In high school my dream was to be a movie star. I was in every play I could possibly be in, performed on stage every chance I got and even went so far as to pick a university in Los Angeles because I wanted to be an actress. Once I got to L.A., I realised that the theatre and film scene was a mess of competition, back-stabbing, and quite generally disagreeable when compared with my previously nurturing theatre environment. I did one semester of theatre arts and then switched my major to Anthropology, a decision that I have never regretted. I just couldn’t see myself dedicating my life to being ‘discovered,’ and I knew there was something more I was supposed to do with myself than be involved in such a self-centred enterprise as the movie industry.
Still, that dream of being in movies had lingered in me and I’d harbored secret hopes of one day being discovered and having a starring role in a film. Until last weekend, that is. I took a casting workshop given by quite a famous casting director in Prague who has cast movies like Hellboy, The Illusionist, Blade II and others. It was indeed nervewracking, since I hadn’t acted for years, not to mention that everyone else in the workshop was a professional actor. But I got through it with some very interesting conclusions.
Seeing myself on camera was bizarre, and the first thing I noticed is that my voice has changed since the last time I heard it. It’s deepened, it has gone from being a little girl’s voice to a woman’s voice. I didn’t even mind hearing myself speak, which is quite strange in and of itself. I also noticed that the people in the workshop who were the most uninteresting and almost boring in person absolutely shone on camera. It was like the camera had this window into their souls and everything they were thinking and feeling shone through. Anyone who knows me knows that I am sort of like that in person and that’s just me, but for some reason on camera I am simply not that interesting. I wasn’t terrible, I just wasn’t that great either. I didn’t shine at all, I didn’t have a captivating presence, I was mediocre. Blah. Like those boring people when they aren’t on camera.
I realised there is a reason I never pursued a career in theatre and film. Seeing myself on camera compared with other far more talented people showed me that I am wasting my time with a dream that is simply not mine to fulfill. And I felt okay about it. In fact, I felt great! Like I had been carrying the weight of this thing I always thought I would be great at and should be doing around with me all these years, and having concrete evidence that this dream was not for me was such a relief. I could let it go and move on with my life. No looking back except to smile and think, ‘Silly Sezin, who wanted to be a movie star.’
Realising that my dream of being in movies is something that really doesn’t interest me anymore is freeing up so much room to focus on the things that I would love to do. Like be in a band. Make art. Write. Going to the casting workshop helped me to remember the talents I already know are the reasons why I am here on Earth and has inspired me to throw myself into them a lot more wholeheartedly.
It seems there were many reasons that brought me to Prague, and I am beginning to understand why so many people come here to discover themselves. I thought I found myself years ago but the longer I’m here the more I realise how much this city has yet to teach me about myself. And how willing I am to be taught. How much easier it is now to let go of the past and let life’s currents carry me forward.