It is so easy to fall into complaining mode. I could go on and on about how hard it is to land an Equity contract in the tight-knit Chicago theatre community, especially for women, but I'm not going to fall into that this time. I could make excuses, I could beat myself up, I could give up. But that would just be jumping into a pessimistic black hole. For years I considered myself a pessimist, but I realized recently that if I was a true pessimist I would have given up on this cruel business long ago. Actors hear "no" so often that is rolls off the back of their cute audition dress (or smart sport jacket for the male variety). Anyone who is willing to endure audition after humiliating audition just for the possibility of rare "yes" once and a while has to be an optimist. (And yes, I said auditions are humiliating. Don't get me wrong, I actually love auditions. But what other job interview are you required to pretend to be someone else and sing a song to a wall? OK, that is obviously a simplification, but it is an odd process no matter how you put it.) So recently I realized that I have an optimist inside of me somewhere. Ah, I can't believe I actually said that. *Deep breath* I'll at least call myself a "realistic optimist."
It is the perfect time of year to put those positive thoughts to good use. Regional theatres are announcing their upcoming seasons, new Broadway shows are being workshopped, and optimistic actors are imagining themselves in fantastic leading roles next year. (Or at least the chorus! OK, that was the "realistic optimist" speaking.) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some resumés to send out.