This story gave me goosebumps. There are so many important messages in it, many of which are at the core of what the1bigthing.com is all about. Traci’s parting words are especially inspiring. I know Traci personally and she is one of those people who brings light and laughter wherever she goes. The big lesson I get from this story is that there are many ways to fulfil a dream and every way can be a bit scary. That’s just part of the process.
But enough from me, here’s Tracy’s story in her own wonderful words.
What was your BIG thing?
My most recent BIG thing was to join the theatre and enter the world of stage acting.
What was your moment of truth?
Drama was something I had always held in the back of my mind as something I wanted to tackle ‘one day’. So when I flew down to Cape Town on a whim to watch my good friend in a local theatre production (she had five whole lines!) I felt that the time was right – I was inspired and couldn’t wait any longer. I gave up skydiving, my latest hobby and joined my local community theatre two years ago, at the ripe age of 41.
What was the hardest thing about following through? What helped you overcome this?
My first audition was nerve-racking. I knew absolutely nothing about the process or what to expect. I was handed a script and asked to read with people I’d never met (who themselves were no strangers to the stage) – it was daunting to say the least. I screwed up the lines a few times and felt quite jittery standing on stage with only the director watching and a few people scattered around waiting to audition for the same roles. But no matter how nervous I felt, there was also a sense of excitement. I was finally doing it, this challenge I sought of my own free will, and I was determined to see it through no matter what the outcome. The director must have seen past the nerves because I got the part!
As difficult as the audition was, I would have to say the hardest thing was when the curtain went up on my very first opening night. I thought that my heart would beat right out of my chest while I was waiting for my stage entrance, sneaking a peek at the expectant audience from the wing, saying my lines over and over in my head. Without a doubt I equate the thrill to jumping out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft!
What was a surprising outcome?
Needless to say I was quite surprised to score a role at my very first audition. Ok granted, it’s only community theatre and there weren’t hundreds of people beating down the audition door, but still I felt empowered. Equally surprising was the fact that from the outset, the rest of the cast assumed that I was a fairly seasoned actress! Nobody realized that this was my first foray into theatre. It felt good to know that I had at least a hint of talent to build on.
What advice would you give to others who are yet to start their big thing?
My advice is to forget reason and follow your intuition. Whatever you want to try in life, whatever you’d like to accomplish, when the time feels right just take that first baby step towards it and you’re already on your way. I believe that the desires within us are not there merely by chance, but rather they guide us in our life’s purpose so we should listen closely to our hearts… it is an incredible journey when we let go and just do it!