Recently I received a scheduling for a puppet audition through The Jim Henson Company. When I was first called about it, I was initially pretty confident I could go in there and nail it. Then, I received the script and all the information about the audition and I was even MORE confident I could go in their an nail it. The character was something I could hit out of the part really easily, the script was funny (something I usually find is quite rare in these situations) and it would just be a tremendously fun project to work on.
Then, just a few days before the audition, I found out something that rattled my confidence completely. Just completely dashed that sense of ‘I got this” completely. The good old Negative Brain took full control. In one instant, I went from confident to a complete mess. “I got this” became, “Not in a million years.” In fact, my negative brain, as if does, started telling me, “Just don’t even do it. That way you won’t be disappointed when you don’t get it.”
Now, my negative brain is not strong enough for me to make majorly stupid mistakes. I completely understand the consequences of not showing up to an audition that The Jim Henson Company has scheduled you for. So, there was no way I was going to NOT go to the audition.
I began thinking about being nervous about something big in your creative career and how it can completely play with your mind. In situations like that you have two choices. Don’t do it, as your negative brain would have you and play it safe. Or, as the old Nike ad says, “just do it.” And really, there is no choice. Just do it.
Nerves are nothing. They are just a holdover from that primitive brain we’ve talked about before on here. They are there to keep you safe. But when you think about things logically you’ll see that nerves can sometimes misguide you.
Being nervous while swimming in shark infested waters is probably a good idea. You could die.
Being nervous when going into an audition, or unveiling your recent painting, or stepping out on stage to play a new song, recite a new poem, read a new story, etc., those things re not likely to kill you. You’ll be just fine. Sure, you may blow the audition, receive criticism, get booed, but is it going to kill you? Probably not. And in the unlikely event that those things happen (how many people really get booed anymore?) they will all be incredible learning experiences of what to do or not do the next time you are in one of those situations.
So, when it came to this audition of mine, there really was only one choice, do it. I studied the script harder than anything I had recently. I worked on my puppetry even more to be spot on when I went in. Part of the audition would be riffing/improv so I thought of things I may say in different situations that may pop up. I made myself completely ready for this audition.
Was I still nervous? Yes.
Was I going to let that nervousness stop me? No way.
Will I get the part? Who knows? But I’m more likely to get it now that I didn’t chicken out and not go to the audition.
If you are nervous about something, just do it.
How do you deal with being nervous about big events in your creative life? Has the nervousness ever won out? Or did you battle is successfully?
I want this blog to not just be about my stories and stuff that I’m creating. I want to show off some other great creative work as well.. I truly do enjoy seeing the other creative projects that people are working on. So, the other day, I put out a call on Twitter for links to projects others were working on. Things that they are creating for themselves. Below is a list of those who replied as well as some creative goodies from others that I’ve been impressed with this week.
STV MEDIA STUDIOS – http://www.stvmediastudios.com/home.html – Connor Asher is an aspiring puppeteer whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few times while out on Puppet Up! Uncensored tours. Actually, I shouldn’t say he is an ‘aspiring’ puppeteer. He’s a darn good puppeteer and he is not waiting for anyone to tell him what he can and cannot do. He’s creating a media empire on his own and I fully suspect I’ll be sending him a resume someday for a job on one of his projects.
Randall C. Willis – http://createdbyrcw.com – Randall is another creative type who I was lucky enough to meet in Toronto while performing in Puppet Up! – Uncensored. He’s a great guy and his website is full of short stories, essays and photographs he has taken. Check out his pictures from his walk around Vanderbuilt University or his piece called Music and the soul. Really touching.
Kristin Hogan – https://www.etsy.com/shop/SquidFriends – Kristin Hogan is yet another crdtive dynamo I met while doing Puppet Up!. She is an artist in many mediums but making stuffed squids is her passion and they are pretty amazing. She will be at Dallas Comic-Con next weekend, so if you’re in the area, check it out. Kristin also penned a really great piece about copycats on her tumblr. It has inspired another Creative Mondays post as it’s something I’m dealing with now as well. Give it a read, really great food for thought – http://squidfriends.tumblr.com/post/85026374907/a-word-on-copycats-vs-other-people-inspired-by-the-same
Goon Holler General Store – http://www.goonhollergeneralstore.com – One of the really incredible things that has come out of my use of the social media app Vine is meeting Parker Jacobs. We share a lot of the same creative influences and creative spirit and he, like me, seems intent on creating good quality family fun. If you’ve watched Yo Gabba Gabba! Or The Aquabats! Super show! You’ve seen his art (and possibly his creation Tooba, the sasquatch.) He recently opened up a website to sell some of the items bearing his unique art (and I’m proud to say I was order #27 through his store)! Go peruse what he has to offer. I can highly recommend his book The Goon Holler Guidebook and who wouldn’t want their own Tooba pillow?!
Prednisone By Carla Ulbrich – http://youtu.be/WE1rmToYWyY – My good friend, and incredibly talented singer/songwriter, Carla Ulbrich checks in with this great lyric video of her ‘hit’ Prednisone. Give it a listen. You’ll be singing it all day.
The 33 by J.C. Hutchins – http://jchutchins.net/the-33 – My podcast pal, J.C. Hutchins, is in the middle of telling a great podcast story called The 33. J.C. Calls it ‘TV for your e-reader’ and I would whole heartedly agree. It’s not for kids, but if you like a goos sci-fi, supernatural thriller, you should check it out. You can even get a sample of it for free. It’s good stuff.
So check out one or all of these projects. Who knows, perhaps you’ll find your new piece of inspiration in one of these. And I’d love to make this a regular feature, so if you have a piece of creative work that’s online, tell me about it in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
Have a great weekend!