Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The dream that got away

I cannot tell you how many people have come to me regretting they allowed their dream to perform, to act, to sing, to pursue whatever art they love, escape. They believed they made the correct decision several years ago, to have a more "stable, secure" life.

They now live in outright remorse that they are older - and fearful their dream - their "real passion" - has moved even farther away from their grasp than when they originally envisioned how they wanted to pursue life.

Some have finally decided to dedicate themselves to pursuing their passion and have signed up before my last day of accepting coachees from the general public tomorrow; others who have worked with me before are returning to work with me after an absence of a decade or even longer.

For everyone who wants career guidance, all I can do is share a realistic picture with them and outline the hard work ahead - not only learning the craft but pursuing a career:

This is a business; if you're an artist without a business plan, your chances of creating a livelihood are significantly at risk. We have to create one if none exists.

This work is time-consuming; if you can't create the time it takes to study, work and audition or submit your writing, your chances of success diminish.

This is a life that requires enormous faith - belief in yourself, that you have what it takes, that you can find great people with whom to work and that you're up to taking on the challenges ahead.

This is a life that requires you to risk failure - and in fact, fail - before you can achieve success - and then risk it again and again and again after you begin to succeed.

This is a craft that requires you to love the work for the sake of doing it and have no other reason to immerse your self, heart and soul into it.

This is an art that requires you to learn about yourself and others - which always means change if you are growing as an artist or a person. And those lessons don't always come easily or tenderly.

This is a profession that comes with a lot of bumps and "rejection." Don't ever take any of it personally, even if it is personal on occasion.

I say "rejection" in quotes because I don't believe in rejection, I believe in redirection.

This is a business that is *all* about forgiveness.

People can have significant differences during a production, yet when the film is finished and out there? Everybody loves everybody again.

You are not going to like some people in this business. If they have what you need, learn to work with them or work with them to learn until you can move on.

This is a business where karma rules. If someone is abusive, thoughtless, greedy or miserable to be around? Don't worry about it, just move on. Karma always rules.

This is a craft where the rubber hits the road.

Only those drivers who can see clearly what is directly in front of them to prevent accidents, as well as accurately read their career maps and destination signs along the road should get behind the wheel.

Only those who have the conviction that is *really* what they want to do, where they want to travel, and who have the courage to put it all on the line in a performance should sign up.

There is no need to give up anything or everything to pursue your dream; but the reality is that this life requires certain sacrifice and re-prioritizing your days if you genuinely want to do the work necessary to fulfill your passion and purpose.

And my goodness, it's so much fun, even in its most bleak moments. The ups and downs. The heartaches and the highlights. It's all about creating a better life - your real existence and the fictional characters you craft.

In a nutshell: the deeper the pain, the sweeter the healing.


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