I needed to hear this kind of tough love truth talk this week, and maybe you do, too. Earlier this week, I auditioned for a play with a Shakespeare monologue and nearly talked myself out of it during the week leading up to the audition. Why? For the simple reason that I hadn't had a lot of experience doing Shakespeare and that at 34 years old, I felt not only behind in the game, but too late to even step in. How could I start now? I should have done this years ago. I felt the hot shame of wishing I had asked for help sooner. All the Big Feelings showed up at my door and moved into my apartment for the week.
Did I feel a bit at sea learning the monologue? Out of sorts performing it in the room? Yes, m'am. But logic dictates that if at 34 years old, I'm not comfortable trying something new, then I won't feel any more motivated to start at 35. Or 40. Or 80. And in the end, I did it. I was full of fear and pride. It's hard to hold two states of being in your hands at the same time, but that seems to be how life works, not to mention acting, no?
The plan of action is simple, but not easy.
Do you want to try something?
Are you afraid to start?
Are you mad that you didn't start last year, or 5 years ago, or when you were five years old?
Go ahead. Allow yourself to feel the frustration. The anxiety, the "I wish it could have been differents". Look them in the eye and refuse to run from them anymore.
Then start anyway. Dare to be a late creative bloomer. The only other choice is not to start at all. What's worse?
Here's to a week of complicated, clumsy, long-desired beginnings. Late is always better than never.
P.S.: If you need some creative courage in book form, head over to Julia Cameron's site. She'll have you covered with books, blogs, videos, and events that help you to start facing the artistic music and taking one small step at a time towards whatever it is that you are daydreaming about.