I got my email yesterday afternoon telling me whether or not I made a Harold Team at the iO Theater. At the end of every iO graduation class the faculty chooses the best players and puts them on a team (known as a Harold team) and then they get a run of shows at the theater. In the improv world, it’s a pretty big deal if you make that team, at least I think it is.
Loser McGee here didn’t make that team.
It reminded me of the time in middle school when I went to the gym every single day after school for nearly two months in an attempt to break the “shuttle run record.” Even though I worked really hard and I wanted it so bad, sometimes wanting it isn’t enough. I came really close, but I never broke it. But now that I’m thinking about this I can’t help but feel that it was kind of a dick move of Mr. Jeffries not to just give me the damn record. I mean it was a handheld stop watch for God’s sake, I know I couldn’t have been off by more than 1/10 of a second or something because I was pretty fast, for all I know the extra time was his delay in reaction. I mean here’s a little girl who clearly has nothing going for her (like friends or a social life) because she’s coming to a gym every day to break a record that involves running a bean bag back and forth. Cut the poor thing some slack.
But I digress, clearly I’ve moved on from that situation…
The thing of it is, I honestly didn’t expect to make a team. I knew there were people who were better than me because I’d watch them on stage perform consistently really well week after week and think damn they’re good. There’s no denying God given talent, especially in a think-on-your-feet kind of setting like improv.
I am fully aware that every person who made the team deserves to be there and is in fact a better improviser than me. So why then I wonder, why was it still such a punch to the gut to receive that email confirming I’m not good enough?
Because rejection just sucks. Sure it gets easier the more frequently it happens, but it never stops sucking.
The worst part is that the email started with “Congratulations” and then went on to say something like … congratulations on completing the program, but you’re not good enough.
Talk about going from high to low in under a second.
So initially I was super bummed, then sad, then really mad, and after all of those emotions passed I’m feeling motivated again. Motivated and competitive. The little girl inside of me who likes to run bean bags across a gym floor is refusing to believe she’s not good enough. Not yet anyway.