Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Learning to say NO

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.

No.

Two letters. One syllable.

A lot of power.

14 comments:

Melissa said...

I know this all too well. But you have to do it or you will go insane.

I had to do the devotional at our last church council meeting, and I used it to thank all of the people there for giving up their most important treasure: their time.

kaye said...

It is empowering, but I understand the fear side as well.

Magpie said...

Once upon a time, I had a boss who said NO all the time, albeit in a good-natured way. For a gift, we got her a rubberstamp - which she quickly realized could be turned upside down to read ON. Nice that they are inverse - huh?

de said...

You've got to have criteria, set limits. It makes the most sense.

Aunt Becky said...

I have learned to love the word "no." I get so sick of those blasted "say yes to everything" people. I kind of want to smack them, because that's just set up for guilt and failure. Blech.

Rima said...

Yup, saying "no" is hard and I totally get the fear about not being asked again. But it's also nice to be in a position to be able to say it, no?

imbeingheldhostage said...

Brava you! You are teaching your daughter something really wonderful with this new you :-)

Louise said...

And it's YOUR power. Good for you!

Christine said...

no is hard, WAY hard. but good for you knowing when to use it!

Kat said...

Yeah! Priorities! Very good. I am trying desperately to get my husband to learn the word as well. He is always over-involved.

Kyla said...

Good for you!

Bunchy said...

I'm learning to say no as well...not with theatre, but with other things in my life. And it is scary, but it feels so good when you realize that others still find you just as "good" despite your "no". Thanks for this post.

Woman in a Window said...

You did say no? Well then what the heck are you doing in that photo essay. THAT looked like a yes. Must be one of those fun ones!

No Mother Earth said...

This has been the hardest adjustment for us post-kids. Because Mr Earth and I both do theatre, we can't do all the shows we want to do, and we can't both do shows at the same time. We're really trying to only do shows or roles that are really important to us. Kids are only young once, right?