It’s become a tradition at Brelby to spend the month of November reflecting on our artform and how it impacts us through our annual Blogathon. This year, in honor of our 10th Season, our Blogathon participants will be sharing lists of 10 things that have impacted them, whether they be lessons or memories…or are looking ahead towards future goals.
Today’s blogger, Sophie Chavez, is a company member and triple threat.
Below, she reflects on 10 lessons she has learned from being an artist.
Hey friends! I’m Sophia Chavez… also known as Sophie, Soph, Sopaipilla… pick your poison. I’ve been performing for pretty much my whole life. From the moment that I could babble when I was a wee baby, to me standing on the coffee table and belting the ABC’s at age 3… all. day. long. (sorry mom), to now: a gal in my first year in my 20’s. Performing is my life.
Here are some lessons that I’ve learned throughout the years!
#1. Taking a break from acting is OK. Being an artist means being on the go all day everyday- and pouring your heart out for an audience. IT’S EXHAUSTING… but it’s okay to take a step back and take care of yourself.
#2. Just because you’re not cast in a role, IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU’RE NOT TALENTED!!!! Sometimes you’re just not right for the role. its a hard pill to swallow, but it’s so true!!
#3. Acting is much more important than vocals. It took me SO long to realize this. Before i caught the acting bug, I did choir for years, so I was taught to just stand there and sing. If you want your performance to be believable, work on your acting first. The vocals come later. Dig deep into the lyrics that you’re singing. CJ O’hara taught me this. Thanks CJ!
#4. ITS OKAY TO SAY NO. I still struggle with this! If it doesn’t make you happy, say no. If it doesn’t help you grow as an artist, say no. If you just flat-out don’t want to do it, SAY NO. There’ve been times where I just double(even triple) book myself and I spread myself thin. It’s not good for your mental health. Just say no.
#5. I’m going to completely contradict myself, but… SAY YES. You never know what amazing opportunities can come from one yes. In 2017, I auditioned for Brelby’s Dogfight. It was the first show I ever auditioned for there. When I was offered a role in the ensemble, I almost said no. Not because I didn’t get a lead role, but because I was SO AFRAID. I didn’t know anybody, and they didn’t know me. I called my mom when I got the casting email, crying because I didn’t know what to do. She told me to go for it and said “you never know. it can open up a lot of doors for you.” I’m so glad that I said yes!!!!
#6. STAY POSITIVE. When a show or a scene doesn’t go well, us actors tend to be… well… dramatic sometimes. I always try to have a positive outlook on things when I’m doing a show. For every negative, there’s 2 positives! I forgot my lines during a scene? That’s okay. I totally rocked that song in scene 9 and I did my quick change in 20 seconds! Positivity goes a long way, my friends.
#7. Broaden your horizons!!!! First came the singing, then came the acting, then came… the love for designing! This year was the year of learning new skills!!! I did two sound designs & one hair and makeup design. It was a wild ride of me thinking I wouldn’t get it done or I that I wasn’t doing a good job, but I think they all turned out okay!
#8. FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT!!!! I can’t dance to save my life, but y’all, I sure can fake it. Throw on a smile and go all out… even if you’re doing it wrong! Seriously. Directors and choreographers would sometimes rather have that than a straight-faced dance god. My fake dance skills have gotten me cast. I am living proof. do this.
#9. Leave the character you’re portraying at the theatre. This year I had the opportunity of taking on one of my dreams roles: Martha Dunnstock in Heathers the musical! As beautiful as a role she was, it was also hard to know what was real or not when my character was being bullied on stage. Thankfully I had some totally awesome friends who made sure that I was okay. Oh and not long after that, I portrayed a selfish actress in Fly by Night… it was a very confusing year. Am I a loser no one likes, or am I a selfish actress??? Seriously, leave those characters at the theatre. They are not you. You are not them.
#10. The Kevin Fenderson said it first, but i cant emphasize this enough (teehee).
You are enough. You are so enough. It is UNBELIEVABLE how ENOUGH you are. There have been times where I didn’t think I’d make it. In theatre, in life, literally any situation but I kept going. Stay alive friends. It’s worth it.