Then he said three words that changed my whole perspective and re-ignited the passion I had felt as young girl. He said, "Why not you?" He stopped me cold. He was right! I had stopped dreaming the big dream. Earlier I talked of my father's belief that I could do anything. You'd expect that with accomplishments, belief in yourself grows. Not necessarily. As my business career grew, the actor in me felt less confident than ever. I wasn't auditioning with the same frequency. I wasn't studying. I've never been a strong actress to begin with. But it is something I love to do. I was allowing my fear of failure to push me back into my cold protective shell instead of enjoying the process. I wasn't taking a risk, which meant I couldn't be disappointed but I also couldn't experience a powerful change.
I had come up with every reason imaginable why I wouldn't get the part-that I didn't have enough experience, I wasn't good enough, I was too shy, whatever. I never considered the option that I would get the role. My husband Greg told me that I had to go into the audition like he approaches surfing. He takes charge with a fearless go-for-it attitude when he's in the ocean. He taught me that when you're in the line-up and a good wave comes your way, as long as you're not cutting somebody off, you must go for it. Even if you fall on your face it's better to try and fail than let the possibility slip away. That kind of thinking is very motivational.
The audition was for the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Three Tall Women written by Edward Albee. It was a serious play. I very much wanted to be in the cast. Stephen Roseberry, one of my business partners at Sterling-Winters Company, faced many obstacles in getting me the audition. He has always been a fearless leader when it comes to my work. To know that someone believes in you is extremely empowering. Stephen always bulldozes down doors to find exciting new options for me. I was shocked and touched by his strong faith in me and in his belief that I had the ability to be in that play. I decided if Stephen believed in me enough to stick his neck out and put his own reputation on the line, then the least I could do was try my best.
Once I was cast, I faced a dilemma. There was a line in the play that required me to take the Lord's name in vain. There are many great groups who lobby for the rights of others. But who's lobbying for Jesus? It's got to be the people who love Him. I'm one of those people. Because of my beliefs, I simply couldn't do it. Stephen had worked so hard to get me the audition, and I really wanted the job. I approached the brilliant director, Glyn O'Malley, about changing the line. He explained that Mr. Albee "changes dialogue for no one." Every word he writes has such profound meaning.
It was a large conflict for me so I spoke to Mom about my dilemma. She reminded me that God is a God of peace. If I didn't feel peace in my decision, then it was not God's will. Well, that was that. As Christians, we must stand up for Jesus. I couldn't go through with the play because I simply was not at peace taking the Lord's name in vain.
I ask God that His will be done in my life every single day. If I truly want Him to be in charge of all things, then I must trust that His will is the answer, and I do. After Glyn thought about my dilemma, he changed my performance to honor the Lord in prayer. He altered my character to be a Christian and her line would be said as a prayer. That was a very powerful change that brought me tremendous peace and allowed me to joyously play the part.
It was an amazing experience and in the end, everyone was comfortable with the change, including Edward Albee, who complimented the entire production. That peace reminded me what it feels like to have serenity in my life and what it feels like when I don't. It brought a calmness to me, and the turmoil was gone. It was so easy once I made my decision. The answer was right in front of me the whole time.
I had the best time doing the show, and I learned a great deal working with wonderfully talented people. It was great to play this character. I made new discoveries every day-about myself, my ability to stretch as an actress, and about my own capability to change. Three Tall Women taught me so much, and it had a wonderful and positive impact on everything else I have done as an actress since. Those words my mother spoke to me that day have so much truth. I think about her advice in all of the decisions I have made since. If I don't feel peace about something then it is not God's will.
Ask yourself the same question next time you're facing a crisis. Will you feel at peace with your decision? If the answer is no, then it's not the right change to make in your life.