2008 and 2009 were pretty great, career-wise. I was flown to London for a week to direct a reading and got to stay in a fancy hotel. I worked on plays and projects that I believed in, with people and companies that I believed in. At Play was formed and suddenly I had my own insta-community and support group. And thanks to The 24 Hour Plays, I even got an AD credit on ibdb.com!
Yep. Five years out of undergrad, sensing that my directing career was really going to take off, I took a giant leap of faith and quit my day job. Just quit it. Without looking back.
And I was rewarded—the amazing opportunities kept coming! Without me even asking for them, it seemed. I always had a “next project,” something to promote on Facebook, to tell family and friends about. I always had a really good answer when someone asked “What are you working on?”
But then, a couple months ago, I wasn’t working on anything. The well ran dry, as they say. And horror of horrors, I returned to the exact same job that I’d quit. I felt sorry for myself. I felt like I’d failed, somehow. I didn’t know what happened, where I’d gone wrong. To continue with the well analogy, I didn’t know how long I’d have to wait for water.
On New Years Eve, someone, again, asked about my next project. And I heard myself saying that I was “just waiting” for the next opportunity. Immediately, something clicked. Wrong answer!
Why was I waiting?
Why was my life, my career, my self-worth resting on the possibility that someone else was going to GIVE me an opportunity? Why couldn’t I TAKE for myself?
Over two very busy, super awesome years, I had grown to expect work, without putting in the work. I'd grown lazy, and lost my own agency.
And this realization has completely energized me!
Always the Virgo, over the past three weeks I’ve made a spreadsheet of every possible fellowship and grant that I can apply for, listing the deadline, relevant website, and whether or not I need a recommendation to apply. I helped start this blog. I’ve resurrected an idea for a play that I had YEARS ago, and am in the process of figuring out how to get it done. Now. I’m letting myself take creative risks that I don’t think I was ready to take two years ago, one year ago.
2008 and 2009 were great, but I have a feeling 2010 is going to be a whole lot better…