01 April, 2010



"My dad said, 'You sound depressed... Why are you getting good at something you don't like doing? What would you want to do if you didn't have to make money and no one would be impressed at your job?'"

If you have about a half hour to re-imagine your life:  Click on that link above and listen!

In the spring of 2007, I had the pleasure of working on a show called AMERICAN FIESTA.  It was about a man who's mid-life crisis took the form of an Ebay addiction to buying Fiestaware... but it was also about so much more than that.  And it was written and performed by Steven Tomlinson.

Steven was a sweet, smart, sensitive guy I really admired - he wasn't an actor by trade, he just loved the theatre and seemed to stumble into this Off-Broadway run.  So, recently when I stumbled across a video of his inspirational speech on the blog of another guy I really admire, I was delighted to be reminded of Steven's passion for life - and the passion he is able to infuse into other people's lives, too.

"When I got to Austin I sought out the man that I heard was the wisest advisor... and I went to this wise counsel and I said look, I love teaching but I hate research.  And I love theatre and I somehow want to get into that.  And I love theology and the big questions - that's what jazzes me.  So you tell me what to do and whatever you say, I'm gonna do.  Do I hold my nose and get tenure at UT?  Or do I quit it all and go to New York and write plays 'til I'm discovered?  Or do I just chuck it all and go back to seminary and become a priest?  And he said, 'This is the stupidest question anyone has ever asked me. You're telling me that you love three things.  And you're asking me which two should I cut off so I can limp along on the third one into mid-life unhappiness.'  I said, well what am I supposed to do?  He said, 'You're supposed to do all of it.  So, I want you to now go and don't discard.  Don't discard.  Spend an hour a week doing each one of those three things with full engagement...'  I said, I don't know how to do that.  He said, 'If you're not gonna do it, don't come back 'cause I can't help you.'"

"If someone told me when I was in college that I could get a job as a Corporate Spiritual Playwright, I would have majored in that.  It would not have been a hard choice.  ... my experience with bootstrapping was this: number one, don't discard.  Whatever it is that you love is a reliable source of inspiration and if it stays in the mix it's gonna create your unique brilliance.  The people who bring the pieces of themselves back into the mix find power, find energy, and come up with stuff that's marketable that no one else can think of. "

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