Never work with animals or children...
As an actor, this is something that comes up often because of the unpredictability of both. (And I’ve always been an actor AND a teacher.) I've worked with both on stage, on television, in the classroom, in my studio and I have loved every minute of it.
I guess that's why I love what I do! Inspiring and working with kids has been my life's work in many forms; that's my passion and that's what has always drawn me. I used to spend a lot of time debating what I was meant to do. Was it performing or what it teaching? I'd ask the universe for a sign.
One time, in particular, I was having a really tough time with this decision. I was finishing up my second year of university and I had just auditioned for a specialized acting program with the hopes of possibly transferring to that university should I get in. I didn't have much hope of getting into theatre school because the odds didn't look good. Over 600 people auditioned for only 30-35 positions in the program. I had decided that I would at least audition and let the universe decide.
It was in this time of waiting where I was plagued with the "what ifs". What if I did get in? That would mean I would have to move to a very large metropolitan city away from everything I knew and it would feel like I was starting over. What if I didn't get in? Would I be satisfied finishing my degree where I was knowing I wasn't satisfied with what I was doing and it didn't completely fill me with joy?
So I asked the universe very specifically if I was meant to be a performer or if I was meant to finish my degree to go on to be a teacher and work with kids. I surrendered and figured Que Sara, Sara.
The very next day, I got a call first thing in the morning from a local priest at the church where I ran the music ministry with youth asking if I would consider being the Youth Liaison on the Board of the Church. I thought surely that was my sign. The universe was telling me I was meant to teach and work with kids and I was ready to accept my fate.
Later that day, the mail arrived. I sat on the couch holding my envelope from Ryerson University's Theatre School afraid to open it. I was afraid of both possible answers. If it was a yes inviting me into the program, then I would surely be confused because I had just received a sign that I was meant to follow the path of teaching. If it was a no, I would be devastated because the one place I always felt at home was on the stage.
I'm not sure how long I sat there holding that envelope in my hand, but it felt like an eternity. I took a deep breath and slowly opened it, hands shaking and my heart beating in my throat. I stared at the letter dumbfounded...I GOT IN! I had beat out over 600 other people to be chosen for a program in a field for which I was truly passionate.
I was in a conundrum. Literally the day after asking the universe for a sign, I had received my answer, but not as I had expected. There were two signs leading me in both directions with no clear answer either way. The universe certainly has a funny sense of humor.
To make a long story short, my answer has always been both no matter how much I fought it. I went to theatre school and graduated with honors. Then teaching sort of fell into my lap and I ended up working in schools for over 15 years. The irony even was the last 10 years of teaching involved me singing and doing musicals with kids which thus combined my two loves.
My point is this. There is no set path for us. We are destined to trudge the curvy hills and valleys, twists and turns, and see where life takes us. It's always good to have a plan, but it is also good to remain flexible because life has a way of throwing you the unexpected.
What is your passion? What is your purpose?
PS: I also still have a love of animals. Every day, my dog Hugo and I walk around my little town and find little moments of pleasure. He rarely poses for me though when I try to take pictures! 🙄 LOL