Thanks to my father’s home videos, I’ve spent the last several hours watching my childhood flash before my eyes.
And the recurring theme is:
I. Loved. Attention.
Every time my parents would try and capture my younger brother doing something sweet or cute, I would zoom by in my big glasses, permed hair, and Zubaz and scream.
Sometimes I would take a more subtle approach by saying enticing things off camera.
Oh Boy. This is so crazy, guys! Sure would make a GREAT video.
There is even a moment when I’m seven and the camera stops suddenly (after I had shouted many of the phrases above) and then reappears with me planted firmly in front of the lens.
This was clearly my moment. I stared expectantly at my father and it looked like I was about to do something really amazing - really spectacular and worth all the fuss.
And then my father says his (clearly coached) line.
Now here is Jessica, crowing like a rooster.
Like I said, worth the fuss.
And boy did I crow. I crowed my little heart out.
And that was it. I ran happily away having proven to the world that I probably should have been on medication.
I haven’t written in a while.
At first, I was busy. Then more busy. And then I was just pretending I was busy.
Somewhere about a week ago, I realized I was avoiding writing about my life because of a very specific reason.
I didn’t think it was worth it.
I didn’t think I was worth it.
Pass the Prozac.
Lately I’ve been wandering around in a strange pool of low self-esteem and copious amounts wine.
After a less-than-fruitful pilot season, it started to feel like all the ‘nos’ I’d been hearing were aimed right at my heart.
Right at the place where I hold the most important parts of myself.
And I started to believe I was only worth a ‘no.’
When you are pursuing a career where you face rejection every day, that is a very dangerous place to be.
And even though I’ve stuffed that little girl who will crow like a rooster behind better hair, contacts, and pants that have no geometric patterns, the nos were still getting in.
Every time I walked into a casting office I gave up all of my power and felt like I would die for just an ounce of their approval.
Surprisingly, this tactic wasn’t working.
Instead of seeing that confident, smart, talented, and funny girl I wanted them to see, they saw someone else completely:
A girl wearing Zubaz and making bird noises.
And no one wants to work with that girl.
In fact, I think I know that girl and she lives in the alley behind the McDonalds.
And finally, after a particularly hard audition where I drove snot-nosed and bleary-eyed home in the Yaris after a casting director looked me up and down and said “THAT’S an interesting outfit,” I had had enough.
I was done letting rejection in so deep.
It’s my party and I’ll crow if I want to.
So, while I’m still asking people to watch me it now comes from a different place.
Watch me be enough.