“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.” — Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), Say Anything
But seriously, what do you want to be when you grow up – if you are not doing it already? And if you are what you want(ed) to be when you grew up, congrats. How did you do it? I still don’t know what I want to be or at least how to do it.
My last post got me thinking about this again. When I was boy I was heavily influenced by movies/TV, shock!, I know. I am still am. I wanted to be a truck driver because of B.J. and the Bear. Lead character McKay was from Milwaukee. Oh, I was on the right path, destiny?
Now the thought of me actually being a truck driver. Wait, just think about it for a second. If you know me, it’s at least mildly amusing. I don’t even like to “drive shifter cars. I drive luxury automobiles. Cars that shift themselves” (V. Gallo, Buffalo ’66)
But to his credit (?) Greg Evigan sang his own TV theme. As did Lee Majors in The Fall Guy, a seriously well written tune called The Unknown Stuntman. And yes, I really wanted to be a stuntman for a long time.
Did you listen to it? It’s a melancholy tune, just the classic lovable loser who doesn’t girl after doing all the work. My stuntman desire was augmented by my love for Raiders of the Lost Ark and a TV special called Great Movie Stunts: Raiders of the Lost Ark. You can watch all 6 parts on youtube, it’s a simple documentary for younger ones, but you watch it with them. Did you ever see this?
In modern cinema, many stuntmen have lost their jobs to CGI and the like. Many of the best stunts of the past wouldn’t be done the same way today. There was a much bigger element of danger when you drove a car off a bridge or fell into an airbag.
Somewhere in my Raiders of the Lost Ark love, I realized I didn’t really want to be a stuntman. I think I got my stunts kick out of the way with trying skydiving and bungee jumping. I really wanted to be Steven Spielberg, the director. Which is probably best that I realized early I wouldn’t be Harrison Ford. Which is not to say I totally gave up on acting because later I would want to be a comedian and trying acting. Robin Williams, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld and Saturday Night Live were among the numerous influences. (I’ve talked more about comedy specifically and will again later.)
And the Spielberg dream still exists, though now I would cross it with Wes Anderson and Woody Allen and a few others. The list is long of other partial considerations or even attempts at dreams, goals, or careers.
writer (I worry this is too solitary of an existence for social me. I would need to collaborate in some way.)
comic book artist/comic book writer
record store owner (extinct)
video store owner (extinct)
advertising copy writer – actually went to college for this one before going to film school for a while. Worked in advertising for a while, but never as a writer.
radio DJ (dabbled)
band manager (still could)
greeting card writer (like 500 Days of Summer! but only because it came up on an career aptitude test)
bar owner (harsh hours)
restauranteur (harsh failure rate)
I did some of these, worked in some of these fields. And Lloyd Dobler, I did sell things for a while and really didn’t enjoy it either. But here I am now, a work-at-home Dad, which you can see wasn’t on any of the previous lists. That said, I did always want to be a husband and a father, so no complaints. It’s a full time job, the toughest job you’ll ever love. You’re so busy and then so tired by the time you have a moment to yourself (usually just when the kids are asleep). Lately just thinking about what comes next now that the boys are getting older and going to be at school for longer days which will provide a little more time, hopefully, to go after the passions.
My problem has been that the things I want to do, really have a passion for, just don’t seem to have an easy career path, especially in regards to supporting a family financially. I made a list for 2010 of possible “jobs” I like still am interested in pursuing. Replicated from the index card near my desk:
FILM – direct, produce, act, write, curate, theater
WRITING – blog, book, film, mag, comic
COMEDY – live, perform, improv, stories, write
MUSIC/DJ – play on web, radio, manage bands
PLACE/VENUE – own bar/restaurant/theater for movies/host B&B, trivia, bands, games, art, sports, wine
B&B – get paid, franchise, web videos
TV SHOW – cable, local
EVENT PLANNER –
RADIO – host, podcasts
BIZ w/ MU friends (names held here for privacy)
Do I see patterns here? Anyone have any ideas how to help me achieve my goals, dreams, career? Those of you that have done it please share your tips and any advice you may have for the many of us who are still searching.
A few years ago Mama and I hosted an Idea Party based on Barbara Sher’s programs. After talking to a college friend recently, we thought maybe it’d be a good time to revisit the Idea Party. Let me know if you are interested in attending an Idea Party with us.