Reflections – Ambition and Passion

Wk 4 Stats

1)      STS – Thats fine. I am in my zone.

2)      2.9 – A return to the safe zone

Reflections – Ambition and Passion

How many of us end up where we thought we would be at our age and stage of life? Did you have a plan when you were at school or before even? Do you find yourself questioning the decisions made, or currently making?

I do.

When I was 8 I decided that I wanted to be a doctor! No idea where that came from. Growing up in a small village in rural Hertfordshire, all of the male role models around me were either farmers or worked in the construction industry. I can’t remember why I wanted to train as a medic but I can remember being quite determined about it. This stayed with me until I was about 13, with a gradually decreasing desire to practice medicine. Hating the sight of blood and gore finished off that idea completely.

I then wanted to be an accountant, until I did some work experience in a charted accountant’s office, and found it too repetitive. So at 15 I had no idea what I wanted to do.

My passions were English and Drama. I loved writing stories, reading books and writing essays. My love of drama started at junior school, and I remember writing a play called ‘The Black Cow’. I can’t remember much of the detail, other than it was a pirate ship and putting on a production, of sorts, in the assembly hall, with a selection of chairs framing the ship.

At senior school I both starred in and directed plays, which were watched by a fairly sizeable audience.

My role call would read as follows:

Chorus – Zarifa 1979

Soldier – Tinderbox 1980

Unknown role – Shirts – 1982

Owl – Owl and the Pussycat – 1983

Joseph – Greatest Show on Earth – 1984

Bookseller, Boxer, and Down and Out – Bugsy Malone – 1985

Francis Nurse – The Crucible – 1986

Mr Folair, Mr Snobb – Nicholas Nickleby – 1986

Sir (The Dresser), Bottom (Mid Summer Nights Dream), The Cardinal (Duchess of Malfi) – as part of a production called Puppets containing scenes from various plays where manipulation prevailed – 1987

I also wrote and produced a number of short pieces for morning assembly and in particular remember a take on ‘Mind Your Language’ with the characters based on teachers, and a comedy version of Fame!

Ha! I almost need an entry in Wikipedia.

I directed and produced a school drama group in 1987, in a production called Foul Play at Sunny Bay.

Then nothing…

What have I creatively written since 1987… Nothing!

Writing plays, acting in plays, directing, where did it all go?

In September 1987 I made a decision that I did not want to stay on further at school or in education and I wanted to work. I was 17. I don’t blame my parents but I do wish they had forced me to stay on and at least finish my A-levels. No one in my family had stayed on at school, so I guess they didn’t know how or why to persuade me to stay.

I fell into Insurance after going for a few jobs, and am really proud of my corporate commercial success now being a senior manager in a medium sized company.

The cost? Any work or involvement in the arts.

This is changing now!

 

I look at friends who have made it work… The girl who absolutely wanted to be an actress, went to drama school, and was until the age of 30 when she retrained and now runs her own successful consultancy. Another who at school was a credible artist, and is still today, with moral and ethics unwavered despite many commercial opportunities. Both happy!

I have always felt flattered over the years when random people asked me if I worked in the media. ‘Are you in music?’, ‘Are you an actor?’ are rebounding echoes. But now it’s simply not enough to look the part, I want to find a way to BE the part, and without compromising the lifestyle I have built for myself.

Does time run out? Do you lose your creative edge with age?

David Bowie, Annie Proulx and some of their contemporaries, by example would have us think not. I have seen studios and exhibitions of retired or older people, and quite often the work reflects the safe, tiring environment they are in rather that the vibrant, new, innovative, rebellious, anarchistic of the young. How many say ‘I am going to write that book/paint that picture/write poetry when I retire’! Why wait if the passion is driving you forward to do it! Suppress the art inside you at your own cost. Or someone like Morrissey, so innovative and creative in The Smiths and early solo with lyrics overflowing with brilliance and style compared to the middle aged dross he writes today…

I have so many ideas, and writing this blog is helping me to sharpen the discipline of writing something every week, for pleasure, and not for a corporate deadline. But also writing creatively within boundaries, i.e. certain number of words and new post each week. And being on the constant look out for inspiration, and making a quick note if when I hear or see something I want to write about.

After watching Wicked in December 2011 I had a great idea for a novel, and scoped out 18 chapters, and started writing the first one over the Christmas holidays. Then true to form stopped and haven’t picked it up since. That is changing as I have a great friend on board and we are going to write it jointly. She wants us to write a sit com together after finishing the book. I feel as if we have a moral contract with each other to complete these projects.

I also started writing about one aspect of my life experiences, and again scoped it out and getting down to writing it. Another friend has agreed to edit it for me. I might ask her to give me a timetable.

I have 4 new ideas for TV shows, but have no experience in pushing these forward or developing them further YET. I will find someone who knows producers that I can pitch to.

I feel really enthused and inspired to get on with all my creative projects, but will soon be working fulltime again. I need to find a way to continue my path, and realise my passions and dreams and true ambitions before I reach the tired retired stage (Unless of course I turn out to be a Bowie)!

At school we have careers advice from age 15! Ha! I finally realised what I want to be when I grow up at 43 years old! Does anyone else feel the same? Please do let me know in the comments.

I have travelled emotionally whilst writing this, and felt pensively melancholy charting the clear English/drama passions from teenage years, and wondering how I slipped into such a commercial, corporate, business career. And then picked up again towards the end when I realised that I can still do it! Sad, regretful, insecure, unfulfilled, hopeful, excited and enthusiastic.

Perhaps I should rename this piece – Emotional Rollercoaster in 1000(ish) words!

TNW

 

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4 thoughts on “Reflections – Ambition and Passion

  1. Love this entry, Wayné!

    I had a time where I was really unsure what I was going to do when I ‘grew up’. I went to college to have a career as an early childhood specialist. My grades were OK, but the field was so full of people, and the cliques that formed were a complete turn-off. I decided to minor in the Fine Arts, and in my attempts in that field resulted in my getting on the Dean’s list. I was suddenly hit with the thought that the career I thought I wanted I wasn’t enthused with, and the hobby I took up was something I had a million-to-one shot of having success, and was even more crowded than my education major.

    end result was dropping out of college. I worked retail, and then moved on to banking. I’m happy where I am now.

    My writing has always taken a back seat and I should give it more attention, I just never seem to find the time.

  2. Hi herb,

    I have often looked at my life and I’m way ahead of where I thought I would ever be. I’m happy and content and feel blessed with what I have achieved. You are a very talented person and I think you should retire now and follow your dreams. Again lovely childhood memories! I’m sure I was in the Tinderbox! A tree springs to mind lol.

    Love u loads and keep writing.

    Al

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