After doing 6 consecutive shows last year I made a vow to myself: I would only do shows and roles that I'm really excited about. I would not drive an hour to and from rehearsal for a small, unrewarding part (unless, of course, someone was going to pay me enough to make it worth my while). I might bend this rule to work with a new theatre or director, but overall, I was not going to sacrifice so much of my time, energy and often money for something that would not ultimately pay me back in some way (artistically, financially, etc).
So far this year I have already turned down 2 roles.
And let me tell you, it's hard. I'm not used to saying no. I'm used to taking whatever they offer me, and truly dedicating myself to the project. I've been rewarded for such behavior. But there has also been a steep price.
There's fear that accompanies the saying of the word "no". What if they never offer me another role? What if I don't get cast in anything else and come the time this show would be up I'm sitting at home frustrated?
However, there is also freedom. The realization that there are other shows that will run at the same time for which I now can audition. The acknowledgment that staying home with my family can be just as rewarding. The possibility of doing other things I enjoy instead.
Two letters. One syllable.
A lot of power.