Sunday, January 27, 2013

Practice and (Practice In) Tolerance

I listen to my brother dribbling the basketball downstairs in the kitchen. I am tempted to go downstairs and ask him to keep it down, or go outside–which would be cruel considering it's 30ยบ out–or at the very least, go in the basement. Then I remind myself that he hears my singing exercises every morning, which are infinitely more ear-piercing and distracting than dribbling a basketball. Two nights ago he listened to me plucking out notes on my keyboard at 10 o'clock at night. And then on dress rehearsal week he tolerates me when I gargle every night with salt water to assure I don't get a sore throat (my Grandma swears by it). 

So I let him practice. After all, he has dreams and goals just like I do. He loves basketball. I'm not sure how far he's willing to take it, but as of right now, I know he wants to play in college. He's decided to join another basketball league in the spring instead of track, despite the fact that it means leaving a lot of his friends. He's beginning to find his passion, and he's recognizing that to harvest that passion, he needs to commit to it. (He could perhaps play a little more physical basketball than NBA 2k12, but that's alright...he's getting there.)

That's what I realized last year with theatre. This year, I made the decision to commit myself fully to theatre. There is not a day that goes by when I don't read about theatre, practice singing, watch interviews, whatever it may be. I am especially excited for my classes this semester because my English class (Intro to Shakespeare) is very acting-intense, and I have chorus for my Art/Music elective. This means every week this semester I have nine hours of in-school acting/singing, 10-12 hours of play rehearsal, an hour of voice lessons, and this doesn't even include what I do on my own time. My bedroom walls are also beginning to be filled more and more with theatre reviews and head shots and playbills. I am completely immersed in it. 

It is times like right now I need to remind myself, "It's not all about me." Perhaps I am just excusing my selfishness, but I feel like this isn't uncommon, especially during the teenage years. Am I wrong? I feel like I have to remind myself of this fact quite a bit, like when I want the bigger brownie or when someone needs help at school but I myself have a lot of work to get done. 

Zig Ziglar said, "If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want." The brownie example is irrelevant, but on a general note, help offered is never wasted. It's nearly impossible to accomplish a dream by ourselves, even if we don't recognize the help that aided us along the way. We have to be willing to ask for help, but also willing to give it. 

I ask my brother to tolerate my singing; the least I can do is tolerate his dribbling...even if it does shake the house. 

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