I Just Want(ed) to Be a Star

Another recent Post-a-Day topic intrigued me:

What occupation did you want as a child? Given what you know now as an adult (or more of one than you were), would it have been a good choice for you?

For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be an actress. (Well, when I was very little, I wanted to be an actress and an author.) I always knew this was a long shot. Because I knew it was a long shot, I pretty much knew it was never going to happen.

When it came to my aspirations of performing, my parents were not particularly supportive, and they were definitely not encouraging. My mom never went through the Time Out to find auditions for me. In high school, I had the opportunity to join the only teen theatre company there was. It was too expensive, I was told. I probably could have gotten a scholarship. To that, my mom said it was too long a drive, too much of a hassle.

To have a career in the performing arts, you need to believe in yourself and you need to have at least one person believe in you. Because I didn’t have the latter, I’m not sure I ever really achieved the former. If I had gotten into CMU’s Drama Department, or into UCLA’s, I really think I could have made a good go. Having that kind of training, recognition, and support, along with my own perseverance, I might have been able to make it. But being denied – 3 times  by CMU – well… I finally realized that I couldn’t make a living at acting. So, I decided to make a living in the computer industry, and act on the side.

I did act in New Hampshire. I would still be acting if I were there. Oddly enough, there just aren’t that many opportunities to do theatre in Antioch. There are tons of theatre companies in New Hampshire, and many of them are actually pretty darn good. I miss acting, but, more than that, I miss singing. Even Jack won’t let me sing to him anymore.

I want to be supportive of Jack’s career goals, whatever they may be. Right now, he wants to be a policeman, or a superhero, or play for the Red Sox or A’s, … He seems to be musically inclined, but I haven’t gotten it into gear enough to arrange piano lessons. I worry that I’m making him miss something important. Should I have encouraged him to stay in ballet? Should I buy him a drum kit? What if he really is the next David Beckham?

I’m occasionally disappointed that I’m not a performer. But I love my family, and my current job is pretty OK, even if it will never earn me an Oscar.

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