My Writing: Bold Moves, part 3
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I am making more bold decisions than I used to.


When I stepped away from full-time employment last summer, I had one contract gig and some vague notions about where I'd seek more work. Where do I begin since I'm not great at self-promotion?

I started by simply staying in touch.

Background: One of the teams I'd previously met through my old job was a PR firm. They invited me down to Atlanta to interview some speakers at a large Christian conference. 

Changed plans: But then some things went a little askew the day before the conference. Schedules shifted, and the list of people I was to interview dwindled. I felt a smidge of disappointment. But I went anyway. 

I tried not to cave to old negativity. I viewed the hours spent with my husband in the car as good bonding time. And I hoped that something unexpected might come from this trip.

Results: The results were interactions that became a blessing. The people I interviewed were super inspiring. I reconnected with a writing friend, ate dinner with another friend's colleagues. And I met an editor of a larger publication who told me to pitch her some article ideas. 

My reconnected relationship has given me new freelance camaraderie, and she introduced me to a new magazine I didn't know existed. Faithfully Magazine has been a blessing to read, challenging my perspectives. I submitted interviews, and the editor published one

Months later, a piece I pitched is in the works with the large publication editor I met. Also I was recently contracted for a writing project with the friend's colleagues I had dinner with. New audiences, new ways to use my skills. 

Attitude check: God's plans are not my own. There are hidden blessings behind earlier disappointments. I have to trust His timing, His ways. I have to expect God to be moving—He is all the time, if I will only open my eyes to see. He will use me if I remain available. 

It is definitely a new experience to work on the writing end rather than being the editor. I'm gaining from it. Ever onward!


Find out my other three bold moves: my tattoo, my audition, my project.


Photo by Bianca Isofache on Unsplash

Kelly Carr
My Audition: Bold Moves, part 2
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I'm making more bold decisions than I used to.


In December I auditioned for a casting agent/director who directs plays and also gathers local talent for Hollywood movies being filmed in Cincinnati. 

To my west coast friends, auditioning may be par for the course. But for a Midwesterner who has old dreams of stardom and current habits of stalking celebrities who come to town to make movies—this was a big deal!

Background: The director was having open auditions for anyone—previous experience or not, those signed with agents or not—as part of an effort to collect donations for a local food bank. So I sent an email on a whim and got an appointment.  

Practice: Since I was now committed, I read the requirements & then went to Google tips on auditions. Ha. I'm a total newbie!

• First, I needed a monologue. They said the agent likes modern. Because I didn't love the pieces I found online, I figured I could memorize my own words better. So, against some people's online advice, I wrote my own monologue. It's what I love to do anyway. I ended up liking the dramatic 2-minute piece I crafted, with the bit of snark I was able to incorporate. So I could go in with confidence.

• Second, I needed a head shot, and thankfully Steve has the skills. (The result is posted now on my About page.) 

• Third, I had to create an acting resume. With limited experience, mine was filled with all the dramas I've done onstage—mostly in churches throughout my adult life. Plus I added in some storytelling, speaking gigs, and online interviews. I tried to depict any kind of stage presence I've had.

Results: I decided to just be myself—own up to my no paid experience yet be confident in my ability to communicate. I did my piece, noting out of the corner of my eye that the director and two others at the table reacted nicely to my bit of humor and my surprise ending.

The director said, "Powerful. Sad." (I never told her that I wrote it, but she seemed to like the content.) We discussed how my dramatic experience had been in the nonprofit world, striving to tell stories to kids and adults alike. She didn't seem deterred by that fact and was all smiles and encouraging words. She asked if I'd like to do background work. (Being an extra is what I'd hoped to snag!) She said there was an upcoming period piece that was filming in Cincinnati, and they'd likely call me.

So we will see. That was just before the holidays, maybe something happens this year. I hope to at least remain on her potential list.

Thoughts: Most encouraging to me was having such a positive reaction to what I wrote, what I performed. I've always enjoyed writing and performing. Yet I've never had the guts to put myself out there. Unknown to many, I remain a closet dreamer, on stage in my mind, in some alternative time line. So this moment was huge. I needed to try. It was validating that a professional person reacted well and thought I had some skills. It may not lead to anything, but the process was important.

God has ways I can continue using these skills to lift up others and Him. (I did a little storytelling for an entire elementary school just the other day!)

In the meantime, this felt good.  


Find out my other three bold moves: my tattoo, my writing, my project
Kelly Carr
My Tattoo: Bold Moves, part 1

I'm making more bold decisions than I used to.

Perhaps my new decade has given me more confidence in who I am, what I can do. I keep telling my friend, "This is 40." lus why not try new things before it's too late? What is there to lose? 

In these next few posts, I'll share a few places I've boldly gone lately:

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I always thought I'd get a tattoo. A long time ago, I said by age 40. I didn't have some huge list of goals to do before 40, but this remained in the back of my mind. As my birthday approached, I went with it. 

Background: My younger brother has a bunch of tattoos. As does his wife. They've befriended a guy in Lexington who does amazing work. I've seen the evidence on their skin! So I figured I'd go with a guy I trusted. And then I could get my tattoo expert of a brother to go with me.

Design decision: Decisions aren't my forté. So I've always put off getting a tattoo because I couldn't decide. I often thought I'd choose words. But problem #1—I like a lot of words. How do I narrow it down? Problem #2—I'm wordy, so how could I edit enough to fit the words I want on a small space of my body? Problem #3—I like a lot of words, so how do I give preference? 

Therefore it dawned on me—an image of a writing utensil could represent words for me. All the words I want to say. All the words I've ever written, spoken, edited. It could remind me to keep creating words. I chose a feather quill as the writing utensil for several reasons, one of which is my maiden name, Birdwhistell. 

Still undecided: Everyone asked if I was worried about the pain. No, I was worried about if I made the best design choice. Even up until the day of my scheduled tattoo, I was deciding—I found a new feather picture that morning and liked it better, so I showed that to the tattoo artist. When he put the design on transfer paper to determine placement on my wrist, I still freaked out with indecision—is it too big? does it look OK there? My brother just smiled and shook his head at me. He's had so many tattoos in so many places, my indecision was amusing to him. I quickly FaceTimed with Steve, and he liked the potential placement and size. So I felt better. 

Moment of truth: Since it was a small design and black-only line art, it went quickly with little pain. (Perhaps a larger one would've been a different story.) I LOVE how it turned out! And I haven't gotten tired of it yet! (Notice how I said my "first" tattoo? Now I may want more!)


Find out my other three bold moves: my audition, my writing, my project


Kelly Carr