That's Why I Gave Up the Theater
When I was a younger lad, I was one of those starving actor, dancer, waiter people living in New York in the 1980s. It was a life of classes and auditions and endlessly being told, "Thanks, we'll let you know." Translation: You didn't get the part.
I once auditioned for the first touring company of the Broadway play Biloxi Blues by Neil Simon. The first audition was 1000 guys who looked just like me, and me. I got a call back! The second was 500 guys and me. This went on for 9 months and eight callbacks until there was just one other guy standing between a Broadway show and me. Well, I didn't get it. It was that moment when I knew I didn't want to be an actor anymore. I could handle rejection when I was in a sea of people, but not when I had gotten so close.
You may recall from previous blogs that our service was a finalist for a National Patient Safety Award. We didn't get it. I had also put in a grant application for funding a joint project with public health. We didn't get it. Ugh, it feels just like being that starving waiter in New York again!
I must confess, I was feeling a little discouraged and cynical when a colleague suggested we put an application in for another award for our service outcomes. I talked it over with my spouse, a research professor at a university. He has been awarded more grants and published more papers than I could ever imagine. Even he is having a tough time getting funding with the current budget restraints. He still continues to apply. Just today he put in for two more grants.
So I got myself off the pity pot and did a rough draft of an application for the Quality Improvement Project awards. Sure, rejection is still disappointing, but I'm confident in our work. I'll keep putting it forward until it gets the part.