I was told I was too fat.
I’ll never forget it. I was in California living the sweet life of a performer. I had just spent the day literally playing at MJ’s house. I saw it all. I sat in red velvet recliners and watched Dr. Doolittle, saw people taking elephants for a walk, rode a swan boat, sumo wrestled, was in a pool house of video games, and ate all the free food we wanted. The night before this magical escapade, after performing, we went to an trendy sushi bar, had saki, and socialized with the elite. It was magical.
I was entranced and knew this is where I belonged. I FINALLY BELONGED. All the hard work I did, private lessons for acting twice a week, dance classes on Saturdays, singing lessons 1x a week, working out with a trainer, missing graduation parties for my job as a waitress to pay for my trainings, was all worth it. I DID IT, or so I thought. Does the feeling of accomplishment ever last for a performer?
The next day I performed and I nailed it. Every note, every step, just flowed through me. I felt like I was unstoppable. I came off the stage in a state of euphoria. I had an agent come up to me and say “ You are unbelievably talented. My eyes didn’t leave you.”
My heart skipped a beat. I was validated.
He continued, “My concern was that you are too fat. It distracts me from how you move. You really need to watch your weight”
I crashed. My thoughts spiraled. "Asshole; he is right, why do I think I am special, im such an idiot, what a narcissistic pig, I cant sing, I want to go home..."
I was 18 years old. I weighed 135.. I wore a size 6 maybe an 8 on the way the jeans stretched because I did have a big Italian booty.
I had a flat stomach. I had perky boobs, that God gave me. I had a wrinkle free, pimple free round face and blonde hair. I was normal. Do I dare say I was beautiful.
This isn’t a blog about weight. This is a blog about how that moment was the beginning of me losing my confidence as a performer. There is always A MOMENT that we crash. A moment where we are tested. What you do immediately after that crash can determine the rest of your future.
That one person, that one opinion, actually started the breaking of who I was. That one person laid the foundation of my future of doubt. I should have chose to ignore it. To remember the compliment not the negative. In that moment, I chose to leave pop music and instead study Musical Theatre. I had a full ride to Berklee College of music , but that one critique caused me to tell myself lies that I wasn’t the type for pop. My look would never sell. My sound was too classic. I am better fit for Musical Theatre. I was never going to be Brittany Spears ( ironically I played her look alike on MTV ) I gave up that full ride and settled for a partial scholarship at NYU.
Yes, woe is me. I am over here bitching about two amazing schools but there is a reason.
That choice set me up to witness 9/11. When I witnessed 9/11 all those doubts that I had built up over the years, stemming from that one comment, came flowing into my body like a tsunami. When that tower crumbled, the me that existed washed away with it. It was my breaking point. I had built my story on a me that didn't love herself. I wasn't able to withstand any bad that came with the good. My story could be considered extreme but life is full of shitty surprises. Are we not still living through a 2 year pandemic?
As performers, we are constantly on an emotional a roller coaster. One min we are walking into an audition like “ Yes I am meant for this part!”
Then we are sitting at home checking our computer so frequently that we think our email isn’t working, just waiting for some kind of feedback, which never comes, unless we booked it. Then when that email doesn’t come, the slow cracks of self doubt of why not me, what’s wrong with me, & what didn’t I do, start taking over.
Choose to ignore the comments and opinions of others and in your own mind. Filter out what is positive for you and what isn’t. Don't blame anyone else, no matter what anyone says because it’s up to you to choose how you process what is said. It is how you react to a situation. Know who you are, your worth and who YOU want to become. Having a dream surrounded by glass walls will inevitably break.