I used to sit in audition rooms practically pulsing with anger. Everything got on my nerves.
The fact I had to wake up at 5am to sit outside a rehearsal studio - annoying.
The legions of girls with roll-y suitcases squealing every time they saw a dear friend they hadn’t seen since their last audition 36 hours ago - very annoying.
The waiting for hours to either get a chance to sing for 30 seconds or possibly not be seen at all - OH GOD WHY IS THIS MY LIFE CHOICE!
Then, I started knitting.
This didn’t change my life overnight or suddenly fill me with some kind of fibercraft glee. But it was fun.
The Happiness of Learning Something New
At first, it was exciting to learn a new skill, even though my first attempts at scarves looked more like those weird strips of lint you get in the dryer than actual wearable items.
After a while though, it felt good to see my progress. I could knit a little faster and my pieces began to look like they were made by an adult.
Then, I was good enough that I could give my stuff as gifts that people would actually enjoy.
For awhile, I was knitting during all my downtime. Train ride - scarf time. Audition room - purl hour. Waiting for the train to go to an audition room - knitting paradise.
I wasn’t sure why this new hobby had taken such a hold of me, until I finished a hat and ran to the bedroom to show my husband.
“Look! Look! I made a hat,” I said with the giddiness of a 5-year-old showing off her latest finger paint creation.
“I did it. I made this!”
My husband gave a very kind, but not terribly interested “that’s great,” while I went to the mirror to try on my handmade attire.
As I stared at my fine cloche, I realized - it wasn’t really the knitting that was making me happy. It was completing something that really brought me joy.
At the time, I was an actor and improviser. I’d work super hard on an audition, then in 2 minutes, it was over. I’d do an improv show. Even if it was the greatest thing in the world (which was seldom the case), the character, the performance, everything about the show was gone the second I left the stage.
Though working hard at those things would eventually pay off in different ways, it left me with this constant feeling of going, going, going, but never getting anything done.
Not with knitting. I spent my hours. I made my fingers sore. But I had a hat. A cute-ass hat I could happily wear.
So, I’d knit while I waited for auditions. And knowing I had a project I could finish gave me the patience to sit through all the annoying parts of my chosen life.
Squealing girls? I don’t have to watch you, I’m knitting. Early call times? Great, more time to finish this pattern. You can’t see me after I’ve waited 5 hours? Who cares! I just made a scarf for my niece, I’m amazing.
You don’t have to be in showbiz to feel like you’re lacking completion in your life. And when you give yourself hobbies with specific goals, it brings you a wonderful satisfaction of creating something of your own.
When you learn how to perform a song or master an exercise, you get that lovely sense of “A month ago I was scared and couldn’t do this. Now, this performance is mine. I made this.”
Want to add a little accomplishment to your life? Try a singing session with me.