Archive | June, 2014

Follow Your Dreams, But Let’s Be Real

28 Jun

Jim Carey recently gave a commencement speech to the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA.  I found it odd that he was giving a commencement speech so I asked people on my Facebook page why he was asked to do so. People responded because he was successful, people would come to see him, he was inspiring etc.  And it was the inspiring aspect that got me.  His story of rags to riches in the entertainment world is inspiring… and dangerous.

Jim made a comment about his father and how his father could have been a great comedian but instead chose a safer path of becoming an accountant.  Apparently his father ‘failed’ (Jim’s words, not mine) at being an accountant.  Jim indicated that if failure is a possibility then ‘you might as well take a chance on doing something you love.’  Inspiring right?!  Also crazy.

I find it relatively irresponsible for Jim to say what he said.  He says it as someone who makes millions of dollars to act in movies.  he can take risks now on things as he is financially well off now.  I don’t need to hear this stuff from him.  I want to hear it from someone who has been in the acting field for 20 plus years and is still doing community theater.  Is still living in their parent’s basement.  They drive a 1999 Geo Metro to get to auditions.  THAT is the TRUE reality of following your dreams.

For those that don’t know I have a masters degree in social work and have worked in the social service field for over 20 years.  I quickly realized that I truly didn’t have a passion for social work.  It just wasn’t for me.  I much prefer to talk about my foibles and inadequacies onstage to a crowd of dozens (if lucky).  So I write, I perform, I travel, I make phone calls, I social network, I audition, I submit, I network, I sleep in my car, I couch surf, I sacrifice relationships… I do everything that I need to do to try and make my professional (And yes, comedy is a profession) better.  And ya know what?  There is no guarantee that I will make it.  There is no ‘Gold Star’ at the end of the day. I can do everything right and still not get what I want.  And that just plain sucks.  But I go forth because it is what I enjoy.

But would I encourage people to follow in the same footsteps? No.  It makes no sense.  As someone who has worked in the mental health field I believe there is a level of mental illness involved.  (I’m speaking about following the path of a comedian.  And I think this is why I was more interested in Carey’s speech more because he came from a comedic background.)  We are alone so much, we talk about inadequacies in front of strangers, we share turmoil, many have substance abuse problems, relationship problems. Would we if we had a stable job?  A stable life?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Regardless I do believe that people ultimately are better playing it safe.  Dabble in stuff.  Have fun with stuff.  Don’t be unrealistic about your chances.  But if you really think you have what it takes, be prepared for the sacrifice and failure.  It gets VERY uncomfortable.  So to quote Casey Kasem ‘Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.’  And stop talking out of your ass.


Peace Be With You…

23 Jun

Peace be with you… Such a simple phrase.  It means a lot to a lot of people.  Used in the Catholic church it is a phrase that people use to greet each other with the response being ‘And also with you.’  Somewhere down the line the response changed to ‘And with your spirit.’  Not sure when or why that happened as I am not a Catholic.  I actually prefer the old greeting.  Call me a traditionalist.

I post ‘Peace be with you’ every Sun on my Facebook and Twitter accounts.  I also text it to several people.  Why?  I do it for me mostly.  It is a reminder that I shouldn’t get so strung out about stuff.  That I shouldn’t worry about things out of my control.  It is easy for me to get wrapped up in my short comings in my professional and personal life.

It reminds to to stop.  To relax to refocus.  It has absolutely no religious overtones in how I want it to be.  I want there to be peace in my life and your’s, so I hope that you do not take offense if you see this on my wall.  Just see it as the reminder it is meant to be.

If nothing else it beats another stupid meme.