Shaun has informed me this is one of his favorite parts of being an actor. You get to do everything- be a corporate bigwig, live in Victorian England, be a mermaid, live in a trailer park. One lifetime would never be enough to do all the different things I want to try, and some would be impossible.
The other nice thing is that you don’t have to commit to it. It’s only for a run. Not the rest of your life. I actually think more people should view their jobs that way. A lot of people see their jobs as a life sentence. A job does not have to be a permanent thing. Changes can be made. And probably should be made if you are unhappy, or if the job doesn’t ultimately fulfill your goals. It’s ok to have a job be a stepping stone to something that you want. It can be a learning experience, rather than a career. With our volatile economy, this is a good perspective to have anyway. Seth Godin writes on this topic a lot, so I’ll leave it to him.
When you are an actor, you get to delve into different worlds. Be different people. It’s fun. It gives you a different perspective. And that is a life skill you get from acting. The opportunity to experience another person’s life is something not everyone gets to do. It reminds us that everyone has a story- their own problems, their own past, their own hopes and dreams.
I hope I can remember this and treat people a little more gently. What is under the surface is much more complex than what we can see and hear. We may never know the journey that has shaped them. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there, or that it isn’t important. The journey that they are on intersects ours for a moment. Cherish it.