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Starodetskii Blog

Epic meltdown

Konstantin Starodetskii

Many years ago in Russia, I was at the prestigious student festival - Student Spring ("Studencheskaya Vesna") it took place in Tumen', Russia. I was there as an actor. Our troupe was rehearsing for many weeks before arriving at a large theater of the new city. The teams from all over Russia were performing there during the festival. The size of the stage was close to Metropolitan Opera in New York.

I had two gigs, on the day one it was a comedy play, and drama piece the day after. When it was time to perform, the theater was full. On top of that, there were several famous Russian comedians as judges. I went on the stage, and after a few moments into the play, I forgot my lines. Three seconds were like an eternity. For a moment, I felt like hell is a charming place. I looked at my scene partners, and they realized what just happened to me. I started to improvise, but it wasn't funny. In silence, I could hear somebody saying: "This is not funny," which made me even more nervous. I couldn't wait until this torture was over.

When I left the stage, I run away to the fire stairs where nobody could see me and was having an epic meltdown until my troupe found me there. The next day, I decided to work extra hard for my second drama performance. All my hours I devoted to mastering my role even after the troupe rehearsing time was over.

The results were phenomenal. During my monologue, I heard somebody whispered: "He's good." It felt immensely satisfying. Don't get discouraged with your first failure - a life lesson I'll never forget.