Back in July, I applied to an open casting call for a new reality TV show about dancers that would be airing on a national cable network. I thought, “what are the chances… but why not try.”
I was surprised to get an email back 2 days later telling me I had made it to the next round and they wanted to see a video. And then a second video after my first. I got a personal call from the casting assistant letting me know I had a good chance of making it, and telling me more about the show which sounded like a perfect match for me. I spent a week barely sleeping while I shot and edited the second version of this video, running on pure adrenaline and excitement. This could be my big break!
They said it would be about 2 weeks until I found the outcome. I waited eagerly. I checked my phone compulsively. I bored my friends by talking about it constantly. The 2 week mark came and went. But I still didn’t hear anything.
Somewhere during that waiting period, an NYU Alumni call for talent came across my inbox and I said once again, “what are the chances… but why not try,” although I honestly wasn’t too excited about it in the shadow of what seemed like a much bigger opportunity.
As August dwindled away, I came to grips with the fact that I didn’t get the reality TV show spot. Failure. Bummer. Waa-waaa.
But then on September 2nd, very much to my surprise, I got an email from a lovely woman named Sarah at NYU letting me know that my video had been chosen for the next round of the talent show competition. I had almost forgot I applied, but was psyched nonetheless.
As you know, the talent show performance was an amazing experience - I got to dance on stage for the first time in a long time and share my message with a bigger audience. Less than a month later I’m faced with yet another opportunity I didn’t expect: my first TEDx talk.
I could’ve easily stayed so caught up in the reality TV show drama (not a coincidence that it induced drama!) that I would not have applied to anything else and then let myself fall into a spiral of misery and rejection when I didn’t hear back.
What I’ve been learning is that it’s so important to keep showing up for yourself, even when it seems like the rest of the world is not responding how you want them to. Staying true to the work, finding fulfillment in the current reality, and trusting that the answers to your dreams lie out there in the not-so-distant future.
There’s so much you can’t control, creative one, but remember that you always have control of living authentically and sharing your creative gifts. When you do so consistently, unexpected opportunities pop out of the ether to invite you to keep sharing.
Don’t let your passion fizzle out because of one missed opportunity.
Keep at it. The world needs you.