Netflix and Going For It

Strong is the new pretty notebooks

Something happened over the last few nights of Netflix and I wanted to share it with you here.

Raffi has been allowing me to share my love of musicals with him by watching several movie musicals with me. In an effort to get him up to speed with all the musical references that fly around our house every day, we have now watched Hairspray, Chicago, The Greatest Showman, Little Shop, Moulin Rouge, Into the Woods, and most recently, Les Miserables. I saved Les Mis for a later date since it’s more intense, while Hairspray might have been a better starter musical. Trust me, I’ve put a lot of thought into getting people into musicals.

Les Miserables has one of my all time favorite characters in a musical and her name is Eponine. I started listening to this musical when I was three years old (no joke) and I loved Eponine because I was a dramatic child and Eponine was the unloved ingenue. Not only was she a great character, but she also got to belt out some awesome songs through the show. In Junior High I used to sit in my bedroom and sing On My Own with all the emotion my little thirteen year old heart could muster. And my thirteen year old heart could muster A LOT of emotion.

About halfway through watching the movie Les Mis, I turned to Raffi and said “Taylor Swift was almost going to play the role of Eponine.” Fun movie fact, right?

But then I thought about it. I thought about Samantha Barks (the girl who landed the role of Eponine). I thought about her showing up to audition and hearing that Taylor Swift, the Queen of everything, was also going out for the role. I’d imagine she assumed Taylor would get the role. I mean, why wouldn’t she?? It’s Taylor Swift! So Samantha auditions…the slays it…and still believes TS will get it because…well…it’s TS…and days later, she gets the call that they’ve casted her. Can you imagine that feeling?

I mean, I don’t know the reason Taylor Swift didn’t land the role or how the actual events unfolded … maybe Taylor decided she didn’t want it. Maybe it wasn’t in the budget. Maybe the producers thought it would take away from the reality of the movie. Whatever the reason, most hopeful Eponines would have not even tried once they saw Taylor Swift was also going out for the role… and yet Samantha did, AND ended up getting it.

A few days later, we turned on the Reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix, low key hoping we might see ourselves screaming in the audience. About twenty minutes in, Taylor introduced her backup dancers & singers… and I noticed, they were not all size two gymnasts with perfect wavy hair, long legs and big boobs. They looked like you, they looked like me. They were REAL, amazing, talented, gorgeous women. And my thoughts went back to Samantha & Taylor. Can you imagine being a hopeful Taylor Swift backup dancer, Standing in line to audition and thinking, “I won’t get it. Look at all these perfect dancers. My thighs touch, I don’t have a six pack, they won’t like my tattoos,¬† they won’t like my nose ring, these other girls are all super hot professional dancers,” and then, nose rings, tattoos, and curvy booty, THEY LANDED THE GIG.

Inspired to show up

Way too often I think, “I won’t go visit that venue because they already have [this or that] superstar photographer on their vendor list, I don’t have a shot in hell.” But what if they’re not looking for Taylor Swift?
What if they’re not looking for the sexiest backup dancer?
What if they’re looking for real?
What if they’re looking for new?
What if they’re looking for different?
What if they’re looking for exactly you? Or exactly me? And I’m not there. Because I didn’t have the guts to show up and try because the fact that Taylor Swift was also up for the role scared me away.

Does this resonate with you? Have you felt these exact same things? Believing you’re out of your league when you’re actually hands down, exactly, perfectly what the world needs?

So do me a favor. Get out a notebook and write down ten goals that make you nervous AF. Write down the ten things you’d totally do if you didn’t think someone bigger than you wanted it too. Then go after them without thinking about what people will think or say or whisper. Without thinking about the Taylor’s of the world who are also going after it. The time for the unknown with the nose ring has come….we just have to show up.

For more on goal setting and making stuff happen, check out day 80 in my 100 day series right here!

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris