Monday, August 15, 2016

But What If?

When I was about to graduate from college, I interviewed for an entry level job at a well-regarded regional theater. It became clear at the interview that, though bright and interested, I was woefully under-qualified. Sure, I had written (and even staged) a play of my own. I had taken some English courses in which I had read plays. And I had gone on every Broadway show bus trip that had been offered during my four years. But, while I may have been eager, I had no deep sense of what went on to get a show to production. While I loved almost every show I saw, I did not run home and read the scripts or analyze the direction. More often, I watched my favorite programs on TV, and talked about what my soap characters were up to this week.

Now that I live in a city full of theater, with children obsessed with theater, I sometimes wonder how my life would have turned out if I'd done differently in that interview--if I'd known more, and said more, and understood more. Might I be working in the theater now, or might I have ended up in television anyway? Would I have had kids sooner, or later? Would they love theater, as they do, or would they have run from it since it was too close to their lives? Would I be working every night and constantly dependent on ticket sales to know whether a gig would continue?

I suppose all of us have "what if's"--moments in our lives that began to make us what we are now, without which we might have followed a very different path. For me, the day of that theater interview is one of those. Within days of that interview, I interviewed at One Life to Live, where I felt as though I was among friends I'd never even met, because I'd watched their work for so long. And the rest, as they say, is history. Within a week, the beginnings of my life path were created, and perhaps certain other paths were closed off as well. 

What if? I have no idea. But sometimes, it is interesting to wonder...

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