BWW Blog: And the World Still Spins
This past Monday, I stood outside of a towering glass building, glancing from the map on my phone to the facade of the theater that almost glittered in the mid-afternoon sun. That's the entrance, right? Is that the right set of arts administration offices? As I passed my favorite sculpture in the plaza, I tossed my lipstick-stained coffee cup in the trash, looked over my resume one last time, and walked toward the glass doors tucked away behind a thick cluster of trees. This has to be it. When I checked in with the receptionist, I was relieved to find that, yes, this was the place. I took a seat on the couch and waited nervously for my interviewer to come get me. And then I interviewed for an internship I've wanted for years.
Over the years, this performing arts center has become a second home to me. I've studied at the tables in the plaza, I have waited in the student rush line to see more national tours than I can count, and when I'm upset, my escape is being physically present in a place that brings me so much happiness. I think I knew this place was home to me when I drove up to the center for the very first time, and I saw a fountain that looks like the iconic fountain outside of Lincoln Center; I found a mirror image of my favorite place in all of Manhattan, right out here in southern California, and it was magic.
Less than 48 hours after my interview, I received a five-sentence rejection email. My heart dropped to my feet, and if I'm being completely honest, I cried (which I never do).
I think I was so invested because of the emotional connection. A place that I'd been dying to work at for years decided I wasn't the right fit. I had never felt an overwhelming sense of belonging more than when I stepped foot onto the premises. I'm not sure they knew the extent to which I would give 110 percent to interning there, and maybe that's on me. All I know is that I read those five sentences over and over for 20 minutes, piecing together the reasons I must've messed this up for myself. Was I too bubbly? Did I say something that made them see me as unqualified? Did I not ask the right questions?
And then it dawned on me: Dwelling over rejection does nothing.
I'm not an actor, yet suddenly I understood what you all do on a daily basis. I know a lot of actors have insanely thick skin when it comes to rejection, but man do I have a new level of respect. You could know you're perfect for a project and the person in-charge across the table thinks the absolute opposite, and there is nothing you can do but smile and thank them for their time. And you all do it with such grace. In a split second, I had a glance into the life of a performer and their daily encounter with rejection, and I think knowing I'm not alone in feeling the way I do has an odd sort of comfort.
I can't dwell over things out of my control, so what now?
I focus on school, I work my tail off to gain experience that makes me a more competitive applicant, and I apply again in fall.
I'm determined to show them everything I can contribute to their center, and all I know is that for the time being, it's time to get back to working hard. The world still spins.