Last time we read chapters 27-30. The previous sessions can be found here:
In chapter 27, we see Landry get a modeling audition, but it’s nowhere near as glamourous as she had hoped. What was your reaction to the children’s store she’d be modeling at?
In chapter 28, we see Landry having to deal with rejection for a job she didn’t even want in the first place. How did that make you feel?
Landry really wants to have this big life, but when the opportunity to do the makeover show comes on (which also gives her another shot at the bigger competition), she gets very nervous.
What are some of the things she’s worried about? Even though the idea of being on a makeover show makes her anxious, she says she’ll do it. Why do you think she’s willing to go and do this show even though she’s scared?
In chapter 29, Landry tells her mother she doesn’t want people to know she’s going to do this show.
"Because it'll be less embarrassing if I don't make it. If no one knows, then no one can laugh at me."
"Hon, don't ever let fear of failing hold you back, because if you do, then you won't try anything."
Seriously? Was this woman ever in the eighth grade?
Have you ever felt that way—that you’d rather not let people know you were trying out for something in case you failed? Or maybe you didn’t try out because you were afraid of someone laughing at you if you didn’t get chosen.
Landry tells her mom her fears about failing and how some of the kids at school are already acting differently around her because of the American Ingenue competition. Her mom then shares how she faced the same thing with her job. Mrs. Albright had friends and family telling her to play it safe and also down playing her accomplishments when she did achieve something. She tells Landry,
"Risk is never easy, but you can't learn anything or grow if you don't try."
"I know, I get what you're saying, but I'm still scared to fail."
"Don't look at it that way then," she said. "Didn't one of your favorite models once say, 'There is no failure — you either win or learn'?"
"Then there you go. If you want this, then don't let anyone stop you from getting experience. And if they're true friends, then they will support you."
Have you ever talked to a trusted adult and shared something you’re worried about and they shared their own experience with it? Write about how you felt afterward. If you haven’t had that experience, or you have something weighing heavy on your mind, seek out a parent or trusted adult to ask their advice and their experience with it.
In chapter 30, Landry has a moment of fear while looking over the paperwork for the competition. She thinks,
Did I even want another chance at the competition? Sure, if I got further in the show then I had a shot at getting my name out there, but it was an awful lot of stress to put myself through. Was it worth it? Why did I want it after all? I was about to say I wanted to pass on it and see if we could argue that clause in the original paperwork, when I stopped myself. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go on, I was scared, but there was something that I found even scarier, and that was wondering, "What if?" for the rest of my life.
There are three parts of this I want you to think about. First, she asks herself, “Is it worth it?” Then, “Why did I want it after all?” And then, the “wondering, ‘What if?’ for the rest of her life. Have you ever had to think about these things when making a decision?
Think about something you really want in life—maybe it’s what you want to be when you get older or something you want to try out for or do, but it’s overwhelming or scary. Make a list and write about if you think it’s worth pushing through the fear, etc. Is it worth all the bad parts (fear, stress, anxiety) that go along with it?
Then ask yourself why you want it. Is it because you think it will make people like you? Go through all the reason you want to do this and see if you’re pursuing/doing it for the right or good reasons.
Lastly, ask yourself how you will feel if you don’t do it. Will it be harder to live with not doing it and wondering what might have happened if you did do it or better thinking it might have worked out, but at least you didn’t fail. Write about your feelings on that.
Vladi shares some thoughts on his group of friends with Landry. Write or talk about what you think of his thoughts on those girls. Were you surprised that’s how he felt?
Behind the scenes: For the competition scenes, I basically took a bunch of experiences in my own life and mashed them together to create the feelings Landry goes through. I tried out for fashions shows, auditioned for TV stuff, competed in dance competitions/tryouts, and tried out for other things each time knowing I might fall on my face. Sometimes I was so nervous I was sick to my stomach and other times I was calmer. Now I look back and in some cases I wonder, how was I that brave to do that? And in others situations I think, why did I put myself through that? I didn’t even want to do that, but my mom/friends/family thought it would be impressive. Why did I do things just to impress people when I didn’t truly want that?
And sure, I didn't get everything I went out for and one time I even had someone make fun of me to my face (I was twelve) that I didn't get what I tried out for back then. But each time I tried something I did learn something about myself. Maybe it was that I needed to prepare better or that this wasn't my strong point or that maybe this thing wasn't right for me, but I'd try again. Sure that guy made fun of me, but you know what? I used that very experience in one of the Landry's True Colors Books, so in the end, I was okay.
Eventually I learned that some things are worth it to me and some aren’t. Even now I will have opportunities come up that might sound or look important, but they come with unwanted attention or make me anxious and I have to decide if it’s worth it to put myself through that or not.
Early on I would sign up for these writing events where you’d read your work in front of a crowd or maybe get critiqued by a big writer or author. I can’t tell you how nervous writers get over that, but I had to decide if I really wanted to pursue this career then I had to get used to speaking in front of a big crowd of people. It’s just part of being an author. And sometimes it can be fun and sometimes…not so much. There are events where the people in charge tell me I’ll be speaking to a group of teens and I prepare something to say only to walk in a find a packed room of adults instead and I have to change my whole talk to something that will interest them instead of what I worked so hard to prepare.
Another time I was nervous about talking to a group of readers only to find out the audience was full of men who wanted to be writers…and I write YA and middle grade books! So I had to change my talk on the spot. But in the end, writing is what I’m meant to do so it’s worth it to put myself through those experiences because they’re just part of the job. However, if you told me when I was 11 years old that one day I’d be talking to rooms full of people as part of my job, I’d tell you there was no way I’d ever do that without fainting! So next time you have to make a decision to do something scary that pushes you out of your comfort zone, go back to this list and ask yourself those three things above.
Read chapters 31-33 for next time!
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.
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