Have you ever wanted to try something new, but you were afraid to get started because you thought you were too old, too young, too this, too that?
But after years of analyzing, asking should I or shouldn’t I, I finally dove in. I think you should dive in to whatever that new endeavor is for you, be it hobby or new skill or new experience. So…
A few weeks ago, I signed up for an adult acting class.
I have zero experience acting. My earliest memory of being curious about acting was in second grade. I tried out for the lead in Are You My Mother?, based on the book by P.D. Eastman.
When I didn’t get the lead, I laid my head on my classroom desk and bawled my little eyes out like a baby, while my teacher told everyone in the class something to the effect of “Leave her alone” and “She’ll get over it.”
It took me ten years to build up the courage to try out for another play my senior year of high school. I got a background part and bowed out.
What I didn’t realize back then, and I’ve since come learn, is that you don’t just start acting and become the lead. You have to be willing to accept whatever part you get and be a team player, and with experience and over time you might get more of a lead role.
What I also didn’t realize is how difficult acting really is. I have even more respect for the craft after taking this acting class. I’m learning it takes a lot of hard work to make a scene look natural, which make sense because as a speaker it’s taken me five years to get somewhat comfortable telling my story in front of an audience.
Even after this realization, it’s been very difficult to be a beginner and to be OK with not being good at something right from the start. Most people aren’t great when they first try something new. However, my entire life I’ve tried to avoid the feeling of embarrassment and this experience is truly taking me out of my comfort zone.
Each week I have to perform a scene (some weeks on camera) and get critiqued publicly for something I really know nothing about and in front of twentysomethings who’ve mostly been acting since they were little.
Let’s just say it has been a humbling experience. I did it because I knew if I didn’t try it now, then when?
One thing I learned from losing someone I loved so young is it’s not the things you did attempt that you regret the most at the end of your life, it’s the things you didn’t.
I never want to allow fear to hold me back from trying something I’m curious about, because here’s the deal—I’m not taking this class with the expectation I will make a living as an actress. I’m doing this for me, because I want to learn how to be a better storyteller, a more effective communicator, how to connect to my emotions, and to explore what it means to be human.
These elements of life are what fascinate me, so I’m leaning into these types of activities. God put them in my heart for a reason. Everything we try teaches us something about ourselves, and is worth our time and exploration. It’s not wasted.
So what is that thing for you that you’ve always been secretly, or not so secretly, interested in, but never attempted for whatever reason? I encourage you to take the first step and sign up for that painting class, writer’s workshop, business conference (fill in the blank…). Because you’ll never know if you never do the thing. If you’re open to sharing, I’d love to hear what that is for you and your plans to give it a whirl.
As always, so grateful for your time and kindness. Love and Blessings.