It’s been a long time since I wrote something personal for myself. Something that wasn’t food or career related.
Something just for me.
I started a new job today, and really, a whole new chapter in my life. So I figured it’s as good a time as any to start over, and to take a few minutes to reflect on how I got here.
I’m also writing this to hopefully encourage a few others (and to remind myself later), that it’s ok to change dreams, or more specifically, to put something down–and purposefully choose something else instead, for whatever reason is important to you–even if it’s ONLY important to you. I read a really amazing article that someone posted on facebook around the time that I was considering going back to a more ‘regular’ job, about how giving up your dream is ok. I sort of agree (or maybe the author means the same thing, but we are using different words?), but felt that for me—it was still important to differentiate between giving up one’s dream, and choosing something else.
Over the past 10 months, I’ve worked with the folks at the Seaver Career Center at Pepperdine University, and had an absolutely wonderful time! For the first time in my professional career (studio professional-professional, not acting-professional) I was able to do the ‘fun’ work, and the meaningful bits, and felt like my opinion was valued and considered in group conversations. And THAT was amazing.
This past 10 months, will now mark the ending season of my professional acting career. I also wanted to share that with a lot of my friends who have supported me through my professional acting journey. I was so blessed to have the best commercial agent in the industry (literally, he just won the managers’ guild award for 2015), and some great theatrical and web series opportunities as well. To all of you who have been so supportive, THANK YOU!
And to all my friends who are still pursuing that very unique and very challenging dream, I admire, love and support you all. I hope you are given the opportunities that you deserve to showcase your incredible talents and courage.
So why did I decide to leave acting behind and go back to the corporate side of entertainment? There were a lot of factors, but it all basically came down to two things: 1) I wasn’t finding meaning in my work (as an actor) every day, and I did experience that meaning by working with students and in my consulting business, and 2) Acting was no longer worth all the sacrifices that I’ve made to pursue it (mostly, not having a savings account, not being able to buy a full priced item at Urban Outfitters or Banana Republic without doing some serious mental gymnastics and contemplating how that purchase would affect my finances for the next 6 months, and not being able to TRAVEL).
At first it was a hard decision. As an achiever type person, I felt like if I gave up acting before I ‘made it’ (whatever that means), I would be a failure. Someone who gave up. And I do NOT give up. It took me a while to understand, really understand, that changing your mind is not the same thing as giving up.
I have to admit, over the past 10 months, I’ve become a lot more ‘conventional’ than I ever thought I’d be. Maybe it’s being in a long term relationship for the first time in my adult life, or maybe it’s getting older, or maybe it’s a lot of things—but I WANT to buy a condo (or hopefully a not-so-tiny-little-house) in the next 5 years, I want to have a savings account, and go on annual vacations to Hawaii or Europe, and take classes at community college on ceramics and art history because I WANT to. And that’s ok.
So…What is the moral of my story? I guess what I’ve taken away from it is this: Do everything you want to do. Have the courage to leave one career path to explore another (especially if you are single), before settling into any one thing just because it’s easy or comfortable. Though I could have invested a lot more years into this specific career path (I had an idea that I wanted to go into recruiting my last stint at DreamWorks circa 2009), now that I’ve explored ALL my options, I can sincerely start this new job and be fully invested, knowing that this is really what I want to do (at least for now), and that I have absolutely NO REGRETS about the path I have taken.
Besides, if I hadn’t done acting full time, I wouldn’t have a super fun BOSE commercial, or this really awesome picture of me as a pirate, on stage, for the fastest character transition ever.
And I LOVE this picture, and the production behind it.
So, to mark this day–and make my official announcement everywhere–as of today, July 6, 2015, I am officially an employee of the Walt Disney Company. I am starting my first week as a Campus Recruiter, and could not be more excited to do a job that I find so much meaning in. Connecting people, opportunities and talent, have always been some of my favorite things. To be able to turn that into a job, based on my haphazard career path? I am so blessed. So today, I’m working on remembering that.