It`s absolutely everywhere isn`t it? LIVE your passion! FOLLOW your passion! And now make your passion your job!
FEELING LIKE A LOSER YET?
Do you feel like a loser because you just can`t work out what your passion is? What that ONE thing is that you ought to be living and breathing every second of everyday that makes you jump out of bed at 5am like a crazed maniac? I did too until I realized one very important point…
I spent YEARS, long hard ones, not knowing exactly what my passion was. If I am honest, it was very stressful. When I was younger my passion was very clearly the theatre. Theatre had everything I wanted in an occupation – imagination, hard graft, I was good at acting, dress-ups, project-based work that changed after a short while and stayed interesting and most importantly there were people clapping at the end and telling me how great I was. True story. I needed that validation back then, especially the sweet-tasting adoration of strangers. But then I started to grow out of it (I say that but secretly I am always planning my come-back…) and had absolutely no idea what to do next.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
My passion is communicating and these days that manifests itself as talking (and now writing). Because I spent so much time alone as a child, I always had a desperate desire to help people feel like they were not alone and that`s what I believe drew me towards the “storytelling” arts. Plays tend to have a moral and in receiving that moral we feel “I am not alone”. Bingo. I recently started doing public speaking and I love it because, just like in theatre, I tell stories and reflect the human condition back at my audience so they feel safe and okay about being human (which can be pretty tough at times right?).
SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT PROUD, MY PASSION IS…
If somebody had asked me 30, 20, even 10 years ago what my passion was, I would have been too ashamed to have admitted that it was in any way connected to TALKING. It was never OK to be a big talker and I was put down by a lot of people because I loved it. Actually I was compelled to connect to people through talking, so hanging with me was and still is a bit like talking to someone with verbal diarrhea. But I didn`t know how else to connect! I was called names like “big mouth”, “mega mouth”, “motor mouth” and was even told by a close family member that one day someone was going to slap me in the mouth because of it. Hasn`t happened yet.
TWISTS AND TURNS ON THE PATH
So where did my path lead me on the way to the here and now? Here is a list of just some of the jobs I have seen in my life, either supporting my theatre habit or looking for something once I left that path. There are too many jobs I did for free to list here:
Woolworths check-out; newsagent check-out; innumerable waitressing jobs in cafes, bars and with agencies; perfume and promo girl; assistant to Baz Luhrmann looking for dancers for his first movie Strictly Ballroom; temporary assignments as receptionist and personal assistant in various corporations including on the trading room floor of Citibank (where I learnt how one trade can shift world markets); reading stories for a dial-up sex-line (I was fired and not only from that job); photographer for Greenpeace (not paid but cool job); cook for Greenpeace activists (after doing first year cooking apprenticeship) ; life drawing model; props and costume maker on the Sydney Olympic Games; costume maker on various TV shows and films (Matrix II & III !); marketing manager for an indy film magazine; stilt-walker at corporate gigs and festivals in more than 7 countries; therapeutic clown in children`s hospitals; Easter Bunny in a shopping mall; Gorillagram (only once, honestly); english teacher for adults; birthday party clown; yoga teacher; birth educator; public speaker; MC and host; workshop facilitator for entrepreneurs/ speakers.
KEEP IT INTERESTING
That isn`t a very straight line is it? I was mostly trying to keep my head above water financially without going completely insane from boredom for a lot of that time. I couldn`t stay in jobs for very long at all if I wasn`t interested and would often get physically sick if I stayed too long anywhere that I had a hard time getting out of bed for. I think the longest job was 9 months when I worked on the Olympic Games because going to work and playing with paint and glue in a huge warehouse with lots of fun people was my idea of a good time and at $600 a week, I thought I was on a great ticket because that was more than I knew how to spend!
There was no internet then so it was a matter of looking through the telephone book and pounding the pavement knocking on doors . That`s how I got the Olympics job and also a waitressing job in one of Sydney`s most exclusive French-inspired restaurants (where I was only allowed to carry the plates, not take orders and got a deep education about exceptionally good food and wine as the boss would let us taste the remains of $300 bottles of wine just for the education). Once I got a job hand-painting cells on a British animation production of Aladdin because while I was in a the toilets of a pub getting changed for work at a nearby nightclub, I asked a lady why she was crying…and started work the next week at £6hr, the most I ever earned in London. That`s where I met Vincent Price who did one of the voices (blatant name-drop, sorry).
THE GRASS IS NOT ALWAYS GREENER
For me, knowing what I didn`t want became equally as important as finding “my one true passion”. The grass always seems greener on the other side until you go over and check it out and see if it`s what you thought it was. Doing many jobs for free allowed me to taste a variety of occupations that I thought I might like and if I didn`t like it, then I hadn`t lost a lot of time or money. I didn`t have any money to lose actually and that was part of the stress but I never felt I had any other choice except to keep searching for the holy grail of my passion. All the while, the chances of getting hired for a “real” job got less and less the older I got. Needless to say you can`t have too many financial obligations when you do this, OR you need to find some time to dedicate away from your regular job – join a club after work or on weekends or do a part-time course that is related to an occupation you think you might enjoy. You have nothing to lose by doing it this way, and everything to learn both in content that you get to keep and decisions about shifting jobs that you can make.
REFUSE TO CHOOSE
Perhaps you are one of those people who shouldn`t choose just ONE thing to do! You are probably always looking around for the next exciting thing and get bored as soon as you get good at something. You are curious and love trying new things – it`s an addiction right? I am here to tell you there is nothing wrong with you! Continue to do that, continue finding inspiration, continue starting projects and handing them over for other people to finish (which can convert into starting businesses and then selling them on so someone else can have the joy of running them).
NEVER STOP LOOKING FOR THE FUN
The road to finding your ONE passion, if you havne`t found it and that is what you are looking for, is not a straight line. The path is a winding one and you need to give yourself plenty of time. Perhaps your passion is consistently trying new things. Don`t be hard on yourself either way, try not to put yourself on a guilt trip or fill your inner dialogue with self-defeating thoughts.
The one very important point? Never stop looking for the fun because fun and ease are the secret ingredients.
Look to what you loved doing as a child because it lies within there.