I have so many reservations writing about this. Know that we all have “that thing”. I have many. However, this is my biggie. Please, be gentle.
Tonight I made myself venture out and audition for a show that I knew would be a stretch for me. Not that the role would be a stretch, it would just be landing the role that would be difficult. Not to mention that this director is somewhat infamous for not liking larger people. Mainly larger women. For those of you who don’t know, I am on the large side. Always have been, more than likely always will be. I am trying to comfortably come to terms with the fact that I will always be, to put it the only way I can think of, fat. But tonight I did not do myself ANY favors.
In addition to being the largest person there, I also managed to tank my audition. Then, just to put the icing on the cake, the director said to me as I was leaving “Look at you, holding your own with all those small dancer girls.”
Lets start with the fact that I have a dance background. I have been dancing for over 20 years. I have studied with some of the best and have a much larger background than “those small dancer girls.”
Now lets move on the the crushing blow to my self-esteem. As soon as she said it I felt the knot rise up in my throat. Even now, tears are coming to my eyes. I wanted to turn and run but sadly all I said was “Thank you.” I said THANK YOU! What the hell? I just thanked someone for body shaming me! I know I am not small. I can look in a mirror and see that. It was mostly the phrase “keep up with” that, to me, implied someone who was not a small dancer girl would struggle. Someone untrained. Or worse, someone large.
With the help of my friend, I have moved past tanking my audition. He brought up a really great point. Why would I want to work with someone condescending? Auditions are like interviews. She was testing us as much as we were testing her. When I direct, I get nervous. I know my auditionees are looking to see how I will run things, how do I give direction, and how do I treat people. We all slip up and say the wrong thing, and I want to believe that is what happened. I want to believe the good. I am very thick skinned. I can hear no 100 times and not bat an eye.
This one just hit a little too hard.