Probably my biggest failing in life is when I was captured by the zergs, infested, and transformed by the Overmind into their queen, defender, and eternal ruler. It was super embarrassing and overall just a really bad Tuesday for me. (Possible I’m confusing myself with Sarah Kerrigan? It happens sometimes. We’re pretty similar.) My biggest failing beyond that was the beginning of my non-existent theatre career. (See? Basically the same person.)
I have this weird thing about me where whenever I’m not currently having an anxiety attack from being around other humans, I need to be the absolute center of attention. There’s no inbetween. Will I sprint out of the kitchen and into my room at Usain speeds when I hear my roommate coming through the front door? Yes. But do I also want the spotlight on me constantly and get annoyed when it’s on other people? Yes! And so nothing broke my gentle, ego-centric heart more than when I first got into theatre and wasn’t immediately the lead in every single musical that I auditioned for. It was, like, sure I couldn’t sing or dance, but it was 7th grade and we were on Long Island, so nobody else could either and if they could they were already in 13: The Musical.
I did end up getting leads towards the end of my high school theatre career, mostly because in my freshman year I’d proven my worth by landing the written-in part of “title-card changer” during a series of one-acts which I used to come out on stage dancing to Dontcha by the Pussycat Dolls because I didn’t want to have a social life, apparently. When it came to community theatre though, I was pretty much a designated ensemble member. Which I was okay with, considering my singing and dancing are about at the level where you’re pretty sure any audition I do is some elaborate What Would You Do episode where they’re testing to see if you can contain your laughter while simultaneously crushing someone’s dreams. It’s part of why I ended up veering away from the path of actor and into the role of writer.
When I was younger my future career plans changed every week. First I wanted to be a writer, then a firefighter, then the sole wielder of the keyblade, then briefly a newspaper delivery boy when I accidentally misunderstood what an “editor in chief” was during a career simulation fair in middle school, then an actor, and then back to being a writer when I realized I wasn’t all that great of an actor. And while it was disappointing to give up the dream of acting in order to pursue writing, it didn’t feel like a huge loss. Because it was still an art that I loved, and one that I felt infinitely more confident operating within.
Ryan C. Robert is the writer of multiple comedy blogs, most of which are satirical and self-deprecating. He writes about his life in his personal essay series "Before Color," parodies cooking blogs in "Trish's Dishes" and posts writing prompts every single day.