by Alden Hunt
By nature, I enjoy performing – mostly musically and theatrically. That’s led me to audition for a lot of things in college. However, in the last few weeks, I’ve been getting quite a few emails that look like this:
Thank you very much for your interest in (production/group/film). Unfortunately, we are unable to offer you a place in the (production/group/film) at this time. We had a huge talent pool audition for this (production/group/film), and ultimately we had to make some extremely tough choices. Sincerely, Casting Director
Now, I’m usually not a very emotional person, but after about the fourth one of these this semester, I was starting to feel a little down. For context, in high school much of my time was spent rehearsing and performing musicals and plays, singing in honors choir, and playing drums for my school’s show choir. Here in college, I wasn’t getting the chance to do any of those things, and it didn’t feel good.
After a little bit of reflection and plenty of self-pity, however, I began to be convicted that the discouragement I felt from these rejections wasn’t fruitful. Moreover, I began to recognize that the deeper motives behind my disappointment were surprisingly insidious. They were born out of pride and a wrongful basis for my identity.
The large amount of time I spent performing in high school had led me over time to consider it as a rather vital part of me, as well as a way to very publicly show to the world that I was good at something. When I was the lead in shows, this wasn’t a problem. But when I was rejected from things which had become a staple of my identity, I started to see the foolishness of this arrangement.
Participation in theatre or music is inherently transitory – shows only go on for a certain amount of time, and there’s never a guarantee you’ll be in the next one. By nature, using them as part of the foundation for your existence is a poor choice. That goes for anything which can be taken away from you – intelligence, relationships, skills. In fact, there’s only one thing which can serve as an immutable basis for your identity – salvation in Christ.
At the cross, Jesus died for everyone, and offered salvation to anyone who would accept it, regardless of any skill, merit, or performing art participation status, or lack thereof. He died for you and I knowing full well that we were hopeless, selfish sinners, unable to live up to his standards or his glory at all.