This I Believe

Debra`l - Little Rock, Arkansas
Entered on September 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

A Life in the Theatre

College students constantly have decisions thrown at them daily. The hardest decision being: choosing a major. What will make money? What will make me happy? These are the simpler questions we ask ourselves when making this palm sweating, nerve wreaking decision. While on-lookers, better known as those people in our day to day lives, gawk at the pre-medical students verbally giving them their support and non-verbally valuing their future occupation with respect and dignity I receive squinted eyes and confused faces when I tell someone that my intended major is theatre. Why? They ask. Why major, why not minor in theatre? What do you really want to do? I end up giving this long drawn out speech that simply ends with I believe that you should major in something that you love. Why make money working a job you hate when you can love something and make money doing it.

I do not even waist my time getting offended at these questions anymore, because I knew once I checked that theatre box on my college application that these questions would come. What I did not expect was for these questions to come from people I held dear to me. I knew my family wanted me to be financially secure so their apprehensions were met with understanding, but I was not excepting my once boyfriend to honestly not believe in me. In high school he never told me I could not make a life in the theatre, now that I look back on it, he never told me I could either. I was walking him to his mother’s car a few days ago and I can not for the life of me recall how we started talking about the future, but as soon as we got on the topic he tells me,

“We’ll see who makes the most money in the future?” I gave him a puzzled look so he went on to try to clarify himself,

“I mean I just don’t see theater as a real job.” I was totally caught off guard. I had expected this viewpoint, but not from him.

“Not a job? Not a job! There are well paid directors, technicians, custom designers, stage mangers, producers, agents, playwrights all around the world! These men and women work years to perfect their craft. They love what they do.” All these words that sprang to my head and all I could get out was,

“What the hell?” We walked in complete silence until I asked,

“Is money really everything?” and unsurprisingly he answered,

“Yes.”

It really is too bad that he does not know that money and happiness is not the same thing. I wonder when he will learn that you should major in something that you love.