“Man plans, God laughs.” I'm an Actress, what's a plan?

I am a planner. I don't need a routine, but I do need plans. I like to know where I am and where I'm supposed to be well in advance. My career choice doesn't exactly suit my natural neurosis, but I'm working on it. 
Just when you think you are about to land your next big role, you get the call saying, "It's not gone your way this time."
Not only are you upset because your dream job has slipped away, you also planned the expensive holiday you wanted to go on, your press night dress and that new All Saints leather jacket that you had your eye on and promised to yourself as a "congratulations to me present."

As actors we get told “no” a lot. 
  • “Sorry, it’s a no.”
  • “No, you can’t have that day off.” 
  • “No, you can’t fly back from holiday on a work day.” (#liveontheedge)
  • "No Emma, You can't riff the end of 'On My Own'"
So, how do we deal with those no's?
(I riffed it once! Once, I swear).
2015 - Queens Theatre London
Early on in my career, pre drama school I began to experience job rejection, 
  • The original cast of Spring Awakening, I got to finals, dad bought press night tickets, I sat with him in the audience. 
  • Sister Act Original Cast, I got to finals, Dad bought press night tickets, I sat with him in the audience.
  • High School Musical, I didn't know you had to bring sheet music, I assumed auditions were like the X Factor. Acapella audition and no recall for me. (To be fair, this was my first ever audition).
I was 16/17 at the time, so not getting those jobs was of course upsetting but ultimately I just went back to school. However, I did have to explain my return to school after warning my peers about my impending stardom. Nothing  teaches you humility like having to stay 'til the bitter end and complete your A Levels. Yet through all that, I still knew where I was going everyday, it wasn't the London Palladium, but school would suffice for now.

I didn’t get into 2 out of 3 drama schools that I auditioned for, but I did get in to Mountview, it was my first choice of school, so I was thrilled. It was the last school I found out the verdict for, so naturally I was in full panic mode. Although I panicked a little (a little, sure) It was also never even a thought of mine that I would get a no and not get in anywhere, maybe steely determination and literally not taking no for an answer is key. (Also, having a plan).
I have a tiny fear of failure, so failing to get a place at drama school wasn't an option and I'm the ultimate perfectionist, in case you hadn't guessed that already.

Light In The Piazza - Mountview
My last day at Mountview I was offered my first job. 3 months into that job I was offered my second (after initially receiving a no, I might add). I then did 2 jobs at once, performing at night and rehearsing during the day. I’d had no’s but nothing so far that had really impacted my career. Everything was going according to "plan”. (See proverb).

I felt like a machine and I loved it. Working had become my world. However I felt like I was only interesting because of the job I did. Working was where I felt comfortable, it's where I felt validated.

Like many performers, I then took the plunge. I wanted to achieve all I had ever wanted to achieve, so I made myself "available." Being "available" was of course part of my plan, however availability also means instability. 
To keep my dreams alive I would think up award speeches, (because, now that I was available, everyone would be fighting over me of course). If you say you haven’t done this, I don’t believe you, we’ve all thanked our parents for their support in the mirror whilst pretending to cry and say “Oh I can’t believe it.” YES you can believe it! I worked hard for my fake dreamy Oscar! 

Being “available” sounds like a dream and implies you are “In demand” batting away offers left right and centre. But how do you feel validated and whole in the meantime? (Especially when that phone ain't ringing) How do you stay positive when that piece of you isn’t there, and you're just waiting for life to begin? 
(Musical references everywhere, I literally can't help myself).

This year alone, I have auditioned for 4 different productions of the same show, 4 times for the same part, once for a different part, so 5 TIMES! No, No, No, No, No.
I have a feeling that show isn’t for me πŸ˜…. I might even 'plan' a cabaret and have this show as the main theme, sing every song that I would have sung, you know, like Cher! 
(If you know, you know).

So, how do I deal with it?
The reality is, I have a good old cry, sleep on it, wake up the next morning and talk to myself and say, “God Emma, stop being such a drama queen” and get on with my day. Of course some no's are harder to swallow, but ride the wave, eventually you get to shore. 
(I just puked a little at that metaphor). 

Don't give up. I have NEVER wanted to quit. Quitting has never been on my radar. I love this world and this job too much, even if it doesn't lend itself to my personality type.
My agent did give me some great advice though, and it was,
 "Start having fun Emma!" (HC you are literally the best).
Make sure you have supportive people around you who believe in you when you don't believe in yourself.
I have amazing friends who always have my back! You know who you are! πŸ’›

I Love it! I wouldn't have it any other way!
The world of entertainment is full of “NO” but my god when it’s a “YES” it is truly is the BEST feeling in the entire world. My next “yes” is coming, and watch out world when it does. Remember, I’ve already drafted about 10 different ways to thank people when I’m standing up on that podium! 
I will refer to this blog when I become an EGOT winner! 
Now that is absolutely part of my PLAN!

Go to class, get inspired, don’t sit on your arse! Stay in control of the things that you can, and otherwise, surrender to the beauty of being in the present. (Something I have to remind myself of often).
 Don’t just dream it, MAKE IT HAPPEN!
It’s not easy hearing “NO” (and that’s if you hear at all #ghosted) it just makes room for that fabulous YES!
Take each day as it comes, that's my new plan! 
(With the EGOT at the end of it all, of course).



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