In all my twenty-two years of life, I can safely say that one of my top three moments I dread most of all is standing on a stage in front of a table with directors and hearing them utter those three dreaded words, "Whenever you're ready."

After that comes the waiting, which is probably even worse than standing in front of the directors. It's the time where you question your own belief and start to criticize your own performance. Then, you hear the phone ring, you get the email, or you see the cast list posted and...

You didn't pass the audition.

Recently, I just did my first audition in probably eight years. It was for a vocal competition, and I had worked for months on getting every song I performed absolutely perfect. I lost sleep over this competition and gave it my all. When I was about to hear back about whether or not I had moved forward in the competition, I was positive I had moved on. How could I not have? That was the proudest I had ever been of my performance in all my years of singing. I was more than ready to hear the results of the competition.

When I found out I didn't place, I was a little more than disappointed.

I immediately started to doubt my ability as a singer, and why I was even doing this in the first place. I had worked so hard to do well in the competition, and it didn't pay off the way I wanted it to. What did this mean about me as a singer? Did this mean that I had no talent at all?

After some important heart-to-heart talks with my family, friends, and voice instructor, I learned something very important about what creativity means not just to the creators, but also everyone around them. When you go to the theater to see a show, or to a concert to hear your favorite artist, you go because you want to feel the joy, excitement, and rush of experiencing something you love.

This is the gift that creative people give to everyone around them. I've always been told that there's one thing that no one has ever been able to truly teach, and that's love and passion for something. If you're not completely and totally passionate about something, there's a very good chance that you never will be. Love for something simply stems from how much work you put into it, and that love can be clearly seen every time you perform.

I've been all over the world, and one of my favorite places to be is still in an arena for a concert. There's something so special about people screaming the lyrics to their favorite songs, songs they've known and loved for years. The arts has a special way of bringing people together, and that love is only brought about when creative people like you don't give up when they are faced with rejection. The joy and happiness you'll bring people is so much more important than whatever a director says about you.