A PSA For Women Who Perform
You are in a VERY saturated market. You are never guaranteed a career simply because there are so MANY of you. If you were a man, and you just stuck with working hard and showing up, you would catch a wave of gigs eventually. The performance world is in DIRE NEED of males. Unfortunately it is already filled to the brim with talented, strong, hard working, genuine females, all brilliant and unique and respectful...
just like you.
You are not needed as much as you are expected. Accepted. Revered by those who witness your everyday heroism. Ignored or casually flirted with by those who don’t.
But here you are. You show up at 5am, face glowing even before makeup, bundled for the frigid weather, equipped with every possible shoe, beauty tool, snack, and unforeseen need for the day. Maybe you warmed up your ankles and whipped on mascara on the train ride over. Maybe you worked every day this week slinging cocktails or cookies or tickets to Chicago, and still made it to dance class in a red lip. Maybe you meal prepped and taught yoga and sang for hours even though you hated that the neighbors could hear.
Without a doubt, you pushed past your deepest insecurities and accepted yourself enough to show up at this hour and wait in the cold until well after sunrise. Without a doubt you have already been rejected by the gatekeepers of these shows dozens, if not hundreds of times, without a word of explanation. You have been left alone to stand tall and win the battle against all your flaws and mistakes over and over at studios all over Midtown. You have, I’m sure, felt the rush of sudden, unstoppable emotional vulnerability at some inconvenient time and been misunderstood or labeled “crazy” or “difficult” for it. Your head shot, which was meticulously chosen from hundreds of caught courageous moments and cost the price of rent (plus printing fees), has been no doubt been shelved or trashed in a split second decision by someone who could never do what you do EVERY day. And you may not acknowledge it, but you have no doubt been the target of some workaday harassment, on the street, in the subway, at your job.
You have chosen to be an artist in a world of female oppression, and you don’t just begrudgingly show up. You ARRIVE with a smile and an encouraging comment for friends and strangers in line. You CELEBRATE your community of artists, pushing past jealousy and pettiness to simply be present and brave, at auditions, in class, in audiences, and at work shifts. You bring a smile, a clever sensibility, and a bit of “you-ness” to every room, unapologetically. You take your (very hard and numerous) lessons in stride, process what they mean for you and STILL you show up, you tell your friends they can do it. You take care of your body and heart and you hold down the vibes with your deep inner power.
Just today, I felt thankful for all the women in line outside The Growing Studio at 6am, staying positive and grounded and passing info along. I was genuinely hugged by the women I knew and needed so badly to see. I was helped by the calm, kind female monitor. I was given space to warm up and respect in the room. I was provided hot coffee and vitamins and stabilizing words by my apartment host after catching an extra half hour of sleep before the dance call. I was comforted and connected with an Instagram message from a fellow artist I haven’t spoken to in years—sensing my struggles she DM’d me just to say: “You’re not alone. I feel for you. You’re worthy. You’re strong.”
This blog is for you: female identifying dancers, singers, and actors who ARE HOLDING IT DOWN in New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. You’ve taught me wordless grace and infinite determination. You‘ve offered me help with the audition process, the choreography, and the sheer mindf**k that a day in this industry can be. You. Are. MY HEROES.
I am so so SO proud, to be one of you, and to be with you.
This blog is also for the people out there who SEE US and SUPPORT US and give us their time, good advice, and assistance in spotting/nabbing opportunities to create/perform/work/be ourselves. THANK YOU. You make the world a better, more beautiful place. You’re helping all the flowers to bloom.
Please pass this message on to a female creator who needs to hear it.