I had a curious interaction on the train ride out here for fresh inc festival 2013. I met a young man who had packed his worldly possessions into four bags and jumped on the train to move from Virginia to Washington. He was a very young 20 and showed me the books that he adored and read aloud to me his poetry. Now, I’m not in the business of encouraging young Ayn Rand fanatics, but he seemed sincere and committed to making his way in the wide world. He mentioned to me that his dream in life was to become a high school drama teacher. Without missing a beat, I replied, “well, that’s great. What a wonderfully exciting and fulfilling job. Is that what you’re pursuing?” He informed me that his parents had implied that nobody gets jobs as drama teachers and that would be a ridiculous thing to pursue. To which I protested, “just between you and me kid, a job as a drama teachers seems exceeding logical compared to a life as a singer specializing in new music.” He just grinned.
As the daughter of a high school drama teacher who now works toward furthering speech, drama, and debate activities across his state; I had never questioned the validity of a career in theatre education. To communicate effectively is one of most necessary assets a person can have. There are many daughters in the world that have fathers who are “men of few words.” I certainly cannot claim the same. However, what I can say is that I have a father who never once suggested to me that this extremely niche path in life was impossible to follow. We may discuss the inner working of nonprofit arts management or stage technique, but my choices have never been in question. I am sure that he mulls over those choices on his own. But, he understands the multitude of paths in the arts world and is willing to be supportive while I choose my own. Like all stubborn personalities, we have had our intense discussions and disagreements. In any case, if I am a reflection of him; I am overjoyed.
Please take this Father’s Day to thank those people in your life who have modeled passion in their everyday actions. I am lucky to have been surrounded by people, starting with my own dad, who have made themselves into examples of love, commitment, passion, and respect.
I am a lucky girl.