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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 6 years ago

Curtain Call: Life lessons from performers

by: Amanda Heisey

One of the first things non performing-arts type people usually say when you tell them you’re in a show is, “I would never do that. I would be too scared.”

That's completely legit — you are in front of a large group of people, who may or may not be judging you. They might already be in a bad mood or tired. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people asleep while I’m on stage (sleeping doesn’t always  mean it’s a boring production. I know you were thinking that. Some people just need a snooze).

But, with this intimidation comes some valuable life lessons. I asked my theatre friends to give me the phrases or affirmations they use to get through shows and auditions. As it turns out, most can be used in your everyday life. When things get hectic and you can’t handle it, take a glance at these bad boys. Pin them to your desk or mirror at home; tattoo them on your body — whatever works.

I’ll split them up to make them easily digestible.


  • Trust yourself! You don't just think, but you know you have what it takes.
  • You know it, trust it.
  • I can only do the best that I can do. The rest is out of my hands.
  • Go big or go home!
  • Just do it.
  • If you're going to do it, give it all you have and then some.
  • You are enough. You are so enough. It's unbelievable how enough you are. (I use this one a lot)
  • Breathe. (Again, I use this one a ton.)
  • Life is too short, take chances, make mistakes, get messy.
  • I'm the best they've got.
  • Have no apologies.
  • Be so good they can’t ignore you.
  • What if I fall (fail)? Oh, but darling, what if you fly?

Presentations / Performances

  • I am amazing and they are lucky to have me on this stage.
  • THEY are here to see YOU.
  • Criticism is easy; art is difficult.
  • Remember to have fun.
  • I am the world's greatest actor and anyone who gets in my way will be DESTROYED!

Interviews/ Auditions

  • I could be exactly what they are looking for.
  • Even if you don't get the part, you can still learn something from the audition experience by watching others and improving your game.
  • They want you to be right; they want to say, “Yes, she is exactly what we have been looking for.” And in return I want to go in there saying, "I am exactly what you want."
  • Going into an audition, it's not all about you, you are just one potential piece of the director's puzzle.
  • You are here because you LOVE this.
  • If they cast you, it's because they want YOU. If they don't want you, then it's because they want somebody else, and you can't, fundamentally, be somebody else. It's the only thing you can't do

These final affirmations are from me. First, “Die vampire, die!” You’ll have to go listen to this song  to understand what I mean.  If you dislike profanity,just move on to the next paragraph.  Vampires are essentially all the insecurities that hold you back. Bonus factoid: Asolo Conservatory is doing the show this song is from next season.

Finally, I used to have a paper pinned to the cork board around my desk with the following picture on it.


If that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.

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