Monday, June 28, 2010

My Top 10 Alternative Professions....and an award!

Last week was chalk-full of life jumping up, smacking me in the face, and saying, "Why didn't you go to school to become a therapist?? You'd be making an obscenely larger sum of money!" Which was then punctuated by one or two additional smacks, just drive to the point across. With the faux therapy hours I put in last week, at a rate of $50.00 and hour, I'd have $500. That's more than twice what I make in a week, and for significantly less hours of work.

So why didn't I become a therapist? Because I'm a theatre artist, that's why! And I'd probably come home from work sobbing uncontrollably every day - and I don't think that's very healthy. I think the gift of empathy I have, which serves me as an actor, would kill me as a licensed mental-health professional.

But that had me thinking about the other careers I might have had, other alternatives I could've taken. Then I started thinking about the "What I want to be when I grow up" question - and the historical markers that garnished my formative years with pretending that I didn't want to be in theatre (when really, I did). This required some deep thought, as several of the various career paths I've dreamed up in my life, would be completely unsuitable for my brain type/skill set.

So here - along with the age at the time of conception - are the top 10 career alternatives I've thought of in my life, that I would actually be good at.

10. Firefighter - age 7 - I liked seeing the surprised, admired, and even dumb-founded looks on the faces of boys when I said that. I was big, I was strong, I could told carry other 7 years olds in and out of buildings. I totally could have been a fire-fighter. Major set-back: I wasn't so hot on the concept of fire. And that's sort of a job requirement.

9. Large Animal Veterinarian - age 8-9 - Specifically, a horse Vet. I LOVE HORSES! Major set-back: Math, science, and again, that pesky over-developed empathy thingamajig in my brain. I couldn't watch horses die in movies - what made me think I could watch them die in real life??

8. Architect - age 10 - I was a Lego Queen! Building, creating - totally up my alley. Major set-back: Geometry, as I would come to discover in grade 10.

7. Cowboy - age 6 - Knowledge of riding horses? Check. Possession of Western Wear? Double Check. Good with animals? Triple check! Major set-back: Dying job market, and lack of knowledge concerning shooting weapons - I don't like guns.

6. Poet - on and off since I was 9 - Technically, there is no job one can possess called "Poet" - it's just something one does, if one has the proclivity. And I do. But to be a published poet - in a legit publication, well, that's something different entirely. Major set-back: if it's even conceivable, poets get paid less than actors.

5. Musician - for 6-8 months when I was 11 - I started playing the Trombone when I was 10. And I have to say, I was more gifted than many of my elementary school peers. This ambition did not last long, but I had a very strong romantic notion of playing jazz trombone in Wynton Marsalis' band. Major set-back: Practice time. Ugh.

4. HS or College Women's Basketball Coach - 13 - I knew I was never going to grow to the height necessary for my position on a pro-basketball team, nor was I ever going to miraculously learn to be a guard. But I grew up watching Pat Summitt dominate women's basketball in such a fiercely enticing way, and was dumb-struck that the most winningest (it's a word!) coach in NCAA basketball (men's AND women's) history was a woman, that I thought, "Yeah! I could do that!" Major set-back: A growing, and ever increasing disillusionment with the sport of basketball. I also think it would have helped having a female coach. Not once - in my 10 years of playing - did I *ever* have a female coach.

3. Professor of Literature - 15 - I love to read. I love to talk about books. Bam! Major set-back: in order to be admitted into grad school for Literature, one must be proficient in a non-English language, and my handle of foreign languages is quite regrettable. Ay Dios mio!

2. High School English Teacher - 14 - I know, without a doubt, that I would be a great high school teacher. I know this, it's been told to me, encouraged for me, and is still a possible fall back if my theatre career dies a painful death at the hands of __________________________ (fill in the blank). Major set-back: Because it would be the fall-back for me, it's also the job that I REALLY don't want to do, because (for me) it would be settling. And with the educational budget cuts, lobbies, and Presidential mandates, I don't think it would be a job that would make me very happy in the long run.

1. Rock Journalist for Rolling Stone Magazine - 17 to present - In short: This is my non-theatre dream job. Major set-back: It has a less than 1% probability of ever happening - for anyone.

Do I know how to pick 'em? Or do I know how to pick 'em??

And to satiate your curiosity - the top 5 jobs I've ever dreamed of being, but would have less than a snow-balls' chance in hell of becoming (largely because I'm math/science deficient):

1. Engineer (I think I had an erector set at the time)
2. Marine Biologist (7th grade science trip to Catalina)
3. Environmental Lawyer (What? it requires law school?)
4. Pediatrician (Again with the math/science failure)
5. Social Worker (Empathy thingamajig over-kill)

It's been brought to my attention that my best friend gave me this pretty little award for leaving "ray of sunshine" comments on her blog. I don't know if this is based in reality (I don't leave many comments on her blog), or her own biased thoughts, but seeing as how I've never been given a blog award before, I'll take it.

Thanks, Trace!

So now, I have to pass this along to people who leave little "rays of sunshine" on MY blog, via comments. I choose:
Queen Fee
The Struggling Actress
Kristin Quinn
Ms. Cleaver

Would it be redundant to re-tag you, Tracy? Especially since you've left the 2nd longest comment on my blog thus far?


Ms.Cleaver said...

Thanks for the award nod! I loved reading this list!

I wanted to be a children's book author/illustrator, an english teacher, a drama teacher, an actor, a director, a dramaturg, and a knitting & sewing pattern designer.

And these days I work in community development finance, which I quite like, to my own surprise :)

Lira said...

Wow! Me!? Yay!

And not to bum you out, but Social Workers make even less than actors and poets!

We just have to figure out a way that combines your empathetic nature, theatricality, smarts and creative and job fulfillment in with money....

Creative Arts Therapist!
or Essayist!

I do like the way
Bradical: Actor/Writer looks on the business card in my head for you.

Radical Bradacal said...

Hee! Thanks ladies!! This why you were both given the "Sunshine Award!"

@ Lira - I like the way you think! When I start making money, can I hire you as my agent??

@ Cuddly Cow - I remember us having a conversation about your children's book author/illustrator ambitions. What exactly is community development finance? And are you out of theatre forever??

Phoenix said...

I think I gave you the award because reading your blog brightens my day and that's plenty of sunshine right there.

Also because I adore you and stuff. And I would totally /own/ the longest comment on your page if you hadn't replied with an even longer one.

Not fair.

QueenFee said...

Yowza! Why, thanks, darling!! I loved this blog, by the by....It reminds me of myself and all of my "could I" career choices. Perhaps I shall steal the idea and do one of my own. Leaving credit where credit is due, natch! xo