Saturday, March 05, 2011
Many of you don't know that I am an actress. Actually, I've never had the guts to say that out loud. I usually say I'm a theater major, or that I'm studying for my drama teaching degree. The truth is though, I love acting. I love the stage. I love theater and I've always dreamed of doing it for a living. My weight has always held me back though. Since I started acting at 13 I've been given the roles of the funny old lady, or the quirky best friend. Sometimes I played the unhappy waitress with bad hair, or the loving mother of the beautiful leading lady. I've never had a lead myself, or a role that wasn't considered "Character" acting. I remember auditioning for Antigone when I was 18. I out-read every girl in the room that day. I was good, really good. I didn't get the role and the big mean director told me, with a straight face, that had I been 30 lbs. lighter...
So there I was Thursday night, at call-backs for Othello at the university I'm attending. The night before I had performed my monologues for a panel of faculty and my name made it on the list of people to be seen again the next night. There are really only 3 roles for women in Shakespears' Othello; The young, virginal Desdemona, the snarky prostitute who is seen only a couple of times during the 3 hour play and Emelia. Beautiful, wise, strong, funny, sharp Emelia. It was the only role I could possibly be considered for, seeing as how I'm 10-12 years older than most of the girls I go to school with. And I wanted that role so bad my bones ached as I sat there, waiting for my turn to read the lines and give life to the character. And I was good. I had the whole room laughing. I could feel them hanging on my words because they believed that I was Emelia for those brief moments. I brought something new and surprising to the role and I knew when I walked out of the room that I had done my very best and that it was good enough.
But would they cast me?
I've lost roles before because I was so much bigger that the leading man the director was considering. An audience, right or wrong, won't buy into a physically mismatched couple, and the audience's opinion is the only one that matters.
So could they cast me?
They couldn't have a year ago, three years ago, 10 years ago. They probably couldn't have 6 months ago, when I was 240 lbs.
They cast me today. I've been called and offered the role of Emelia, one of Shakespear's finest female characters.
I am Emelia!
This is why I have made the commitment to lose weight. The joy and pride that I'm feeling right now, this is the exact reason I count calories, sweat at the gym, sacrifice time with my family, choose workouts over TV, turn down seconds, eat whole wheat bread, face my demons of self-loathing and sabotage every day. I have big dreams for myself and I won't stand in the wings and watch someone else live them anymore! I won't be a prisoner of my own body anymore!
The play goes on stage in September and I WILL BE AT MY GOAL WEIGHT. I know I will because I'm never going back to the wings again. I am claiming my rightful place at center stage of my own life. I know I'll be successful because success is all I will settle for. I know I will lose the last 35 lbs. and keep it off because I am a strong, healthy woman who is capable and deserving of all the magic the universe has to offer.