I have never been a good decision maker. I can waver between mint chocolate chip and cookie dough for longer than it takes to play an inning of beginners T-ball. I can debate the merits of one brand of paper towel over another ad nauseum. I can literally take hours deciding what shirt to wear. That said, there has always been one thing I was incredibly clear on. When I grow up I am going to be an actor and live in NYC. I am going to sing and dance on Broadway.
Well, now I’m something like a grown up and the one thing I have always been certain about is the thing that is causing me more anxiety than my impending doom from my incredibly loud neighbors falling through my roof.
I have always, always, always been sure of myself on this and it has always been incredibly comforting to me to know exactly what I want. Yet it seems my path has diverged somewhere I never really expected and all of a sudden here are a million considerations I never made and a thousand new paths to consider and I have to pick one. By yesterday.
So, some of my options. Maybe if I write them out, they’ll make more sense to me.
1. Get my confidence back by doing Rocky Horror, get my butt back to dance class and voice lessons, and find a way to get back to the city and try again. The pros: I won’t feel like a sellout/quitter/loser. The cons: I want to have kids sooner than later and that makes this particular line of work even more difficult. I can’t expect a kid and a wife to want to be gypsies with me. And I don’t want to miss out on the munchkin that I KNOW I am supposed to have.
2. Move to LA. Pursue a career onscreen rather than onstage. I have traditionally been a purist about acting and the stage being the only real place to do that, but what I have realized is that any given day you can turn on a TV show or a movie and chances are you can find someone like yourself. That’s more difficult when you look at a Broadway show. So, Pros- there’s a chance I could have more opportunity on the west coast, if not to be a household name, at least to make an okay living doing something I love.Cons- it’s LaLaLand. It could do more damage to my self-esteem in a week than NYC did in several months of solid auditioning.
3. Stay working for my current company. Get promoted to permanent. Hope to get put into a position where I can train to work from home. Do community theatre. Hope like hell that that is good enough and that twenty years from now I won’t hate myself for throwing away any potential I may have had. For throwing away a gift.
4. Train for a new career. I have a couple in mind that might actually be kind of interesting, or at least might let me feel like I’ve done something good in the world.
- First idea here- Go to law school. Either focus on entertainment law as a way to stay in the business or focus more towards human rights laws and fight for the world to suck a little less than it currently does. Pros- If I can’t have the career I want, at least I can afford to live somewhere decent in the city that I love. Also, I could do some good in the world. Cons- It’s not the theatre.
- Second thought- go into the MA/PhD program at U Albany and come out w/ a Women’s Studies MA and a PhD in Sociology. Pros- I’ll be a freaking Dr and w/ a PhD a lot of doors will open to me. I should be able to get into pretty much any law school after that if I choose and then be crazily marketable and thoroughly prepared to turn the world on it’s head and put it back together in a way that makes more sense. Cons- grad school is expensive and I don’t want to settle for some sub par school if I go back. If I’m gonna do it, I want to do it right. Also, the apps are due asap so I’ll be stressing it like whoa if I make this decision.
- Third educational idea- culinary school with a focus on baking and pastry. Coupled with a couple of business classes, I could put myself in a great place to open up my own little coffee shoppe. Pros- I’m really great at coffee stuff and I have a lot of fantastic ideas about ways to incorporate all of the things I love. Cons- for the first few years, I will have to devote night and day to this place, making that whole offspring idea incredibly difficult.
I just read a book about a girl who started a blog and let people vote on her life decisions because she didn’t feel capable of making them herself. I understand precisely how she felt. But, I’m the only one that can choose my path. I don’t want to be Sondheim’s Cinderella, “Then from out of the blue, and without any guide, you know what your decision is, which is not to decide.” I’d like to think I’m braver than that. (But I sure can understand where she’s coming from.)
Good luck Cinderella.