What it’s really like to give up your big career dream once and for all.
When I finished year 12, I headed off to arts school to study musical theatre. I had a dream: I was going to be the next (significantly shorter) Rhonda Burchmore.
After completing a three-year musical theatre course, I started auditioning for professional shows. Month after month, year after year, I stuck a number on my chest and bared my soul to a panel of strangers while I nervously tried to hit the impressive notes.
But at a Cats audition I was told I was “too heavy” despite starving myself down to a size 10. After elbowing my way to a callback for The Producers, I was told I was “too short for a Pretzel girl”.
It all came to a head when, the night before my Phantom of the Opera audition, I drank mojitos with mates until 3am and ended up croaking and sweating my way through a heinous rendition of “Unusual Way” from Nine (as a side note, that was the night I met my now-husband, so it was totally worth it).
Eventually, I had to face up to the fact that I was good but good wasn’t enough.
You can fairy floss it as much as you like, but life is too long to battle against reality.
So as I approached 30, I decided it was time to pop my tap shoes in the hobby box. And while I thought I would feel sad, instead I felt the most liberating sense of relief.
That hard little nugget of dread that had taken up residence in my stomach was gone. I was free to start again. I could eat carbs without worrying about looking bloated in Lycra.