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An Act(or) of Contrition

April 13, 2013

{Editor’s Note: The Bygone Baritone is last week’s guest poster Ryan who has officially joined the blog!}

Bless me, readers, for I have sinned…It’s been…umm…a while since my last confession.

Normally, I would do this at a Church.  However, last time I decided to go to actual Confession, it abruptly ended when the man sitting in the dark cubicle next to me asked if I had any “sexual sins to confess” (I wish that was a joke).  So, instead of praying that the heavy breathing on the other side of the screen is a result of respiratory problems induced by too many years of inhaling incense, I bring my sins to you lovely people…and, I promise, this confession will be FAR more interesting than any discussion about my sex life…(or lack there of.)

Now, I’d like to think I’m a pretty decent guy.  I hold doors open,  I recycle (sometimes), and I try to be nice to people (whether that last one is because of a strong moral compass or a desperate need for approval is yet to be determined…).  However, there is one Deadly Sin that rears its ugly head time and time again as I wait for the second coming of Richard Rodgers, and that is…ENVY.

Yes, brothers and sisters, envy is the green-headed monster that hides under my bed and pops out at me in the wee small hours of the morning, as I scroll through my Facebook feed full of obnoxiously ambiguous posts like, “Dreams do come true…details to come!” or “Two Do Shay #SOBLESSED”.  It is hiding on Audition Update, when it suddenly becomes apparent that I didn’t get a callback from the audition I thought I nailed.   It is on my TV, when I think “Is Andrew Rannells on EVERY show on TV?”.  It is even sitting in the audience, when a co-star gets a louder applause at bows. Now, I am willing to accept that this is just me…I’m fine with that…as long as they have Bravo in Hell (I need my Housewives…).   However, I’m inclined to think that I’m not the only one who battles this beast. As actors, we are compared and contrasted against each other on a daily basis…So, it’s only natural for us do a little comparing of our own.  My fear, for me though, is; when does a little healthy competition turn into something consuming?   In other words, when does a relatively small sin become a mortal one?  It’s not that I have an inability to be happy for people.  Quite the opposite, I am the first to recognize a truly deserving party or to beam with pride for a friend.  However, I am also first to place a judgement on myself or become personally frustrated when someone succeeds and I don’t, especially when I am between shows and selling overpriced clothes to tourists who get pissed at me because I don’t speak Mandarin (hypothetically…).  So, instead of finding joy in others’ success, I sometimes get depressed in my COMPARATIVE lack there of.  It’s a sad admission that has nothing to do with the other party and everything to do with me and I think, therein lies the answer.

My personal success as a performer and my worth as a person, has NOTHING to do with the success of others.  Say it with me…“MY personal success as a performer and my worth as a person, has NOTHING to do with the success of others.”  It’s true. I mean, how does it affect my career in the slightest if Becky Twoshoes books Tracy Turnblad at PCLO?  I mean, I can “pony” with the best of them but, ultimately…it doesn’t affect me in the slightest.  Let’s say they bring “Cinderella” to Broadway and decide the Prince needs to be “quirky” or they do a revival of “Oklahoma!” and decide they want a multi-cultural cast…cough cough…I can choose to be upset about it, or I can keep my eye on the prize.  Let’s say the stars align. My perfect show and role comes along, and someone else gets it…even worse, I KNOW I would have been better.  So,what? Sometimes crappy performers get the part. Sometimes good things happen to bad people. Sometimes Kim Kardashian makes $80,000 an episode for having no recognizable talents or skills.   However, I can’t change ANY of that.  I can choose to focus on the “injustice of it all” as I finger-space dresses for the 90 millionth time or I can choose to look forward and focus on the things I do have control over.

So, for my self-assigned penance (you can join in too…you know…if you are a heathen like me).  Tomorrow, I’m going to do the following: I’m going to go to the gym, as usual.   I’m going to have an hour of “office time” ( not the show, “The Office”..even though…I might have an hour of watching that too).  I’m going to schedule a voice lesson and I’m going to focus on being the best performer I can be.  The jobs will follow.  There are too many amazingly gifted performers/wonderful people in this business for me to feel any sense of personal defeat at another’s success and, once all of my hard work finally pays off, and I’m leaving Audra, Julie, and Angela in the dust with Most Tony’s won by an actor…we can work on a new Deadly Sin…Pride.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. The College Theatre Dork permalink
    April 13, 2013 9:48 am

    Welcome to the Green Room! I think I’ll by joining you in the sinning 🙂

  2. California Triple-Threat permalink
    April 23, 2013 2:07 pm

    I love this! Welcome to the blog!

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