Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I Am a Theatre Artist

I am a theatre artist. And I've noticed that in the past couple of years I've lost a lot of confidence. Now, I haven't lost any confidence that theatre is what I want to *do*, but I have lost confidence in the way that I *say* that to other people. I've actually started to dread the "What are you studying...and what do you want to do with that?" conversation, because so many years of fake smiles, so many years of "do you want to be a teacher, then?", so many exclamations of "but you're so quiet!", and so many jokes about becoming a waitress, majoring in hobbies, and hints that I'll change my mind or that I should get a degree in "something that I can use" have chipped away at my desire to talk about my career plans with people who aren't artists.
So, here is my real resolution for 2015. I will quit caring about other people's reactions. I will stop skirting around that conversation just to avoid judgement. I am a theatre artist. I am pursuing acting. Yes, acting. We can talk about why I think acting is important later, but for now, know that I am in fact pursuing it. I am not going to teach acting, not to high school students, not to college students, not to children. (Well, maybe as a volunteer thing at some point, but teaching theatre will not be my career.) I have utmost respect and admiration for theatre instructors and for teachers in general, and to treat their career choice as a consolation prize for people who didn't "make it" is an insult to a group of very hard-working and intelligent people who have earned their place in the academic field. I will not do theatre "on the side." I will not "keep it up as a hobby." I have wanted to make acting my job since I was fourteen, and that hasn't changed.
Will I fail? Maybe. It happens. Does that scare me to death? Duh. But I'd rather try and fail than fail by avoiding my desired career because it got difficult to talk about during Thanksgiving.

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