Wednesday, February 5, 2014!? Yeah you FOO!

(sigh of hesitation), I was suppose to start writing this maybe...mmm...three weeks ago. Don't judge me: procrastinator code. Journey with me back to the end of October 2013. I had finished my audition and was waiting for the decree. It actually only took a week for New Line to contact me. Then I got the call, "we want to offer you the role of TOM COLLINS". Don't cry on the phone Marshall be "professional", whatever that means. So...what? In all seriousness, I was so at peace with the very real possibility of not being offered any part in the show. My audition was really like an American Idol blooper...ok maybe not that bad, but it was nowhere near a great audition. So needless to say I accepted the role. At the risk of sounding like a corny Ms. Universe pageant winner, I'm going to say it anyway, I've been dreaming of this moment since I was a little boy...well since I was in high school. RENT was like the second musical I had ever listened to (Once on This Island being the first) and it instantly "Lit My Candle". So that little (actually rather plump) high school sophomore in me was freaking the hell out. After I accepted the role, I had the typical Marshall Jennings reaction I've coined as IAD (Inadequate Actor Disorder). After I called mi hermana favorita (Anna) and the joy wave had settled on shore, I FUH-REAKED! What had I done? I would have to fill the leather coat originated by Jesse L. Martin and curtained called by Michael McElroy. AH! Oh, sorry...didn't mean to scare you. How could I play such an iconic musical theater role?

Honestly, with help from a friend (not's Anna), I JUST accepted that I could play this role, that I was capable, that I was worthy, that I was enough about a week ago. Before, I would say things like "I don't believe I've been given this opportunity"...why me?... This is like a dream I'm waiting to wake up from. But through a lot of self searching and conversation, I soon started to hear what I was really saying: "I don't think I'm good enough so how on Earth could I be playing this role"? This kind of thought is SO toxic. You know during the first rehearsal I was STILL unsure if I was even playing Collins, if all of that had happened at joke when I started singing, I was kind of waiting for Scott (the director) to say "why do you keep singing Collin's part? ...Stop it"! CRAZY?!? (Like Monica) I KNOW! When I became aware of what I was actually internalizing, I really worked to throw all those thoughts away. And of course I'm not perfect; bad habits are hard to break. But now when they creep in, I go Power Ranger on that ass. White Ranger ALL DAY! So now it's onward and upward as "they" say. I'm more confident in my ability than ever before. This is the power of RENT and what I want to transmit to our audience.

Thanks Jonathan
Rest in peace

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