• Emlyn McFarland

Am I Insane or Just Persistent?


I’m driving along to another audition in Philadelphia for a Pennsylvania Lottery commercial, no the irony is not lost on me, I am acutely aware that my chances of booking this part are about the same as winning big on a scratch off. I’ve already auditioned for at least six other lottery commercials and have not “won” once. I remember when I was a kid my grandfather played the lottery every week, I remember sometimes he would let me fill in the little bubbles with the numbers he wanted to play, he never won. At least the money from the people playing the Pennsylvania Lottery goes to benefit older Pennsylvanians. What does the money funding my trips to these auditions go to? Well, it goes to tell you something about me … I’m either persistent or just plane insane.

The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I keep going to these auditions over and over again and what do I expect? When I asked myself this question I said “I expect to get the part” (and yes I said it…I talk out loud to myself a lot… ) Then I said , (out loud to myself), “wait…do I really expect to get the part? Or do I expect that I won’t? ” I suddenly realize that my self doubt might be the one thing that is keeping me from being truly insane, I go and I expect not to get the part and expect to be disappointed and that is exactly what happens. I’m not insane, I’m correct. Ok, so I’m sane but I don’t believe in myself. I’m not crazy, I’m just committing self sabotage.

The audition is over and I stop at the grocery store to treat myself to a salad at the salad bar. (yes that’s a treat, I lead a simple life ) Also at the salad bar is an interesting looking fellow with thick glasses and curly dark hair. He has on a back pack and a fanny pack and is carrying a grocery basket filled with crackers. He is mumbling audibly to himself and being very particular about what he puts in his salad. When he gets to the cherry tomatoes he stops and smells each one deeply almost inhaling it as it rubs against his nose before placing it in his salad. At this point I lose my appetite for the salad bar. The thing that strikes me though, is that he doesn’t care or is maybe not aware that I am watching him. He doesn’t care or is maybe unaware that this is strange behavior. He doesn’t care or is maybe unaware that it is weird to buy only crackers or a bit insane to smell his tomatoes. No one in the store seems to care that this guy might be a little off. Besides turning me off the salad bar, which is fine I can just eat last nights leftovers, his being a bit insane doesn’t bother anyone and ya know what? I bet he is really going to enjoy that salad. So maybe insane is good, maybe a little crazy never hurt anyone.

So no more being persistently sane. Oh, sure I say, (out loud), “oh, I hope I get this one…maybe this is the one!” but deep down inside at my very core I’m not really expecting that different result. I have to believe in myself and maybe that seems insane at times but so what. Whatever happened to – if at first you don’t succeed try try again? No one calls you insane when you’re learning to ride a bike. Imagine that, you fall off your bike once and you try again but you still fall off so you try again and again and again … then a couple of guys in white coats drag you off. “This kid is insane, he thinks he if he keeps trying to ride that bike he’ll eventually stop falling off?” If you really think about it almost every successful person was probably seen as insane at some point. Albert Einstien, Pythagoras, Arnold Schwarzenaggar, (I’ll bet you when little Arnold in Austria told his mom he was going to be a world famous bodybuilder/actor/Governor of California she totally thought he was nuts) So let’s not discount Mr. Tomato Sniffer and I’ll keep trying again and again but expect that different result – I’ll expect the win.

#Auditions #biography #funny #actor #comedian #humor #television #essay #acting #personalessay #comedienne #PennsylvaniaLottery

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