I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my “life” in the theater.

When I was doing the Fischer Troupe back in Frankenmuth, Michigan, our director, Ron Kieft, once told me:

“You have more talent than anyone I’ve ever met but you’ll never do anything because you have no ambition.”

What could I say?

He was right.

Even then, I knew it.

If something comes my way, I will work my tits off to do it right, but I never, ever push for something or work towards it.

I have had so many opportunities thrown my way, and I have let them drift away.

Nothing ventured – nothing gained.

Part of the problem is my obsession with security.

I grew up in a household where my needs (and then some) were taken care of, but anything offered came with a price.

And I learned early on, don’t bother to ask because the answer is always going to be no.

So don’t put yourself in a position where you are going to need support.

Part of the problem is, of course, imposter syndrome.

While I know I am good, I sincerely doubt I am THAT good.

For the first time, I am also exploring the idea that I have a fear of failure.

Not regular failure.  We all go through that.

I’m afraid of BIG failure – failure for all the world to see.

I went on a college school trip to NYC.

While there, I saw an ad for auditions calling for a woman exactly my age and exactly my height and weight.  I did nothing about it.

In L.A., I entered a competition for a free music (singing) scholarship.  At my audition, the “judge” basically accused me of being a professional (“Where are you working?  You’re too good.”).  Which I was not.  I thanked him for the compliment and didn’t question when I did not get the scholarship.

A friend of John Deaven’s saw me perform at John’s Place, and recommended me to this guy for an interview for a role in a TV pilot (it was called “Tricks of the Trade” and the part was a maid in a brothel).

I did go to the interview, and I literally told the guy interviewing me that I wasn’t anything special but if cast I would work incredibly hard.

My first voice teacher in LA said she had a friend who directed at a summer musical theater in Southern Michigan and she could get me into it (and I would get my equity card).  I passed.

I had a “fan” who was a pianist who worked with a summer musical theater in San Diego and offered me a chance to audition (even though I was not equity).  I passed.

Doing Chicago, the guy playing Amos Hart had his agent come see the show and she really liked me and told me to keep in touch.  I didn’t.

Even in San Jose, after a performance of Hello Dolly a woman handed me her card.  She is an agent, and she told me to call her.  I didn’t.

WTF is wrong with me?

So here I sit with my good looks and education!

Oh well, so far, it has been a hell of a lot of fun (for the most part).

And Ron Kieft may or may not have been right about the first part of his pronouncement, he was certainly right about the latter.

I may not be rich and famous; but I have enough.

And enough is a goodness and I am a very lucky (if unambitious) fat old lady.

terri & jeff


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