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Defining Your Future

October 11, 2012

There are certain times in our lives when we suddenly feel forced to define ourselves and our future. Weddings are one such example. Relatives and friends that you don’t see or communicate with very often, naturally, want to know what you have done, where you are at and, most importantly, what your plans are for the future.

Somehow, the truth doesn’t always sounds as good out loud when talking to your great Aunt who doesn’t have the slightest idea about the struggles of a performers reality. Instead of admitting that I see myself on Broadway in the future, I found myself waffling on about how I hadn’t really thought about it and then veered towards discussing my husbands future as a producer in LA. Afterwards I thought about why I felt the need to do this.

Perhaps it was because most ‘civilians’ may think that getting on Broadway is something you just decide to do and then it happens (if only). They could be mistaken in thinking that it’s just like having an interview and then being offered a contract. Then they would wonder why it was taking me so long.

The flip-side would be that they would realize exactly how extremely difficult it is to get on Broadway and wonder why I was still spending so much time, energy and effort trying to pursue an impossible dream when I should be focusing on a ‘real’ career, especially considering my recent marriage. When not on Broadway (yet), the profession rarely offers any job security, benefits or even reasonable pay plus there’s the issue of the unglamorous, soul-destroying survival job. Not many 20/30-somethings would want to admit to those: ‘So you like waiting tables/ stacking shelves/ telesales/ wearing a padded suit as Mickey Mouse in Times Square?’

Maybe, I wanted to keep my dream a little more secret for fear of it not becoming a reality. Maybe, it was a blatant exposure of my own fear of failure and the slew of possible disparaging remarks.

Perhaps it would have been easier if I hadn’t been so close to realizing my dream in New York. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with my career successes so far. However, I do believe that only people ‘in the business’ can appreciate them. I do not feel ashamed by anything I have done but somehow I feel like I have to justify being in musical theatre as more than just a hobby to those outside the game.

My goals at the beginning of this year was just to get a part in a musical theatre show, have my headshot and bio in a Playbill and get a job from a New York audition. At some points it seemed so unattainable, and yet, I am about to start rehearsals for my 2nd Equity regional theatre production from a New York audition, having had to turn down another due to overlapping schedules. So here I am again, putting it out to the universe. I will be on Broadway.

Have you ever felt intimidated by a question about your career? How did you deal with it? How far away do you feel from your career goals and how do you intend to reach them? Did you use any tools to ‘ask the universe’?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. The Reflective Artist permalink
    October 11, 2012 8:57 am

    I don’t want to reply too fully to this post, since I have one going up next week that touches on this theme. But I will say that you are not alone in voicing your dreams to people who work outside of the industry for fear of sounding like a romantic idiot. Far from it.

    It is an interesting test though: not being able to say something like that out loud, does it mean you don’t really believe it could happen? Is it best then, to look people square in the face and tell them exactly what you want? Will you grow to believe you can have it if you keep saying it? “Act as if you have faith and faith will be given to you,” that sort of thing. Maybe that’s the only answer.

    I do write little encouraging post-its for myself before bed and leave them around the house. Then when I wake up, they are there to re-assure me and make me smile.

  2. October 11, 2012 9:16 am

    I think we all understand the fear and pressure that comes from having to explain our dreams and goals to civilians. But I think you’re right that the universe needs to hear it. You will do it if you believe you will!

  3. October 11, 2012 12:20 pm

    You will get there! Don’t give up. People (especially relatives or close friends) can be very cruel. I have definitely been there before. It’s hard to talk about your dreams and goals with people who aren’t in the biz. Sadly, I think this is always going to be a struggle that artists will go through. We’re all in this together 🙂

  4. October 12, 2012 9:59 pm

    Thank you everyone! I guess we all just need a little encouragement now and again, even if it’s from ourselves on a small sticky piece of yellow paper!

  5. California Triple-Threat permalink
    October 14, 2012 2:58 pm

    We all struggle with this… 😦 But the more you speak it out loud the more real your dreams become!

  6. October 15, 2012 6:59 pm

    Maybe it’s because I’m a late starter, but it seems the “civilians” in my life have bigger dreams for me than I do for myself — “are you getting paid?” “are you going to move to New York/L.A.?” etc…


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