Photo credit: Casey Gardner Photography
As we approach the closing weekend of JUMP, I’ve been thinking about ways to say goodbye to Fay (my character in the play) and this experience. The last two months have been both slow and fast, a whirlwind of emotions and an absolute dream.
To start the process of saying goodbye, I want to take a look at what I’ve learned.
I am worthy. I spent most of the rehearsal process worrying about whether or not they got the right person for the job. The script is NOT easy, and it didn’t come to me automatically. It took work, and it took a team to bring it all together. I didn’t find my confidence until opening night. Once the show opened, I found that confidence, my voice, and I took wings! I’m doing just fine. Thanks to this project, I refuse to second-guess myself on the next. If I do the work, take direction, stay open to new ideas and depend on my God, I will always be fine. I was worthy before the job, and I will still be worthy when it’s over.
Protect my soul and my body. I took vitamins daily, got plenty of rest, drank lots of water and said ‘no’ often. I knew going into the rehearsal process that this show would take a lot out of me, and I’m proud to say that I took care of myself the whole process. One week I even turned down auditions, so I could finish memorizing my lines. I didn’t allow stress or negativity into my personal space. If something popped up, I handled it quickly and got refocused. JUMP can be emotionally draining, but thankfully, I’ve had plenty to give every night. Having the stamina to pull this off gives me hope for my future in this business.
Anger is a healthy. There is a moment in the show when Fay gets angry. Every time I approached this moment in rehearsal, I would feel hurt, confused, even sad, but never angry. Our director eventually talked to me about it. We realized that anger is almost foreign for me. After years of training myself to work around my anger and control my emotions, I almost forgot what it felt like to express it.
When I first started working on it, it scared me. That feeling of being out of control scared me. But once I got through it, I felt a great sense of relief. Holy crap! It felt good to let it out. I could think more clearly once it was out. I didn’t have to suppress it or control it. I just needed to express it, and everything was okay. I’ve been angry about quite a few things in my life and suppressed it. I can see now why it took me so long to work through it.
I wish I could go back in time and tell myself it’s okay to find a safe space to scream, curse, stomp, and throw stuff. On the other side, I breathe better and think clearer. Just let it out! It’s healthy.
This can be my life’s work. During this run I’ve handled my business. I managed my personal and professional life well. I didn’t miss a day of work. I was on time every day. I did a play and an episode of television, and neither conflicted with the other. I was able to do both! My home didn’t fall apart, and I am happy! I decided about six months ago to make acting my professional focus. Now I know I can do it.
I’ve gained so much from this experience, and I’m confident I’ve given something of value as well. This show has been an absolute dream, and I’m honored to be a part of it. After we close, I’m going to take a few days off to celebrate my hard work and a successful run. If you’ve seen the show, thank you so much for going on the crazy ride with us. If you live in Atlanta and haven’t seen it, catch JUMP before we close! You won’t be disappointed.
About me . . .
I'm Cyrah Hill. I'm a woman of faith, an actor and an everyday black girl.