Happy Monday! Last week I wrote a piece on my experience at the UCBTLA Harold Panel Q&A about there being no mistakes in life, only gifts. It’s been a crazy, fun-filled few days since that post, including a screening of “Me, Myself, & I” at UCB followed by a Q&A with Bobby Moynihan, Jaleel White, Dan Koppelman, and Will McLaughlin on Wednesday night; a day on set of “Arrested Development” on Thursday (hence no video recap in Malibu from Friday); and a Harold audition with an amazing group of people on Saturday afternoon, as well as the return of EAGLES football (how 'bout that win over the Redskins, huh?!).
It’s so important to embrace the unknown. Going into a situation that feels similar to a past situation does not mean the new situation is the same. The big picture idea may be the same, but the smaller moving parts are not.
I mentioned that this past Saturday afternoon I had an audition for the UCB House Harold teams. I was placed in a group with seven other people I did not know who all love doing the same thing as me. I auditioned for Harold teams last year, too, but that did not mean I had the same experience.
The format was the same as last year’s audition: a one-minute monologue followed by a total of 8 scenes that adhered to the basic structural rules of a Harold. Structurally, the audition was the same as the previous year, but that did not mean it was the same experience by any means. I, for one, am not the same person I was a year ago. I’ve learned and grown so much as an improviser and person thanks to a strong community of friends and teammates that helped me feel much more confident in my abilities this time around. And the other people in my audition group were not the same people I went through the experience with last year, either!
Just because two experiences look similar on paper does not mean that they are the same. So much of what we experience in life is fleeting: moments that we wish we could get back or experience all over again, especially the beautiful ones. But we don’t. And for good reason. It’s so important to embrace the unknown because embracing new ways and new habits can lead to something so much more fun and more fulfilling. It's about the future, not the past!
I mentioned a few times that I did not know the other people in my audition group. We did not meet up beforehand to rehearse together - although that is something that some other groups did. Instead, we all got to know each other for 15-20 minutes before our audition, sitting around, laughing together, talking about our improv experiences, and even joking about running a silent audition. We didn’t do a silent group audition, but that sort of joking around really helped us bond as a group before we all jumped on board to trust each other for 20 minutes of our lives.
By embracing the unknown, we all worked together to create a really fun, creative, supportive 20 minutes of make-believe. I am so in awe of everyone in that audition group; I left feeling so happy with how everyone did because I really felt like we tried our best and had a lot of fun. Isn’t that why we do the things we do? Because they’re fun and we love them. It’s that idea of ‘if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.’ By embracing the unknown for 20 minutes with a bunch of people who were unknowns to me, there was a feeling of freeness, flexibility, and lightheartedness that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Embrace the unknown, and open yourself up to something that could be truly great. And if you fail, well, then you fail, but who cares?! At least you can say that you tried, that you gave it your best, and that you had a few laughs along the way.
Thank you so much for reading, and, as always, if you have any pressing questions or if you want to discuss something further with me, feel free to subscribe below or reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so grateful you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really challenging questions and even better feedback from a community all over the world. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! I’m here for you, and I love hearing from you, too! You’re the best, and you have everything you need inside of you! Please believe it! Starve your ego, feed your soul - and follow your heart!