I don’t know how many there were, but I think it was a lot. Of the dozens of kids I knew in the local community theatre and the high school drama guild I think a lot of them hoped to go on to show business. Some of the kids joined up just for fun and others to meet boys or girls. But a lot of kids either joined up already with the acting bug or got bitten soon along. Plenty of them talked about going on to fame and fortune and subsequently plenty went on to get degrees in acting or related fields.
Too many kids at that age haven’t had big bad reality bite their hearts out yet. But a few years ago I was talking to one girl who had graduated about her college plans and she told me about some sensible course of study she planned for college. She had done acting, singing and dancing at Baldwin Theatre Guild. I asked her about that and she told me how she would love to get into professional film or theatre. But she wasn’t going to. She smiled and said that there was always community theatre.
Lots of those kids I acted alongside had dreams of moving on to show business. Some got their degrees related to it. Most are working jobs unrelated to their degree. A few, however, maybe even a disproportionate few have made it. Some work professionally onstage, do voice work, or sing. I don’t think any of this was luck. It was talent, perseverance and drive.
And here I am with a BA degree in communications with an emphasis on film and theatre. I did work in radio for a few years after college until it was necessary to support a wife and baby son. And during those several years after college it came to me so slowly that I never realized it that I would never be a film actor or director.
I tried writing over those years and did write a few gems. But I had the mindset that my writing would the meal ticket for me and my family. I became irritated when disturbed and told the kids (there were several by then) that they couldn’t disrupt my writing if they ever wanted to live comfortably.
That was a horrible attitude. Today I’m supporting the family on my salary as a custodian, a job I thoroughly enjoy. And I write. I blog and I write Icarus. Icarus is like a 50 thousand piece puzzle that I take thrill in putting together. I don’t write to be rich now, I write for the joy.
Many of us dreamers had to compromise. I’m glad I did.