A few months ago I received an email from my high school asking if I would be available and interested to speak to the current students about a "career in the arts." My response was: "You mean to tell them not to do it?"
Ha ha. I kid. Kind of.
As I pulled into the school parking lot yesterday morning I had a bit of trepidation about my agreement. For one, I don't feel particularly successful in my "career" at the moment, and on the other hand I remember what it was like to listen to guest speakers during the assembly period. I was usually fighting a battle to stay awake or feverishly trying to finish an assignment for the following class. This would not be an easy crowd.
I did not want to discourage any young souls from pursuing their dreams, but on the other hand I did not want to be dishonest about the hardships this career path affords you. Going in I had no set speech, no set list. I figured I would let the kids lead the discussion and I would do my best to answer honestly. Also, I was just hoping not to drop any expletives during my talk.
Despite my fears I actually had a really lovely time.There was a group of about ten or so of us "artists." Among us was a film director, opera singer, photographer, art teacher and graphic designer to name a few. We were all placed in a classroom and groups of about 20-25 students rotated in every ten minutes over the span of an hour an a half. The kids were very attentive and asked really smart questions. Every group was interested to know more about my day job, what my favorite show has been and a few kids had even seen my commercial a few years ago. It was nice. I am glad to have been asked to be a part of it.
Sometimes when we try to teach others, we end up teaching ourselves along the way.