Watch Me

Thanks to my father’s home videos, I’ve spent the last several hours watching my childhood flash before my eyes.

And the recurring theme is:

I. Loved. Attention.

Every time my parents would try and capture my younger brother doing something sweet or cute, I would zoom by in my big glasses, permed hair, and Zubaz and scream.

WATCH ME!!!!!

Sometimes I would take a more subtle approach by saying enticing things off camera.

Oh Boy. This is so crazy, guys!  Sure would make a GREAT video.

There is even a moment when I’m seven and the camera stops suddenly (after I had shouted many of the phrases above) and then reappears with me planted firmly in front of the lens.

This was clearly my moment.  I stared expectantly at my father and it looked like I was about to do something really amazing – really spectacular and worth all the fuss.

And then my father says his (clearly coached) line.

Now here is Jessica, crowing like a rooster.

Like I said, worth the fuss.

And boy did I crow.  I crowed my little heart out.

And that was it.  I ran happily away having proven to the world that I probably should have been on medication.

I haven’t written in a while.

At first, I was busy.  Then more busy.  And then I was just pretending I was busy.

Somewhere about a week ago, I realized I was avoiding writing about my life because of a very specific reason.

I didn’t think it was worth it.

I didn’t think I was worth it.

Pass the Prozac.

Lately I’ve been wandering around in a strange pool of low self-esteem and copious amounts wine.

After a less-than-fruitful pilot season, it started to feel like all the ‘nos’ I’d been hearing were aimed right at my heart.

Right at the place where I hold the most important parts of myself.

And I started to believe I was only worth a ‘no.’

When you are pursuing a career where you face rejection every day, that is a very dangerous place to be.

And even though I’ve stuffed that little girl who will crow like a rooster behind better hair, contacts, and pants that have no geometric patterns, the nos were still getting in.

Every time I walked into a casting office I gave up all of my power and felt like I would die for just an ounce of their approval.

Surprisingly, this tactic wasn’t working.

Instead of seeing that confident, smart, talented, and funny girl I wanted them to see, they saw someone else completely:

A girl wearing Zubaz and making bird noises.

And no one wants to work with that girl.

In fact, I think I know that girl and she lives in the alley behind the McDonalds.

And finally, after a particularly hard audition where I drove snot-nosed and bleary-eyed home in the Yaris after a casting director looked me up and down and said “THAT’S an interesting outfit,” I had had enough.

I was done letting rejection in so deep.

It’s my party and I’ll crow if I want to.

So, while I’m still asking people to watch me it now comes from a different place.

Watch me.

Watch me be enough.

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