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Act, Naturally: When I Grow Up

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I only ever wanted to be one thing growing up, and I made it happen. Depending on how you look at it, I’m either incredibly lucky or incredibly boring. 


From the time I was three years old, I wanted to perform. Dance lessons led to singing and piano lessons and community theater, which led to commercials and other professional work. It was an exhausting way to spend a childhood, but I loved being busy, and I loved what I did. When it came time for college, there was no doubt about what I’d do—I wanted to major in theater and become a professional actress. 


Sure enough, I got into my first-choice program and left my parents’ house at age eighteen to go live in New York City. After college, I did plays, musicals, commercials, television shows, and movies. I had an agent and a good resume, and although I was far from rich or famous, I was working pretty regularly, so I was considered successful. Except that once I was living the life I’d always wanted to live, I realized that it didn’t make me happy at all. Things looked a lot different from the inside. The people around me all seemed superficial and shallow, and the inner workings of the entertainment business proved to be capricious and arbitrary. 


So, after achieving my lifelong dream, I gave it up and switched careers. It was hard to let go, but eventually I accepted that the dream had run its course. I never could have predicted that there would come a day when I wouldn’t want to act, but I’m glad I had the courage to do the right thing and move on to something different. My dream led me to new dreams, and the newer ones are even better. 


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