As I was thinking more about how we as artists react to artistic decisions such as casting, I began to think how personal this art form really is. We strive for perfection, and when after putting so much work into a role, we don't get to perform it-we can feel totally rejected. It hurts. It can be crippling depending on the person, the role and the individual relationship history with the artistic staff. You name it, there's a scenario.
How do we learn to deal with these things? These mini rejections are awful? It makes it near impossible sometimes to see the forest for the trees when in one moment it seems like our chance at something we loved was shot down. It's easy to hold onto the negative aspect of this field if one doesn't have a clear view of the future and a healthy sense of self.
With such the small window of time that is a career in ballet, it is hard not to feel as if there's a ticking clock staring you in the face. It laughs and mocks. "The end is nigh!" it seems to say. It really can make a dancer go crazy if it is allowed to.
I have seen the regrets that people have for never getting to do certain roles. I have battled some of my own. There are many different levels of grief that these people go through, but I learn the most from the people who are able to embrace the moment-even in rejection. To be able to learn to roll with the punches and accept what is going on in the moment is what can make or break an artist, I believe.
Perhaps it shouldn't be about what I am performing during moments like these but about continually looking forward while maintaing a clear head and acceptance of what is happening at the time. Thereby, whether it is success or what may seem like failure, I can know that there will be more great things to come.
Thankfully, my life does not hinge on one opportunity. I am really happy for that. If I let every role that slipped by eat at me, I would have retired years ago! As a result, when I look back, I can be satisfied by the wonderful chances I had to play some amazing parts.