I’m always amazed at the people who start out in life knowing what they want to do and where they’re going. Sometimes I’ve envied their focused passion while I was still all over the place, going from one career to another. But lately I’ve been reflecting on the unexpected paths I’ve taken and begun to realize that I wouldn’t have had some of the adventures if I had stuck to the tried, true and expected.
For instance, there I was in Philadelphia deciding if I should accept a nursing scholarship and instead opted to become an x-ray technician. Whoa! Where did that all come from? That’s another story for another time. But that decision led to going to New York and surprisingly discovering the world of acting. A surprise which opened up all my creative juices. Little off-off-off-off Broadway theaters where sometimes the cast outnumbered the audience. But always learning to observe, to remember, to let the emotions flow. Good practice for a writer as well as an actor.
When you’re an aspiring actor, you need a flexible day-job and one that I had was working for a radio/records publication where I found myself ultimately interviewing and reviewing music and musicians. My first byline, leading to a music industry magazine and Los Angeles. Who would have expected the x-ray technician from Philadelphia to be doing one of the first interviews with John Lennon after he split from the Beatles? Sitting in a garden, sipping orange juice and ruminating with The Beatle, about fame and music and the group’s place in history. Or laughing hysterically with the group Monty Python as they answered questions in their own inimitable style, which was rowdy and raucous. Or seeing the Golden Gate Bridge glowing at sunset with a member of Blood Sweat and Tears. Or as a publicist helping to plan Paul McCartney’s party on the Queen Mary for his fist solo group, Wings. Or sitting in Venice, Italy, holding off the papparazzi from Rutger Hauer at the Venice Film Festival. Or juggling the media backstage at the Grammys after Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond had just finished their amazing duet of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore.”
And that was all before I had the rewarding, extraordinary experience of getting into writing fiction. You just never know where life can take you if you’re open to the adventure of new journeys. I reccommend it, I never worry about kids who aren’t sure of their life’s path. Give it time I say. And stay open.