Thursday, July 10, 2008

No BFA for you, kid.

Matt: "So, when Will starts going to pre-school... uh..."

Ali: "Yeah?"

Matt: "What are you thinking of doing? With your days?"

Certain questions that strike fear into the heart of performing artists. "What are you working on?", "Have I seen you in anything?", "So how long are you planning on keeping up this charade?" (I'm not sure anyone's ever asked me that last one but I'm certain they're thinking it.) I think I muttered something vague about "auditioning" and "finishing up that novel I've been trying to write" before pretending I had to pee. Frankly I've been so caught up trying to keep my increasingly mobile child from killing his fool self, I haven't given a thought to what I'll do when Will doesn't need 24 hour surveillance. What Are You Doing With Your Life is an ugly, ugly question - one that I've successfully avoided for years now. Since college I've managed to make enough money to get by, cribbing together this and that - the life of a typical artist-for-hire. It was fine when I was in my 20's but now that I'm very not, the thought of scrambling for the next 20 years seems a touch pathetic. I'm not asking for RSVP's to my Pity Party (nobody forced me to get a theatre degree) but it's eye opening to realize that you're inching towards 40 and the sum total of your career can fit on a 5 minute acting reel.

Everybody comes to this at some point, right? Realizing that the path they're on isn't necessarily the best one but feeling unsure of how or when to change it? Ever since Matt mentioned it I've been wracking my brain trying to think of how I want to spend the rest of my days, but aside from "Full-time cast member of The Office" or "Really famous author" nothing's coming to mind. I considered maybe, possibly going into teaching. I've worked with kids and they seem to like me. I like structure and rules and can veer toward control issues which practically guarantees that I'd be the most unbearable teacher in town so, yeah, maybe that's out. Plus I'm crappy at math. What did you all do when you came to this? Did any of you come to this?

1 comment:

pursuedbyabear said...

I don't think the struggle artist is ever anything but. Unless you have a trust fund, and I know some of those people and I want to kill them, especially when they complain about money, which rich people do a surprisingly lot. Anyhoo... you will still be seeking full... hang on talk for myself... I will still be seeking artistic fulfillment while symotaniously working some job to pay for baby's preschool. But, BTW I think teaching is a good idea. I can get you the email of a cranky friend of mine who went back and got his creds after graduating NYU with an MFA, and he will know how to do it.... if you are interested let me know. I think you'd be a great teacher.