I yawned and stretched my legs out, rolling my ankles carefully so as not to catch the stilettos on the carpet. It had been approximately two hours since arriving to my gig and was still awaiting instructions.
This was not atypical. If I’ve learned anything in show business, it’s that the game is called, “Hurry up and wait.”
On this particular day I was serving as an award girl for a Japanese company’s annual convention in Las Vegas. I’d been hired to smile on stage and hand out flowers to newly promoted members in front of a large crowd that evening.
It wasn’t my favorite job, but it was a paycheck.
It seemed as of late I was doing a lot of jobs more for the paycheck than because of my interests. I was having to be very aware of things I didn’t necessarily care about, all the while ignoring the fundamentals of my existence (enriching myself, celebrating daily, putting myself in uncomfortable situations and making them comfortable, etc.).
But what was worse… I found myself discussing more with strangers what I had become known for rather than what I was currently doing.
This bothered me to no end. But I wasn’t quite sure yet how to change it yet. I think I was afraid of the bigger question that came with this fear…
Had I peaked?
The production assistant approached me, wanting me to come up on-stage and meet the company’s president and the bilingual host.
I tried my best to float up the stairs, but I felt uneasy in my footwear after sitting so long. I smiled warmly and met the heads of the organization. Then I turned to meet their host who was well-known for his acting in Japan.
He originally hailed from the states so he spoke in perfect Midwestern accent. “It’s very nice to meet you.” He said warmly, shaking my hand. “I hear you are Miss Nevada?”
I sighed. Not that I wasn’t proud of my achievement, but it felt like SO long ago. Plus, no-one seemed interested in discussing it further once they found out I was no longer the reigning queen.
I was quick to correct him with a response I’d crafted after receiving the question so many times. “I was the Miss Nevada United States 2013-2014. I crowned my successor in May. At this point, I’m practically a has-been,” I replied with a laugh.
The actor looked at me strangely but said nothing else. Typically that line was met with at least a smile, if not a nod of agreement.
After our introductions, the crew decided it was time to break for lunch. I was taken to a green room to stuff my face and await further instructions.
I happily stared into my phone and munched on chips in solitude. But in the rooms surrounding mine, I heard doors opening and closing quickly. Someone was looking for something.
All of a sudden, the green room door burst open. I didn’t look up. But no-one came in and the door didn’t close. I could feel someone’s eyes on me. Finally, I put down my phone and turned around in my seat.
The host stood hesitantly in the door frame. I smiled at him with curiosity.
“I’m sorry for interrupting.” He started. “But I’ve been looking for you. There’s something that I need to say.”
I waited, unsure what to think.
He considered his words carefully, “Earlier you told me you’re a ‘has-been’. And I know you meant it, at least in part, in jest. But I need you to know it’s not true. I don’t know anything about you. But something has brought me here to tell you you’re wrong. I can feel it in my soul.”
I blinked, watching him with amazement as his conviction grew. His words flew faster and faster out of his mouth and into the room, filling the empty space between us with intensity and inspiration.
“I can’t tell you how I know, but you have so much potential ahead of you. You’re far from having accomplished what you came into this world to do. You’re going to do incredible things. And you need to believe it.”
As if being dispossessed by whatever chose him as a vessel, he stopped abruptly, suddenly becoming apologetic in his demeanor. “Anyway, I just felt you needed to know that.”
I stood up and smiled, now having to craft my own reaction. “Can I hug you?” I asked. He nodded and I embraced him with gusto.
After a minute he smiled at me. “Anyway, enjoy the rest of your lunch break. Just— don’t stop believing in yourself.”
And with that, he left the room.
I sat back down, my mind racing, repeating his words over and over. You’re going to do incredible things. And you need to believe it.
Okay Universe, I thought, I got the message.
Now the only question was… What do I do now?