Tell Your Twentysomething To Do Something Practical.

I will always – ALWAYS – be grateful to my parents for letting me go after my dreams. When I said I wanted to be a pianist, they got me lessons. When I said I wanted to be an actress, they took me to auditions. When I said I wanted to be a singer, well, that’s what the last post was about. When I said I wanted to major in acting instead, they signed loan forms and sent me.

Problem was, I hated acting.

On a whim, I’d auditioned at Syracuse with a monologue I couldn’t remember the name of. Like literally, when asked, I couldn’t remember the name. It was very embarrassing. But they took me anyway. I was surrounded by passionate people who’d done Shakespeare in the park and staged their own versions of Rent. My year in the drama department is a book in itself, but suffice it to say that I knew I was out by the end of first semester.

So there I sat: eighteen, undirected, faced with the unexpected choosing of a new life plan. “I like Rolling Stone,” I thought. “Maybe I could like, write for them or something.”

I enrolled in the Newhouse School of Communications (my GPA was stunningly high, going in) as a magazine journalism major. Problem was, I couldn’t type. Not at all. In-class article deadlines? DAILY writing exercises? So not happening. I didn’t even last two classes before switching to film. “Television, Radio, and Film”, to be exact. And it was there I discovered my penchant for documentary.

So I went from pianist to singer to actress to independent documentary filmmaker, with a brief stopover at Rolling Stone (in my mind).

I mean, honestly. At some point wouldn’t you want to have just sat me down and laid shit out? Listen girl, someday you’re going to want money. Maybe you should consider going into marketing.

One response to “Tell Your Twentysomething To Do Something Practical.”

  1. This wasn’t an issue for me because my dreams were to be a vet or a doctor or a marine biologist. And you know, I’m none of those things. But they would have made me money. Well, maybe not the marine biologist.

    Lucas, my husband, his mother was the type to say, “Life sucks. You have to get a job that makes money so you can support yourself and your family. You have to go to that job every day even if you hate it. It’s what being a grown up is all about.” And Lucas hates that she has such a stark and depressing view of the world. And he’s still looking for that dream job while being unemployed for most of the year.

    I guess there is a delicate balance in supporting your kids’ dreams and dashing them to the ground.


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