at the "Early Career" mark on my Wikipedia page doubt and fear creepy in as it does for many other performers. Patience is a virtue but as a performer you want it right now and that's just not how it works and because of that fear composes itself in the very back of your brain and poses the question..."What if it never happens?". I've decided to ignore that fear and listen to my heart, passion, drive and LOVE of my art and because of that I am currently cast in Stranger Thongs: A Stranger Things Burlesque and have recently become a company member of The Murder Mystery Company Inc. (Chicago).
Just remember...the only thing you have to fear is fear itself. Now go out there and kick fears ass!