There's A Time & A Place For Every Passion
When we are young we're told "you can be whatever you want when you grow up". As we're growing we try everything: soccer, ballet, rock climbing, cheerleading, theatre. We dabble in a diverse range of activities and are overflowed with creative and passionate energy. As we get older we are informed that we must make a choice at the age of 18 to decide what we want to do. Slowly all the exciting hobbies and activities fade from our life if they aren't benefiting that sole goal (lol that rhymes).
What I've realized is that it is soul crushing to limit your passions. I do believe that success takes major focus and goal orientation but I don't believe that you're bound to one passion for the rest of your life. There is a time and a place to pursue all your passions.
Growing up theatre was my life. At the age of eight if you asked me "what do you want to be when you grow up" I would have said "Broadway". There wouldn't have been a hesitation or doubt in my mind. I had gone to an arts high school for 7 years, had spent my summer at theatre intensives in New York and had performed constantly in Portland professional theatre. I had my eyes set on attending Tisch, NYU, Carnegie Mellon for musical theatre. For college auditions I jammed all 13 into two week Unified auditions in New York and Chicago. Imagine thousands of bright eyed Leah Michelle wannabees riffing in the hallways of the New York Hilton... Terrifying. If the competition and stage mothers weren't enough to make me want to pee my pants the worst thing that could happen to me happened. I lost my voice. I got diagnosed with bronchitis two days into the trip and had to forfeit my singing portion of the auditions. Scratch that I tried to sing for Cincinnati and when I croaked someone LAUGHED behind the table... It was bad. I was drugged up on meds through the dance auditions, honestly most of the trip was a blur because I was so sick.
And thus, I didn't get into any of my dream schools for musical theatre. But my glimmer of hope lied in the sole self tape I sent before I got sick to Pepperdine University. They wanted me for theatre and would give me scholarships. I'm not going to lie, Pepperdine was at the bottom of my list and was the only school on the West Coast I applied to. I found it by typing in "colleges with the prettiest campus" - come on I know you did that too! Any who, after visiting I fell in love with Malibu, the campus culture and the diversity of people's interest. I had only been around theatre kids for 7 years and now I could be roommates with a French major. At Pepperdine I got to try everything. I joined a sorority, did a service trip to Hawaii, studied abroad in Germany, Italy and Scotland. I was in theatre but got to double major in media production and thus discovered a new passion - making movies! Pepperdine opened my eyes to new people, places and passions and now I know that getting bronchitis during college auditions wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to me, but the best. I was meant to live in California, to meet the people I met and to discover my passion for creating video content.
I thought my theatre days were long behind me as I started shifting my focus to Production. More production opportunities were presenting themselves than theatre and I really felt led to close the theatre chapter of my life. I had amazing opportunities with internships at top studios and decided to fully focus on developing my skills in video production. This mindset led me through my first job where I was constantly producing digital content for brands. Even through I felt like I was killing it career wise I still felt like something was missing. I decided that even though I had failed at college auditions and had been rejected time and time again in theatre that it was still something that fulfilled me. Last month, I decided to go to an audition for a play at a local theatre and I got the part! You would have thought I'd just made out with Robert Pattinson from the level of excitement I exuded. I now get to work as a digital producer and editor by day, and a thespian by night - life is awesome! I feel balanced, I feel fulfilled and most of all I feel happy.
You don't have to let go of one passion to make room for another. Life will present a time and a place for you to pursue each and every dream you have. So if it's not working out right now, have faith that in time your passion will be sparked again.