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Sometimes I’m Able To See The Big Picture And It Isn’t At All What I Had In Mind

Updated on June 4, 2010


I never read the book, “The Secret” and I have to admit that I don’t really get how people can say, “Follow your passion” when there are bills to be paid and cat litter boxes to be emptied but sometimes I’m able to see the big picture and it isn’t at all what I had in mind – Don’t Get Me Started!

I think it’s easy to say you’ve always envisioned yourself creating underwear that makes people look slimmer and I sit in awe of the people who have this type of vision and stick to it until suddenly they’re an infomercial and living in a mansion. But for those of us who don’t have a focus that is so laser specific it’s a little harder. I like to think of my life as a series of short attention span theatre one act plays. I don’t think I’m in need of medication and I can get pretty focused when I’m trying to figure out why there’s no sound coming out of the computer or something but when it comes to those big life goal things, there seems to be a lot of shiny things constantly vying for my attention.

I started out in my life wanting to be a big star. I wasn’t sure exactly what stars did or what you had to do to be one but I knew I wanted to be one. Stars seemed to get a lot of attention and people thought they were special (in a good way) and I wanted in on all of that not to mention the clothes, the cars and a few “C” words I wouldn’t understand until I was a little older. I remember rehearsing in the family living room. I would spend hours rehearsing how I would enter the stage and how I would take my bow and in retrospect it shows that I really had no idea what a star was because had I known I would have spent more time rehearsing what happened between the entrance and the bows. But I looked at Mickey Rooney in the old movies or Joel Grey and I thought, “I could do that, I could be that.” Again, I had no idea how these people had worked at their craft from an early age I just knew that they were short like me and it gave me hope.

From the time I was six years old into my late thirties I worked in theatre and for awhile there I even said things like, “I just want to be a working actor.” When in reality my walls were lined with photos of old movie stars and my black and white themed bedroom was complete with a director’s chair with my name on it. Sure I did a reading from Puck in Midsummer’s Night Dream for my classical piece when auditioning but again, I was playing Mickey Rooney in the movie version with little regard for “The Bard” or “The Work” that all of my actory friends were talking about as they dressed in all black studying Brecht. (Black made me think more of Fosse, Liza Minnelli in Cabaret with green fingernail polish winning an Oscar than on Brecht.)

Along the way I directed, I choreographed for places as diverse as Disneyland to Virginia Opera, I coached competitive ice skaters rinkside on their performances, did marketing, sales, became a Director of Training, an Executive Assistant and a host of other things that seem so unrelated and completely related to me all at the same time. And I was passionate about all those things. All shiny things that caught my attention when I guess some would say I should have stayed focused on my “real” passion instead. But you see when you are passionate about everything you do you tend to not necessarily have that one idea for the eighteen hour bra, I think. And I also think you get on people’s nerves if they’re not as passionate as you are about everything.

When I created my website and started blogging it was because I had joined Corporate America and I missed being creative, hearing an audience laugh or applaud and I focused on the entrance (in this case title) of each blog and a good finish (my Mother always said, “they’ll forgive you anything if you have a strong finish”) but in the back of my head I was really thinking, “This is going to make me a star.” It’s been almost four years now that I’ve been blogging and it has not made me a star. But looking back at the blogs I can see that I took some chances, created some real dreck and a couple of masterpieces. Almost every word I wrote I was passionate about so in a way maybe I did follow my passion. Maybe some of us were just meant to be a little good at everything we did because of our endless passion instead of exceptional at one specific goal or thing.

Sometimes when I have a moment of clarity, I see my big picture is more of a mosaic than a still life that everyone can appreciate and enjoy as they pass it in a gallery. Maybe not everyone will see my work, maybe my work is actually more rare than I thought or won’t increase in value until I’m dead but as I get older I’m coming to terms with the fact that stars you’re seeing right now really burned out eons ago yet we can still see their light, their passion and the universe that holds the stars in the heavens is vast (even more vast than the Internet). So I remain hopeful and think, “Looking down you’ll never see me, try the sky ‘cause that’ll be me!” (I’m The Greatest Star lyrics by Jule Styne – Funny Girl) Sometimes I’m able to see the big picture and it isn’t at all what I had in mind – Don’t Get Me Started!

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