Friends and councillors

“No you don’t have to make any decisions quickly… you can still think about this when you are forty.”

Whether this was a good thing or a bad thing Sura didn’t say. We were having – once again- the conversation on how to shape my life yet the difference was: this time she brought it up.

On the way to the Thames path she told me thought I should do more with my writing. Yes she understood I wanted to perform my own stuff, even said she believed it was good but that I should invest more time in it. In other words and I quote : one couldn’t be an artist and wanting the security of a job. Creating and writing and performing  is time consuming. True. Some days there are not enough hours in a day to make things work smoothly.

She had given herself two years to work hard to become an actress and it is paying off. True too. Problem is I don’t want to be an actress. Performing is a different thing you see, actors fill in other people’s creations and shape them bring them to life, I create from scratch. I can write good stuff, I am funny at times and I know I can be engaging on stage if I don’t let the nerves get the best of me. There lies the problem: in the last sentence ‘I’ is used five times. Networking, auditioning etc won’t get me very far as my work depends on me…and in the end you, the audience of course.

What I need to do is perfect my shows ( I have two that are gathering dust on my harddisk; conveniently enough one in English and one in Dutch where ever the mood takes me.) and play them. Make them better. Play them again. Tweak them again. Play them again. Conquer the nerves. Play them again. Until it is ready to be seen, until it is perfect.

That does take time. Would I speed things up by a decade and a half if I would give up the day job and give it a go?

One of my friends says if she didn’t need the money then she would audition and really try. I wonder why she doesn’t just try when she can. The unfortunate fact is: we do need money. (Unless we live in North Korea and I hear the climate isn’t that great this time a year… ) Without it I would be losing what I have discovered I treasure most: my independence.

As long as I don’t owe anything to anyone I am free to do whatever I want to do. Even if that ironically means within certain hours of the day. Freedom without having the means to live, doesn’t make a life for me. Yes, we could all gather around and admire the sky for free together but it is nice to be able to buy a friend a drink sometimes.

My focus is now on three things: independence, performing/writing, 21K. The first the most important, the latter temporarily, the middle the most enjoyable. Life will have to weave itself between these three things.

Thus as the very fit Jake G  told us today in the entertaining Prince of Persia:

A king takes note of his councillors but also listens to his heart.

All comments are duly noted and even agreed upon at times, yet the solution offered is for the time being rejected as it would currently burden me more than free me. Still my dear friend I promise you this:  we shall not be  needing to have this conversation in 15 years time. To paraphrase another quote:

Whatever our duties, we can still make our own destiny…

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