Ask Not, And Ye Shall Receive
Okay, as I think I've mentioned, I've been going through some financial difficulties recently. Well, in searching for jobs to remedy that situation, I've been spreading out my net rather widely. Since I'm still working on my doctoral dissertation, I've been looking for part-time jobs that would allow me to still put in time on my research, but I've been looking into just about any kind of part-time job I feel I might be remotely qualified for.
In particular, I seem to have stumbled into acting.
I say "stumbled into" because, well, I ran across a call for actors for a corporate promotional video on craigslist, and I thought, what the hey, no harm in trying. And, rather to my surprise, I got a part. Getting a part in my first audition ever encouraged me enough that I figured I may as well keep at it, and so I began to look into acting a little more. And a few days later I got an audition for a part in a commercial for a major company. I didn't think the audition had gone well, but apparently it went better than I thought, because I got a callback.
By this point, I was really wanting to get this part. Not only did it pay better than the part in the corporate promotional video, but it was...well, more visible (it may even be a commercial intended to air on national TV--I didn't ask, and I'm not sure), and it would no doubt look much better on my résumé if I decide to keep acting (and at this point, I'm pretty sure I will; based on the reactions I've gotten, I actually seem to be pretty good at it). I wasn't sure what my chances were--sure, I got a callback, but so did at least half a dozen others, and I had no prior professional acting experience (the corporate promotional video not having been shot yet at that point)--but I really wanted this part.
Now. As those who've been reading this blog know, I was raised in the Mormon church. I don't believe in it anymore, of course, but I was a faithful Mormon for more than thirty years (if you count my early childhood when I didn't really understand anything about it). And...even though I don't believe in it anymore, or rather I've accepted that I never really had any reason to believe in it in the first place, and even though on at least one level I've come to terms with that, thirty-odd years of indoctrination leaves marks that don't come off easily. At some levels, there's still a lot of deprogramming to be done.
One of the things that I was raised to believe, of course, is that if you really want something, you should pray to God for help. And somewhere in the back of my mind, in the areas that haven't fully overcome the religious brainwashing yet, part of me wanted to pray that I'd get this part.
With only a little dramatic license, I can cast my thought processes in terms of an argument with myself:
You really want this part. You ought to pray about it.
I'm not going to pray about it. I don't believe in prayer anymore.
Still, you feel like you ought to be doing something about it, right? Go ahead. Pray about it.
That wouldn't be doing anything effective. I'm not going to pray about it. I don't believe in God.
Okay, sure, you don't believe in God, but...why not pray about it, just in case? Sure, you may not believe it'll help, but it can't hurt, right?
I'm not going to pray about it "just in case". I don't believe in God. I have no reason to believe prayer can accomplish anything.
But even if God doesn't exist, prayer isn't going to hurt anything.
It's the principle of the thing. I have to try to get over old habits like that, and I don't need to feel like I'm doing something useful when I'm not. I'm not going to pray about it.
So, despite a bit of an inner struggle with my old self, I stuck to my guns and didn't pray about it.
I got the part.
I'm not saying this proves anything, of course. But I thought it might be worth mentioning.