This is all about risk taking and what drives us towards risk and what drives us away.
Last week, one of my executive coaching clients emailed me to ask if I would take part in her yearly production of The Vagina Monologues. My client is a sassy smart woman who has a strong creative side and last year on her own put together a sell out Vagina Monologues production here in Melbourne. I was astounded by Priscilla’s resourcefulness. She does not have an arts background and has worked her way through casting, crew, PR, hiring a theatre and much more to have such a successful production. And now she is repeating it this year and moving from one show to four.
The profit goes to local organisations that work to end violence against women and girls; great causes. Out of nowhere, Priscilla subtly asked me to be one of the women in the show, a small role but I am not an actor or never imagined I was one.
When I received the email my first reaction was “no way!”. I saw the show 20 years ago and loved it, but there was no way that I was going to put myself on a well-known Melbourne stage, The Malthouse, and make a fool of myself, forget lines or just be a pathetic version of an actor.
After a day, the part of me that loves challenges has risked her personal and professional life (from the time that she left NZ at the age of 18) came to the fore. I thought, why not? I am only on stage for three minutes, this will be fun. I will not forget my lines, and if I do can make them up – the audience will not know. With these thoughts in my head I felt enlivened, uplifted; the sassy woman rose again to say yes and join the cast for The Vagina Monologues in March at The Malthouse.
This story, coming from me personally, shows that risk is always going to be part of our life, regardless of whether we are just starting out in business or a knowledgeable professional. We will be challenged by new situations in our life as I was last week. And it is so much simple to say no, keep going along with our stimulating life, use excuses that could be sort of acceptable but what do we gain when we put ourself out there and say yes.
From my experience I have realised after the rehearsal on the weekend that I actually can sort of act. I can hold my own with the women who are part time actors, that I am not pathetic, can’t project my voice and more, in fact I feel I am not too bad as an actor. And when I heard that some of the cast works in TV commercials thought well this could be me.
And the conclusion is not about fame and fortune, as this production does not grace the Hollywood circuit. But what it has done for me is to convince me that I can take risks, that I will not lose a limb or make a fool of myself if I take a risk!
When was the last time you took a risk? What was it? Was it scary or were you full of confidence? Tell us below.