Thursday, May 07, 2009

An Unprompted Promotion

Why is it that anytime I see someone that I went to college with or see anyone who graduated from UARTS, I feel it necessary to babble on about why I'm not pursuing acting and theatre as a career anymore? I love my job... I love the path I've taken in my life... I couldn't be happier - I'm serious. But yet I still get this impulse and feeling when speaking to other UARTS grads or artists. URGH.

This happened to me yesterday, immediately following Sammy's piano lesson and the girl's dancing school class. All three take classes at Napoli School of Music at 6:30 on Wednesday nights. (First off - let me say that I LOVE the school. Having gone through a professional training program and having lived in that world - they employ the structure, discipline, and energy that is necessary to foster creativity. A lot of times, particularly in kids' classes, structure and discipline are thrown out the window and what you end up with is a bunch of unfocussed kids with no real direction and no real understanding of what it is they are expected to do... but anyway...) Both Sammy's piano instructor and the girls' dance instructor were chatting in the office right after class while I was packing up Sammy's books and the girl's shoes. Turns out both instructors went to UARTS! (They are a bit younger than me, though).

I immediately piped in and said, "Oh - I went to UARTS, too!" We all thought it was pretty cool and we chatted for a couple of seconds about it before I carted the kids off into the car. It was wierd, though. I refrained from doing so, but I immediately felt like I had to tell them why I'm not in the theatre world anymore and how I really love my job and how I got here, blah blah blah... etc. I didn't do it - but I had the impulse. I wonder when that will go away? Will it ever? I've had conversations with friends from UARTS who experience the same thing. Why is that? Is it because the competition is so great in the entertainment business that we feel we have to justify why we "lost"? Is it because we all assumed we would be professional artists when we were in school and the reality is that only about 10 - 25% of the people will actually make a living doing what they went to school for?

The truth is - I don't know the answer but I do know that I'm incredibly proud of myself for refraining from justifying my current existence like a babbling idiot. At the end of the day - I'm psyched that my kids are going to a school where they are being taught by people who know what they are doing and know what they are talking talking about, who have been professionally trained, and who implement structure and disipline into their teaching of a creative craft. I've finally found my home for art classes for the kids. Woo Hoo!!!!

Check out their link earlier in the post, particularly if you are in the Philadelphia area.


Beth Becker said...

I feel the same need to explain myself. My theory is that it is because we have to make sure that no one thinks that we just didn't "cut it," that we weren't good enough - we have to let everyone know it was a choice that WE made, not one that was made for us by an industry that rejected us! And I'm posting so late because I had to read about this fabulous dance school, as I am dreading sending my daughter to one of those "Miss Suzie's School of Dance" places. . .