Because I’m early off in both my career and my adulthood, I have disproportionately restructured the scaffolding of my future far too many times in the last couple years. In terms of career goals and prospects and dreams, I’m ping-ponging from one area of focus to the next, each bounce trying to prove itself more assured than the last. Something that’s dawned on me recently (among many, many other things) is the validity of doing...everything. Why can’t I do everything? Why can’t I keep acting AND start a theatre company AND compose music AND think about grad school AND moving to another country?
I know this sounds like punchdrunk potential from a wide-eyed ingenue, but hear me out:
There are few, one-tracked theatre that I’ve witnessed. The best theatre artists I know juggle teaching, performing, and original content creation, all at advanced levels of success. Where did I get the mindset of having to put all my eggs in the acting basket? Or production basket? Or composition/writing/education basket?
I used to believe that being able to sustain myself on just one of these focuses (mainly performing) would define “making it.” Once I can pay the rent by just doing shows, I can quit my side gigs and ride the luxury of just having one job to do to get paid.
But when has doing nothing ever made me happy?
I know myself, and i know I like to dream in excess. I know there was something right in describing my career as a “Theatre Artist and Musician,” versus anything more specific. All my wildest dreams, writing original music, studying abroad, performing, singing, producing theatre, educating through art (plus the laundry list of others), they can all happen in one lifetime. The gig-based lifestyle of professional art is not just the plight of the starving artist - multiple projects can feed and fuel and live off of each other, more effectively portraying the larger messages and stories that want to be told.
And that’s something I’m proud to be devoting my life to.