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Is It Dangerous To Dream? (Thinking Out Loud)

Last week, I had an audition for the Stratford Festival. You may recall that this is my dream. Being an actor at this festival is the absolute, ultimate, biggest dream I have. 

It was something to even be granted an audition, as this in of itself is a competitive area of decision. I was proud and so excited to even be given the chance to be seen. 


The two weeks leading up to my audition, it was basically all I could think of. My thoughts were glued in preparation – mostly in excitement and of course nervous anticipation. I knew this was the most important audition for me, personally, and all I wanted was to go in there relaxed and grounded… to show them who I am, with that quiet confidence… and do my pieces as I knew I could. I so badly wanted them to see how much I want this.  If I wasn’t given a chance to vocalize it in some way, I hoped they would be able to see it oozing out of my veins.

The day came. I worked very hard to remain grounded and relaxed all morning. And I did. When I got there and saw the other professional actors waiting in the hall, the nerves came, but I kept that little inner smile of fire and confidence inside me. I knew I was deserving of this and I knew I could do it. All I wanted was for them to see this too. 


dream dream


The audition went really well. I did my pieces just as I would have hoped and left feeling like I showed them my true self.  All I really remember is that I stepped out of the room and smiled. 

Okay so I stepped out of the room and a WAVE of emotion and anxiety hit me. Ha!! Unexpected tears started to well up in my throat. I was so happy. So excited. So relieved. Appparrrently all that nervous anxiety I had worked so hard to keep down before the audition… remaining all nice and zen….decided to come flooodddinnng out immediately after! I must have walked 5 laps of the surrounding area, talking to my mother on the phone at 100 miles per hour, for 30 minutes. And even then I wasn’t completely off cloud 9. 




So here’s the thing. I very well may not get it. They take 10-12 actors out of a 3 month cross-country audition tour. This is one of the most established places a Canadian actor can find themselves,  so I know the reality is very, very limited. 

But in those moments, when my imagination was full of images of living my dream… envisions of what it would be like if I got accepted… those feelings of what it would be like to be told “yes”…. I was the most happy that I’ve ever been.

Many times I tried to stop myself from having these thoughts. My reality mind would try to probe its head around the corner and remind me, “Cora… you know you aren’t going to get it.”

…You know they audition hundreds of actors

…You know you may just not be what they need this year

And yes. These thoughts have truth. 

In the past it is these thoughts that were always most prominent. I would stop myself from imagining what it would be like if I got my dream  – let alone ADMIT I was thinking it to anyone –  because my reality mind knew to protect me.  I never wanted the embarrassment and failure of admitting my dream and then having to tell others I did not get it. I have always protected myself from heart break by telling myself not to expect anything, because to me “reality” seemed the more virtuous, admirable, mature  way to be.  I’ve let realities diminish this fire so that I wouldn’t have as far to fall.  


I know I am shooting for the moon. 

But… is it not okay to let myself dream?

I no longer think being “realistic” is the more virtuous way to be. I no longer care if people know I have a dream and that I may be forever striving for it. I no longer care that I may have to, time and time again say, “no… not this time.” 

I know all these amazing, wonderful, beautiful feelings I’ve had this week – as I imagined the feelings that I would feel if I got my dream – may make the heart break that much more painful if I do not get it. But, I think it is worth it. 

The happiness I felt in these moments as I let myself dream, were priceless. 

When I let myself think of getting my dream, I feel full. I feel 100% confident and happy with who I am and what I’ve done. 

Again. I very well may not get it, and I may be working myself up to a dangerous level of hope by keeping these thoughts…but what’s the point of having dreams if we don’t let ourselves have those feelings – of what it will feel like – to keep them alive? It is these feelings that keep us driving for what we want. 

Dreams can hurt. Passion can hurt. When you want something that badly, it can be agonizing. But I would rather feel the agony of a longed for dream, than the soullessness of living in reality and protection. 



Thank you to Amanda for letting me dream my dream out loud. 

Let yourself dream. Your soul is rooting for you. #dreams #dreambig #riskhappiness Click To Tweet

Tell me,

What do you think… is it too dangerous to dream? 

Do you let yourself imagine yourself getting your dream? Or do you protect yourself by telling yourself you “will not get it?” 





  1. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 9th Feb 17

    Ah, we are so insync with our life moments, you and I (well, you are a little bit ahead of me). You will find my post today very interesting, but also make sure you read the post that I allude to within the post (about fear vs excitement). I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts!
    Again, congrats on the killer audition!
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Therapy Thoughts: Fear and PersistenceMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      Very interesting that you filled in the “fear” portion of what this topic also includes. I may not have spoken of my fear, but of course…. I’m scared of not getting it, what that will mean, what will happen to me then etc etc. I was able to keep my nerves from taking over, but I’m grappling between letting myself dream and fearing what that will cause me.

  2. Emily Swanson | 9th Feb 17

    I don’t think it’s dangerous to dream at all! I don’t want to set my heart on every dream I have, but I think God gives me different dreams and loves to be excited about life, life in Him, life in His mercy and goodness. It makes my heart EXPLODE with excitement hearing about what a delightful and exciting audition you had!
    Emily Swanson recently posted…WIAW: Eating More Food and Doing LessMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      I guess that’s the difference. Dreaming doesn’t have to mean completely “setting your heart on something”… like an expectation… but rather, if we are conscious enough of the possible outcomes, enable us to feel excited and full.

  3. Cindy | 9th Feb 17

    I don’t think it is dangerous to dream. I love the quote “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”. It works when it comes to exam grades, the weather, and even family stuff. You are such a fantastic role model when it comes to trying your best and aiming for progress rather than perfection. I am so proud of you for auditioning and shooting for the moon. I hope you know that even if you miss the moon, you will still land amongst the stars <3
    Keep doing what you are doing. I am so excited for you and thrilled to hear that the audition went smoothly! Please do keep all of your blog readers and virtual friends posted 🙂

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      I guess I do believe in the saying “shoot for the moon, land amongst the stars,” because if we really do shoot for our utmost dream – staying conscious of all the possible outcomes – at least we end up feeling fulfilled by the fact that we tried our best, gave it our all and probably learned a lot on the way.

  4. Jamie@TheMomGene | 9th Feb 17

    Did you ever read 1984? I think it’s dangerous NOT to dream. I think we can fill our lives up with small distractions to keep us from hope. And that is what dreams are…hope which leads to action which leads to risk.
    Jamie@TheMomGene recently posted…GIFs for Mom on Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      No I have not. But maybe I should? I like this – it being dangerous not to dream. Its so easy for us to numb ourselves away in order to protect ourselves. But then we miss out on feelings of fulfillment and happiness. A good life requires risk.

  5. Kat | 9th Feb 17

    My daddy has always said, “Don’t be afraid to shoot for the moon because if you miss you’ll simply land amongst the stars.”
    So proud of you for pushing fear, anxiety, stress, inner blahs and any other barrier aside so that you could go out there and smash that audition. You are constantly growing and flourishing and its so beautiful to see. I am also SO PROUD that even though you realize you may not get the part, you are ok with it and proud of what you did. That is HUGE girl. <3
    Kat recently posted…TOL #120 – Workout Adjustments & Upcoming RecipesMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      Your daddy is right. I think if we shoot for our utmost dream – staying conscious of all possible outcomes – we will in the very least have the inner fulfillment of knowing we gave it our all. Which in of itself probably filled us with happiness. Thanks Kat <3

  6. Heather @ Polyglot Jot | 9th Feb 17

    So glad the audition went well! I don’t think it’s dangerous to dream if you know that things may not work out as planned. Over the years I’ve had a lot of very sad setbacks and life hasnt gone the way I’d necessarily dreamed it woul in certain areas of life. Do I regret having those dreams? No, but sometimes being realistic is necessary to stay grounded and cushion potential heartbreak/devastation. Great post!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…5 Budget Friendly MealsMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      Yes I think there just needs to be a little balance. Not expecting, but dreaming. We can still remain conscious of possible outcomes while letting ourselves feel the excitement of the possibility. You are a great inspiration.

  7. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 9th Feb 17

    I think having dreams are part of living – they keep you excited, looking forward and passionate. I think it’s dangerous not to have dreams, not to challenge ourselves. I like to play things out in my head that can determine how I’ll react or what I’ll do it something plays out. I do think it’s good to try to stay grounded, too, though. Sometimes let downs are important for lessons learned and moving forward, but they hurt nonetheless. I loved reading this about YOUR DREAMS and YOUR AUDITION – this is exciting, Cora! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…Apple Cinnamon Potato BreadMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      I agree completely. I think its important to stay conscious of all possibilities, but we can still do that while letting ourselves feel the excitement that could come. I also think its okay to feel that hurt. Life is not life if we protect ourselves from all feelings. As long as we turn around the next day and use it to keep going.

  8. Lyss | 9th Feb 17

    I don’t think it’s dangerous to dream. I think it’s dangerous to have expectations that we will accomplish everything we dream though! Expectations lead to disappointment in my opinion.
    Lyss recently posted…Weekend Recap: Psychic, Starbucks, & MoreMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      Yes Lyss! That is the perfect differentiation – I didn’t think about that when writing this post. Dreaming and having expectations is different. I think its okay to dream if we remain conscious of the possible outcomes.

  9. Casey the College Celiac | 9th Feb 17

    Congrats on the amazing performance! I’m glad it was everything you imagined. This post definitely hit close to home for me…I’m presently waiting to hear back from grad schools, and so far have gotten two rejections. I know I still have nine to go, but I’m going a bit crazy with worry. It’s hard to keep dreaming when you know it could cause you pain.
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…Why My Diet is More Diverse As a Gluten Free CeliacMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      It is hard Casey… very hard. We’ve got to have a balance of dreaming – because we know we are capable – but also compassion for the notion that they may not arise as we hope them to. I’m crossing all my fingers – and sending you some virtual calming tea – for you through this nerve wracking time.

  10. Ellie Pell | 9th Feb 17

    Good luck Cora! No matter what happens, you did exactly what you wanted to do for this part. Even though I am an outsider and have no idea what goes on in the auditioning process, I’d think that if they were casting for a show, they would have the actor in mind that they want. If they don’t pick you, it’s not because you’re not a fabulous actor, it’s because your strengths are better suited elsewhere. Why be a background light when you can be the STAR?! 🙂
    Ellie Pell recently posted…Fueling Two Days in the Life (a double long run weekend)My Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      You nailed it on the head, Ellie. That’s the damn thing about this industry – you can be extremely talented, but directors’ etc. have very specific ideas about parts and you just may not be what they are looking for …. this time. So thank you. I’ve got to keep this in my thoughts and continue to be happy when I do what I wanted to do.

  11. chasetheredgrape | 9th Feb 17

    Never ever stop dreaming. Ever. The reason why you see yourself living this life is because you want it – and that’s not a bad thing. Right now the unknown means there is still a chance, it’s exciting, inspiring, motivating – and those are all great things to have in our life. If you don’t get it, at least you have the experience but also weeks of those incredible feelings that made you feel passionate and alive!
    You gave it your all and I’m super proud of you either way 🙂
    chasetheredgrape recently posted…5 simple tips on making life easier #5TTTMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      This is exactly what I wanted to hear, because this is what I believe to be true. No matter the outcome, I have some awesome feelings to remember. Thank you, Jen.

  12. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 10th Feb 17

    I’m so glad that you’re feeling good about your interview–and that you went for it! You’re so right here. Even if the opportunity is a long shot, it’s a much longer shot if you never take the risk. Wishing you all the best, Cora. 🙂
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…Recent EatsMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      Well said, Joyce. Never taking the risk – out of fear – means we never even get the chance.

  13. Leo Tat | 11th Feb 17

    Cora, I believe dreams are only dangerous if we insist on them being achieved, and only caring about the end goal that is the dream. In doing so, we set up a trap with our conscious thoughts glued to the future where one day we imagine to reach the dream and cause us emotional trauma if not achieved.

    It’s ok to dream but put some indifference to it happening and at the same time enjoy the journey. If the dream becomes impossible, know that our dreams may not be the right path for us and we should trust in the universe, or God could have a ‘better’ path for our life.
    Leo Tat recently posted…Can Probiotics Help You with Weight Loss, and Lose Belly Fat?My Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 17

      Enjoying the journey – yes – I think this is something we, in general, do not do enough of. We have so much focus put on the end goal that when we get it, we aren’t even sure if it is what we want anymore. I’m working hard to be conscious of how happy, and proud, I am just going through this process and working hard for my dream – so that if I do not get it – I know there was no time wasted. Thank you, Leo!

  14. Kristy from Southern In Law | 12th Feb 17

    I totally understand where you’re coming from here – and it reminds me of a quote by Anais Nin; “Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country”

    Dreaming can be dangerous and it can lead to heartbreak – but it can also lead to other more beautiful things. When we allow ourselves to dream, we also tend to open up a whole new world of possibilities and we go after things we never thought possible before.

    Sure, you might not get your dream – but when that door closes, it might just open another door to something even better – or a window and another way to get to where you wanted to be <3
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: 3 Ingredient Flourless Nutella BrowniesMy Profile

    • Cora | 12th Feb 17

      I love that quote. And I love everything you’ve said here. Going for your dream will only cause harm if you place expectation in it. If you remain open to the journey and where it may lead you, you are opening your world up to so much wonderful possibility <3

  15. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 13th Feb 17

    Anyone who has succeeded in life has had failures along the way. It’s their ability to learn from those same failures and keep on pushing that allows them to succeed. So I say, Dream on….
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: The Short and Sweet Edition (#70)My Profile

  16. Soften: It Is Fear That Paralyzes Us | 23rd Mar 17

    […] to be after I graduate as I try to make my way as an actor. It reminded me that as much as you dream and as much as you may see yourself as capable when in the confines of your own studio or practice […]

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