Tag Archives: drama

Going After the Dream

6 Jan

I’m going to tailer this post to acting, since that’s what I’m here for. But really this applies to any of you who discovered your passion and yet are scared shitless to go after it. Especially passions like Acting, Directing, Writing, Comedy, Singing, etc. Whether you’re afraid of failure, or of success, going after what you really want can be frightening.

I’ve been in somewhat of a denial of my dream since the moment I realized it. My mother always instilled in me that the arts were hobbies not careers. Appropriate jobs were Lawyer, Doctor or Architect. For the first portion of my life, I entertained the thought of architecture because it still felt creative to me. I’d draw mock housing plans, elaborate floorplans for imaginary lofts, etc. But then I got bored and realized that’s not at all what I wanted to do. Then the first part of high school I thought psychologist. I loved listening to and giving advice to my girlfriends. And psychology involved science and I felt that would be acceptable to my mother and to society as a “legitimate” career (whatever that means). I soon became disinterested in that as well.

All throughout this time there was this pesky feeling deep inside my heart that said to not give up on acting. And at this point, I hadn’t even tried it! A childhood friend and neighbor (incidentally, now a successful writer and theater director!) had taken a local summer theatre camp, which she really loved. I gathered the courage to ask my parents if I could participate in that theater program the summer before my Sophomore year of high school. They said yes and just like that, I enrolled in Theatricum Botanicum‘s High School Intensive Shakespeare Seminar.

Theatricum’s magical outdoor stage, nestled deep in the heart of Topanga Canyon (LA’s hippie haven), was the first stage I ever performed on. It was doing the balcony scene from Romeo & Juliet. After the show I even had one of the parents tell me it was the best rendition of Romeo & Juliet they had ever seen! I don’t know about that, but I was flattered and I was hooked.

My experience at this camp not only made me fall in love with Shakespeare, it solidified my passion for acting. There was no doubt in my mind that I belonged on stage. The feeling I felt that very first time I performed, live, in front of an audience, was unlike anything I had ever felt in my entire life. I was on a natural high I could not describe.

But that was over TEN years ago! So, why so long? FEAR.

Even after this enlightening experience on stage, I did this “Yes” “No” “Yes” “No” dance with acting. When college rolled around, I got the courage and made up my mind to major in theater. Dream school- Tisch at NYU. (“Yes”) But after a year there, for various reasons, I left and returned home to LA to rethink my college goals. I switched from a BFA in Theater to a BA in English Lit. Perhaps a smart decision, but also possibly moving further away from my original goal. (“No“) When I attended UC Berkeley, I did a lot of plays and student films, resolving that as soon as I obtained my diploma I would return to LA for acting once and for all. (“Yes”) But years went by and I remained in the Bay Area. (“No”) It took a while, but I finally made the move home and thus my journey continues… (“Yes!!!”)

The First Moment

4 Jan

I was nine years old. I had never heard of a “play”, the “theater” or “drama”. I had no concept of any of it whatsoever.  So when my best friend invited me to see the High School theater department’s latest show, I didn’t know what to expect.

little shop of horrors

If I remember correctly, we sat towards the back. It was a full house. There was a certain energy in the air as we received our programs and filed in. The murmuring of the crowd before the curtain was drawn. The lights dimming. The shuffling of actors’ feet on stage. It all felt so new and mysterious. What was about to happen?

Wide-eyed and mesmerized, I watched the story of the Little Shop of Horrors unfold. I particularly had an affinity towards Seymour. The actor, Marc Smollin (yes, I remember his name!), who portrayed the nerdy man-eating plant owner, was captivating. A performance I remember to this day and that I attribute to realizing my passion.  An inexplicable feeling was happening inside of me. My eyes were glued to the stage, and I was loving every minute, yet there was this tinge of pain in my heart. (Forgive me for being dramatic, I am an actor). Was it jealousy? Can a 9 year old feel jealous? Was it hurt? Sadness? What was going on?

I continued watching, immersed in the live action that was taking place before me and I realized that I wanted to be on that stage. I wanted to share the story with them. I wanted to tell it. I felt a tinge because I realized I was on the wrong side of the curtain…

From that moment on, I made a secret pact with myself that I would strive to be the person performing.

Though throughout the following years I had fleeting desires to be an architect, a psychologist, you name it… the one constant was the burning desire to act.




When did you first realize your dream?