In high school, I applied to a state run (I think?) residential summer language arts immersion program. I applied to study French, a language I hadn’t studied a day in my life but for which I had always harbored a secret love.
This was pre-email notifications, so when I got a letter in the mail, I can remember thinking, “This is my Harry Potter Hogwarts letter!”
I got rejected.
That’s not the worst part, though. The worst part came a week before the program was supposed to start. I got another letter in the mail. Curious, I thought, since they had rejected me. It was with great excitement that I read it and saw directions to the campus!
I called the number provided on THAT letter to ask for more information and was promptly told that I had been mailed the map by accident, that I was still rejected, and I didn’t even receive an apology.
Y’all keep that little trip down memory lane in your locker because I need to divert down a more contemporary path for a moment.
In the last few months, I experienced (I can now see from the other side) what was one of the deepest depressions I’ve had the displeasure of experiencing in the last decade. I blogged about it here and here if you need to get up to speed.
Some of the things that lifted me from the muck were:
- Being flown out to Texas to visit my goddaughter and her parents…errr…I mean my best friend, her loving husband, and their kid,
- Getting accepted into the next round of the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab,
- Getting asked to audition for a Network’s comedy showcase.
And all of that literally happened on August 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
INSANE the way the universe works sometimes.
I had a great time with my peeps, wrote the final draft of my screenplay submission, and developed several characters to present at my audition.
At the audition, I killed it. I don’t say that lightly as I’m usually self-deprecating when it comes to original comedic material. But all of The Network people listening to my audition were laughing continuously and even stated how impressed they were at the end. Usually, if you don’t do so well, you get a kind (yet pitying) “thanks” and you leave.
This time, though, they asked if I was also a writer and mentioned they had a writing program, as well.
“Yes. Yes, I am a writer and an actor. Both. I do both,” I managed to stutter out while gathering my bag.
“Great, we’ll be in touch!”
Whoa. Never before had I ever heard an audition committee make a rock solid commitment to follow up with me.
So I settled in with fingers crossed and the expectation to NEVER HEAR FROM THEM AGAIN. In The Industry, after you audition, you ONLY hear back if you’ve made it through to the next round or booked the job. Otherwise, you can assume from the silence that you didn’t get whatever it is that you just spent a massive amount of time preparing for.
It’s sad, it’s anxiety inducing, it’s depressing.
I did hear back, though, and submitted the requisite sketches I needed to, along with a bio and resume, and settled in with the expectation to NEVER HEAR FROM THEM AGAIN.
I wasn’t disappointed.
Weeks went by and not a peep.
I woke up this morning sweating from my lack of AC in a Los Angeles heatwave, in pain because mother nature sent “Aunt Flow” in for a visit at 2 a.m. (I must’ve displeased her last month because she is TEARING SH*T UP), and more than vaguely imagining my life on an isolated island somewhere far away from Tinseltown. Though nothing like the last few months, I still have waves of ennui that knock me into daydreaming about deserting my astronomical career goals and going to find some poor schlub that wants to take a go at domestic bliss.
And then I got an email from The Network with instructions for writing that I didn’t understand because I’d never heard back from them about moving forward.
Do you remember the story from earlier?
Deja vu, my friends, in the worst possible way.
But I guess I’m a bit of a masochist, because I wanted that confirmation of rejection. I needed it, needed to get some closure for another failed audition and submission, like any good LA actor and writer.
I typed a short email letting them know that they had accidentally emailed me the instructions.
Within half an hour, I got a return email.
I was expecting: “Oops, sorry about that. Thanks for applying, try again next year.”
Instead, I got: “You are most certainly in. I think we accidentally left you off of the original email! Are you still interested?”
My eyes went blurry and, I swear to you, I thought I was going temporarily blind and/or having a panic attack.
Nope, just tears. Tears of unadulterated joy, relief, satisfaction, vindication, whatever positive emotion you can think of, those tears were saturated in them.
My first move was to get in the shower because sending emails to people at The Network requires me to be presentable, even though they can’t actually see me.
The next was to go get a piece of cake from The Alcove. Their cake is amazing (though, at $7 a slice, you have to really want it).
But I was so flabbergasted by this awesome turn of events that I couldn’t focus enough to find my pants! If that isn’t comedy seeping out of my veins, I don’t know what is.
4 minutes later, I located a clean pair of shorts (well, they passed the smell test) and jumped into my car.
And I got a slice of a really gorgeous Princess cake.
In the interest of full disclosure, I also walked home with a slice of Chocolate Godiva cake:
Because I can’t think of a better day to spend $15 on celebratory cake.
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