The Road I Chose
I was recently asked what I would have done for a career if I hadn't chosen acting. I have been asked this question before and while I have given some options a thought (I considered briefly being an elementary school french teacher, a therapist, and I have fallen in to administrative work by default), there has never been a moment I seriously considered what else I really would have done. First, I have, like many of us, known since I was a little girl acting was the only route. I was a dramatic child... I know, I know....what a surprise! My Grandma Helen used to call me Margaret O'Brien. Anytime I was on the drama train, she would say, "OK, Margaret O'Brien" with a laugh and a sense that she understood me. In second grade, I was cast as the evil stepmother in the school production of Snow White and I remember as clear as if it were yesterday, standing next to my parents in the cafeteria after the show and one of the mothers telling them that I should do this for a living. The die was cast. ( I really should have paid attention to that moment because I would have realized a lot earlier that my reality was as a character actress!)
It's always been the arts. There is something about performing, that exchange of energy with an audience that has attracted me. I was in band (I played flute), I figure skated, I competed in ballroom dance. All avenues of performance.
During my hiatus, while I was travelling and living abroad, I realized what life can be without the schedule of rehearsals and tech week but I also realized I needed it. I missed it. Being on stage is my comfort zone.
Now, performing may be the goal but getting there is the work. And I think that is where my road took some detours. I recently started taking classes with Tom Todoroff and in my first class with him, he said something that hit me...hit me hard. "Don't treat being an actor like a hobby and then get angry it doesn't become a profession". And that's it, isn't it? Can you imagine your Financial Advisor doing that? No! This is a career. A job. And a job means doing your work every day and this isn't an job with a yearly performance review, a raise and a job description. You have to make it happen! And it doesn't for a lot of people. That's the reality of the road I chose. It's a country road that winds through the woods. Would I have preferred the highway, sure! But I am getting a hell of a journey!