Learning How To Lose
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”
— Joseph Chilton Pierce
— Joseph Chilton Pierce
Before I became a voice over artist, I was a starving actor trying to get the gig of a lifetime. So in order to pay my rent and actually eat, I had to become the Queen of "does it pay?" and "I don't have to take my clothes off, right? Great! I'll take it."
One of my most favorite acting jobs, was playing a suited character with a ten pound head for a kids television show. In one episode, I actually carried around a glokenspiel while doing insanely high kicks and wearing, yes, that's right, a TEN POUND HEAD!! I'm convinced that my back problems started on that day. Another great gig was playing a boy named Jim Smiley at a dinner theater in California. Oh that was a good one! On the ever so popular Turkey Night, the folks with the hearing aids sat in the front row. Inevitably, there was always a woman yelling "Can you pass the gravy?" while another guy repeatedly asked "What did that boy say?" And of course, one audience member always fell asleep. The snoring was so loud, the actors had to scream just to be heard. When I wasn't "acting," I was catering, teaching kids improv, dancing at Bar Mitzvahs, cocktail waitressing, temping and passing out menus at a garlic restaurant. You could smell me from a mile away. I told myself I wasn't dating because I didn't have the time, but honestly, no one was asking me out. I REEKED!! Yes, I woke up every day following my dream and wondering when my dream and I would actually meet.
I eventually did land some really great gigs, but I never got that dream job with the sold out performance and a glowing review in the New York Times. I didn't walk the red carpet, but I totally lived down the street from the Kodak theater....close enough right? Designers never gave me free stuff because I was the "it" girl and Joan Rivers certainly did not gush about my Giorgio Armani dress, but honestly, it doesn't matter. Because every time I didn't get the job, it forced me to develop a thick skin, take criticism with a HEAPING grain of salt, work harder and continue to remain open to all possibilities. For me, learning how to lose also meant letting go of the plan. Sometimes, if not all the time, "the plan" changes. My plan went off the track to a station with a microphone, a vocal booth and me recording in my pajamas. Ah, the joys of not caring what you look like because all they want is your voice. Thank goodness because with two small kids, sometimes it's hard to get a shower in.
So what does this all have to do with being a creative mom taking on the creative?
Well, when you throw your noodles on the wall, remember that they may not stick the way you planned. Your noodle may fall a hundred times or go from being savory to soggy. It may start off as a regular noodle and end up becoming whole wheat. Something you never thought you'd like, but oddly enough, you do.
Learning how to lose is a journey every person should take because it makes winning a whole lot sweeter. So if that noodle fails or changes its course, DON'T GIVE UP. Just remember that part of learning how to lose is getting your hand back in the pot and throwing another noodle on the wall. Because, ultimately, the right noodle WILL STICK. So roll up those sleeves, get your hands in the pot and start throwing.
Send a comment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or throw it up on
The Noodle Wall.