Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal of my most memorable moments in life have been times when I was on stage in front of an audience. 

From a very young age, I was encouraged by my parents to be involved in music and the performing arts. 
In high school and college, I gained a great deal of recognition for my work as a performer. I won many State and National competitions. It was exciting! 
What many people don’t realize, though, is that when I first started learning about music, I hated it. 
I had very little patience for any kind of rehearsal. I could play piano by ear so any thought or idea about spending time on actually reading music was well…a waste of time. 

Or so I thought… 
Today, it’s hard for me to imagine how boring my life would be if I would have stayed the old me. 

I was afraid to grow and extremely arrogant to the fact that I need to. 
As I faced greater competition, I realized that natural talent was limiting.   

Those with refined and rehearsed skills were surpassing me. 
Author Malcolm Gladwell references the 10,000 rule in his book Outliers. He states that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at anything, from violin to basketball to business. 
He’s right! But even with knowing that this is fact, it doesn’t always click (and that’s true for me too). 
Sometimes we need people in our life to show us the way. Lucky for me, I had teachers and instructors who took an interest. 
My teachers taught me the path to discipline. 
Some used inspiration while others used fear and force. I needed both. 
Discipline is required to achieve a goal. For me, that goal became the performance, the show itself. 
I knew that once the date was set and the tickets were sold – the expectation for a great show is what I had to meet and exceed to insure that I had a future opportunity. 
Auditions are tough. I’ve seen some of the most talented actors and actresses fail to get a job because of a poor performance or even worse….a poor attitude. 
To be successful on a stage or in life you must be prepared to rehearse with discipline and exceed the expectations of others. 
As a professional, I realize more and more that life is that first performance repeated. 
It’s the act of rehearsing, perfecting and performing. Sometimes solo, others with duets and ensembles. 
Here’s my advice: Life is not a rehearsal. Each day is a new show. No repeat, no rewind. 

Give your best shot in all of your worthy acts, as the show must always go on. 
Make today your best day ever,
Jason Duff 
COMSTOR Outdoor 

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