Early in my sophomore year of college, during my first and only acting course, our professor asked the class to lie on our backs in a dark theater, reach into the air, and visualize achieving our heart’s greatest desire. The exercise was designed to expose us to the full force of our most powerful wants. To feel the super-objective our lives, if you will. Some students began to cry. I did not. At the time, my greatest desire and want was to not be lying on my back in an acting class. Still, one lesson from that day stuck with me. Our professor concluded the lesson by positing that people rarely admit to ourselves how deeply we want for something. Most of the time, we protect ourselves from the ache of our most potent dreams.
During Professionals Week, in meeting after meeting, I was struck by the force of my desire for a life in the theater. Listening to Morgan Jenness’ hilarious war stories, or learning about Pam MacKinnon’s circuitous and triumphant path to Broadway, I had to acknowledge how badly I want this. All of it. The pursuit, the toil, the heartbreak. I’ll take it all, in bulk order, if one day the story of my own career contains such variety, integrity, and adventure. I left these meetings breathless, with a strangely heavy heart. The audacious size of my aspirations hit home. And suddenly I felt that the Drama League Directors Project might just be the first step of my own circuitous and triumphant path. Or at least a hilarious war story in the making.