Awww! Ste, Leah and Lucas are in the new ‘Oaks titles!
okay so I’m at uni and don’t have a TV/free time for hollyoaks and literally stopped watching maybe 2 or 3 months ago but I just came home and watched an episode with my mum
WTF IS GOING ON
DOUG IS DEAD???
THERE WAS A BOMB????
TOM KILLED SOMEONE AGAIN????
JP IS GOING TO BE ATTACKED????
SOMETHING ABOUT A NECKLACE??
TONY IS BALD?????
Doug died in the bomb explosion and Ste and Doug got back together before that. Tom didn’t kill anyone, Sienna kidnapped him and made him think he did (she said he caused the explosion and Darren was killed in it) JP is going to be raped by Finn, the necklace is Anna’s and creepy!Will is about to be found and and hopefully killed and Tony had cancer and shaved his head bald because it was falling out and that’s what you missed on Hollyoaks.
Poor Tom! As if being kidnapped by Sienna wasn’t bad enough…now the TV doesn’t work!
I emerged from the train station at Lincoln Center convinced I was already being watched. In fact, I spent the entire train ride into Manhattan imagining half of the other passengers simply staring at me. Understandably so, as I looked quite troubled that ride, mumbling the iambic pentameter of my audition piece, Malvolio from Twelfth Night over and over and over. “There are some who are born great, some who achieve greatness, and some who have greatness thrust upon them!” I’d whisper/exclaim complete with what I thought was a subtle hip twitch. I was about to audition for The Juilliard School, the physical representation of all my hopes and dreams of the past 17 years, give or take.
Acting had always been something I’d loved though I’ve never really taken the time to figure out why. (I’m convinced that if I dig deep to try to fully understand why I chose to be an actor, I’ll exhume a twitching corpse of an ego, by the name of Hubris, something best left alone.) Juilliard only accepted the crème de la crème of young actors and of course that’s exactly what I wanted to be, nothing less than the best, or at least amongst the best.
I was alone for the audition unlike many other kids who seemed to be surrounded by their entire family, extended aunts and uncles included. That’s obviously an exaggeration, but the problem with being from New York is your parents’ assumption that you need neither supervision nor emotional support, when in fact, I could’ve used some of the latter. The entire school was impressive but what I remember the most were the incredibly high ceilings and windows, so high that their existence alone was breathtaking and intimidating.
The first sign that I was in way over my head was in the group warm up which was technically not even part of the actual audition.
“Okay, guys, just to get things started, just to loosen us up, both in mind and body… I want you to choose an animal.” The man speaking in front of me was about 50, tall and lithe, I assumed vegetarian, and with a saunter to end all saunters: an actor if I ever saw one. Pick an animal? Okay, easy, I thought.
“Now be that animal! EMOBDY THE ANIMAL!! BE THE ANIMAL!!!” He exclaimed dramatically moving out of the workspace, arms outstretched, never turning his back on us. In an instant, the hundred other teenagers around me seemed to snap into this euphoric trance. I heard the whoops and hollers of monkeys, the whinny of a horse (that girl was so good I could tell it was a wild horse) the roar of several lions. Noah’s Ark exploded out of the room.
And yet, to me, these kids all looked like morons. I had no idea what this had to do with acting. To me, acting was learning hard dialogue like Shakespeare and making sense of it. When the hell would I be an animal running around a room in my professional life?
A pimply girl with dark hair snapped at my ankles, forcing me out of my stupor. I looked down and realized she was giving her best tiger or leopard or whatever, but she wasn’t being clear enough. In fact, I can say with complete confidence, she didn’t get in. I realized I was basically the only one not doing anything, but I was paralyzed, convinced I was in the wrong room, that these people were auditioning to be life long schizophrenics. I had been standing still for far too long and realized that in order to make it look like I had been doing something the whole time, I had to choose an animal to incorporate that stillness. With what I hoped looked like complete and total confidence I slowly and steadily lifted my right leg to link my foot with the back of my left knee. I tucked my hands underneath my armpits. I had become a flamingo. I was BEING THE FLAMINGO!! Except for me, embodiment meant stillness. My flamingo was on some sort of astral plane where no other animals existed, and so while the zoo around me seemed to be getting along, I stayed one level above them all. Looking back, if I’m honest, I’m pretty sure I also did a horrible job of hiding the mixture of disdain, panic and confusion on my face.
The audition itself was completely unspectacular. After we had all individually gone in to sell ourselves, we sat with our clammy hands in a room surrounded by mirrors. Conveniently, this meant I was surrounded by my greatest judge: me. This sort of room is a dime a dozen in any drama school, but being the amateur I was, I though that the room was designed specifically as a waiting room for auditionees.
In what would turn out to be a familiar routine, a stoic young woman, whose posture revealed that she had been training at Juilliard for at least a year, entered the room with one solitary piece of paper. On it were the names of eight people who had been asked to stay; the rest of us were ”free to go”. Free! The bondage of wanting to finally fulfill our hopes and dreams had been lifted. We were now free to be failures, just somewhere else.
I cry, always have, always will, so of course I wanted to cry then. But I was alone, so the same thing that made me choose a quiet self-effacing flamingo for my animal also stopped me from expressing my emotions in public. We shifted to the elevators in a large herd, the smell of rejection poisoning the air like carbon emissions. I got the distinct feeling we were all of the same mindset: get me away from these losers, they stink.
Four years later in my first movement class at the Central School of Speech and Drama that day at Juilliard finally made sense. While I would still pick reciting Malvolio’s speech over playing a lion, I understood why that damn flamingo wouldn’t leave me alone. I knew deep down that because I feared going for it with reckless abandon I chose the flamingo. My fear of failure prevented me from trying in the first place. The fear itself created the thing I feared most. Those kids who I so quickly branded “morons” had an enviable quality: they all seemed entirely prepared to fall flat on their faces.
The potential to risk it all just to fail never made sense to me, and in some ways, still doesn’t. My whole life I have been a calculated individual, understanding that everything has some sort of effect on everything else in life. I wonder if this links back to the ethos I had drilled in my head: good elementary school, good high school, good high school, good college, good college, good job. That seems quite linear, doesn’t it? Almost as linear as a frozen flamingo, all straight lines and right angles. That girl/tiger snapping at my ankle now seems like DaVinci to me. I look down at her in my mind’s eye and I see creativity and joy.
I am once again at a point in my life where I am terrified of what the future will hold. Well, no, I’m terrified of two things: that I won’t try hard enough to get what I want and regret the “not trying” for the rest of my life or that I try as hard as I can and I still don’t achieve my dreams. The second one is scarier. I’ve read enough books, seen enough films, and listened to enough songs to know that most of us go through life disappointed, at least on some level. I’ve seen what admitting defeat looks like.
I am scared of waking up one day and thinking that by adjusting my goals in life I settled to make life easier, and surely that can’t be what life is about. I don’t ever want to get to a point where it’s a case of a day “fading into another”. In the face of this fear, my instinct is to retract my leg and embody the flamingo.
To this day, while there are many theories, no one is quite sure why the flamingo stands on one leg, but you can tell the flamingo knows, or at least isn’t bothering to figure out why it’s doing it. It certainly isn’t doing it because it’s embarrassed of being made fun of or judged. I mean, let’s be serious, the flamingo is obviously self-confident and sassy, right? So, in that sense, I never even came close to being a real flamingo. I guess I more closely resembled a lawn ornament of a flamingo.
And that’s the conclusion, I guess: being afraid of failure to the point of not trying turns you from a human in an actualized world into a plastic lawn ornament that’s just here to look pretty. And that just makes you a sucker.
Hi, I don’t have the article at hand I’m sorry! You should be able to buy it or someone may have posted it somewhere.