Acting, Opportunities And The Advantages Of Persistence
I could have been an actor. It just didn’t pan out that way.
Life doesn’t always give you the chance to take every offer that comes along.
Fate hangs it tantalisingly in front of your face and then whips it out from under your nose.
Then you are left with the regret of what could have been. The “could have beens” are more frequent than you realise.
Only afterwards do you become aware of how close you came.
You focus on what you thought you’d missed out on, when all the time more opportunities are being thrown at you.
Try and keep an open mind, or at least be open to everything, and somewhere along the line the pieces will fall into their places.
Well, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway.
But then I have the same problem as everyone else.
I am too busy dwelling on the falsely perceived losses to notice all the great gifts I am being handed.
All through my schooling, acting was there.
I performed in plays, helped write scripts and even had an opportunity to go to a week-long class for drama students.
Money became the deciding factor which changed my course.
My parents had to scrape to make ends meet. There were four of us kids, and only the single income from my father to support us all.
My mother was the budgetary wizard and kept everything on the rails.
I never had the feeling that we were missing out on anything. Except for that one opportunity. Even then I didn’t miss out entirely because of my parents.
They had to balance the budget and by the time they found a way to pay for the course, it was just too late.
I remember turning up to school and facing my teacher.
I had a hot sweaty cheque gripped firmly in my hand. That slip of paper was a pot of gold. I had sworn to take good care of it. It was worth so much.
A cheque cost money in itself.
I dangled it in her face and she refused to take it. She announced that I was too late.
I was shocked and bitter. I had been so excited. It was something I had really wanted to do. Not straight away, though, I think.
It was a scary proposition.
I would have had to go away on my own for a week. Up till then I don’t think I had spent more that one night separated from my parents. I was still very young and plagued by separation anxiety. Perhaps I played a part in the delay.
It would have been a big step for me. Way out of my comfort zone.
At the time I blamed my parents. They had been too late.
Now I think that was unfair.
Any number of scenarios could have changed the end result.
The teacher could have reserved me a place. My parents could have talked to her. Maybe having to write out a cheque, and the extra cost involved, tipped the scales and paying cash would have expedited it all.
I don’t really know.
I only felt the disappointment of a lost opportunity, and harboured the resentment towards my parents for not being quicker to react.
I harboured it for years.
Only writing this down now puts it into better perspective. It was a missed opportunity, but wasn’t meant to be.
It just didn’t happen.
For a long time I blamed it as the reason I never became an actor.
If I really wanted it, then I should have gone looking for other opportunities and actively pursued it. I shouldn’t have let one setback block it all.
I suppose my heart wasn’t totally in it.
I was scared out of my wits to get up on stage. It has taken me years to overcome this.
Only through pushing myself, throwing myself at it and jumping up there, have I beaten it. Well, not entirely but I have thickened my skin.
At one point I even performed on stage in front of 20,000 people.
I have built up my stage strength.
It also has to do with the fact that I don’t have the drive to stand in the waves of adulation.
That’s not why I do it.
Part of that involves selling yourself. Presenting yourself. Exposing yourself. All scary stuff.
But it doesn’t scare me now.
Nothing bad will happen as long as you stay true to yourself. Stay true to your calling. Be all you can possibly be.
And then some.
Be persistent. Keep at it until you see results. Don’t let the falsely perceived missed chances derail you.
Stay the course. You will get there.
Personally, I will keep doing it, whatever happens.
Every single day.
Until the bitter end.
And you should too.
Are you not doing something for all the wrong reasons?
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