This I Believe

R. Taylor - Washington, District of Columbia
Entered on September 15, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity
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Theater is…was my life.

In high school I was your resident theater geek. I was in every musical, was president of chorus, took the highest level acting class, performed a half-hour one woman show and had various other accomplishments over my four years. I was hooked. I would love to be able to say that I did it all for the love of the art, but really, it was all for personal glory.

When senior year rolled around and the musical was The Scarlet Pimpernel I knew that it was my time to shine. The female lead, Marguerite, was a perfect role for me. I knew the role was mine. Everything was set. I didn’t really even prepare for my audition, but I knew it didn’t matter. I had practiced enough to know the song. I had worked out the acting part, but that usually comes naturally. It was sown up. Why did I need to worry about it?

You know that feeling when your dreams are shattered? When everything you’ve put your faith into suddenly blows up in your face? That’s how it was when the cast list went up. My best friend had gotten the part and I was the second female lead, a very very small role.

I cried for about three days. It might sound silly, but when you work for four years and come just short of your goal, your whole world falls apart.

The whole process really stunk, to be quite honest. Every day was a battle not to cry in a corner and let my feeling of worthlessness take over. I could say that I believe in perseverance and not giving up, but my perseverance made me miserable for a whole semester. I could say that I believe in the power of theater, but I’ve since retired from the emotional stress. What I do believe is that my life isn’t over. I have a great future ahead of me, one that has nothing to do with getting the lead in my high school play. In fact, if I had gotten what I wanted I probably wouldn’t have this internal drive to always be the best so I never have to go through something like this again. I knew in my heart that I hadn’t worked hard enough to obtain my goal. If my pain has taught me anything it’s that one can never feel the intense drive to succeed until they have failed greatly at their own hand. I am a stronger, more driven, and more successful person now than ever before because I will never make the mistake again that I am owed anything. I will never again forget that hard work is a necessary factor in success. I am more capable and ready to take on new challenges in the face of defeat. I am ready for life. This I truly believe.