Recently, I went out for coffee with a friend I haven't seen in fifteen years. While even just the fact I can say that I have friends that I haven't seen in over a decade is mind-boggling (aren't I still sixteen?), it came to light during our discussion that one of my biggest regrets in life could have been a huge opportunity. Let me set the stage:
I'm fifteen and accompanying my then boyfriend to an audition in Toronto. This is HUGE deal because we are from a super small town and he has an actual agent and is being sent on actual auditions. So cool, right? We have both been acting in our community theatre for years so this sort of thing is amazing to us. He's excited and nervous but really wants to break into musical theatre. Like a good teen girlfriend, I helped him with his sides. Quite frankly, I thought it was the weirdest thing I've ever read, all chock full of mutant teenagers or possibly aliens. But preparing is preparing.
So I'm sitting in the waiting room and the casting director (or possibly assistant. I was fifteen and didn't really pay attention to anything but my teenaged angst) comes out of the audition room. She stopped and looked at me for a moment before asking if I wanted to audition. I giggled nervously and assured her that I was only an amateur actor doing community theatre. So no auditioning for me. I was just waiting for someone.
And that was that. I've often wondered where my life would have ended up if I had said yes to that casting director. Would I still be acting? Would I have met some of my dearest friends? Would I have met my husband? But mostly, I shrugged it off as a learning experience.
Turns out that audition for something I thought was kinda weird? It was for a huge franchise. I'm talking huge. They're still making movies for it. Fifteen. Years. Later.
New lesson for me: I said "no" to something because I didn't know what it was and I wasn't sure of myself. By saying "no" to it, I passed on something that could have been life-altering. I'm not saying that I would have gotten a part but imagine if I had. Or imagine if I had started along the professional acting path almost a decade sooner than I did. Would I be in LA now? I'm not saying it's probable but I am saying it's possible.
So here's the moral of the story. Don't say "no" just because you don't get it. Definitely don't say "no" because you don't think you can do it. Just say "yes" because you never know what mutant franchise starring future Oscar nominees you might be cast in.