I’ve been so single minded in my career pursuits that I never really thought about doing anything else. When I was young, art was a way to invent a world I could live in….actually, it is still that. Art mediated/mediates my relationship to the world. Now that I am an adult and have more freedom to live my own way, I can imagine myself in other roles in the world. I feel capable of doing and understanding and liking many things so, I occasionally wonder what else I could do, or would have done had life led me in different directions. I guess everyone feels something like this. I suppose the irony is that for many people art was that thing their alternate self pursued whereas for me, it is the other way around. I think I could have been a sex-ed teacher, a nutritionist, someone who works with animals….a zoologist, a writer, an anthropologist, a psychologist. Maybe that about sums up my alternate career paths. But I think that when I was young and finding my way in school, I didn’t have the confidence to pursue anything else. I used to envy people who didn’t know what they wanted to do because I thought, they could be happy doing lots of things whereas I could only be happy doing one thing. All the eggs in one basket. I think too though, that it is precisely because I have been so single minded, that I have been able to make it work for me. I heard an interview with an actor who said something like, making your way as an actor is so hard that if you have something else to fall back on, you WILL fall back on it. He was advocating for no plan B. That made complete sense to me. If you have an escape route, then when it really gets tough, you are less likely to stay in and fight it out. I’ve been pretty lucky. My hardest moments were after grad school when I had barely enough money to make it through each month, was living very modestly, literally counting every dollar spent and made and could not afford health insurance. Luckily, I had no major accidents and the time I spent working in the studio, despite the pressures to get more paying work, was what laid the foundation for what I do now. I was building my skills and honing my interests. At that point I probably already had the 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell talks about in Outliers but, I have never been a fast learner.
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