Posted in Acting, Creative, Family, History, Life

Careers I could have had…

The book I’m reading on my Kindle at the moment (and have been for a long while…I’ve not had much time to sit down and read since having children!) is called “One more year on Facebook” by Naomi Rettig, and it’s more-ish.  I was sat here on my laptop twittering and being far too disctracted by Facebook and remembered the book; and that I’d been meaning to look up the source – someone in the Extras Facebook group had mentioned she’d written a book and had linked to it so I’d downloaded it; and all the while I’ve been sneaking in five minutes here and there I’ve meant to look her up again and tell her how much I’m enjoying it.

Anyway, now I have (looked her up, not told her yet!), and discovered her blog.  And the most recent blog post was this one entitled “Careers I could have had (if it wasn’t for a few things)”; and even before reading the rest of the post, I thought it was a fab title, and subject.

So, here’s mine…

Actor – Because…  The funnest part of childhood was play-acting.  Make-believe games.  Be other people in other places. Hey, I grew up alone on a cargo ship with no one but a younger brother (and everyone knows how anoying they can be!) for company.  Pretending to be someone else comes naturally to me now.  I went to Youth Theatre (as long as I could get there under my own steam…walk, bus etc).  I wanted to take Drama GCSE.  I was steered away – the old story of “get useful qualifications”; that’s not a ‘real’ subject’; there’s hardly ANY future in that. The only other subject I wanted to do was English, which was compulsory anyway.  So I chose subjects just for the sake of choosing them.  And naturally, didn’t do that well. (OK, well, I got an A in French without trying, but I had travelled a lot, I think that was mainly for my grasp of the acccent!)  By the time I got to A level subject choices, I put my foot down.  The only one I really wanted to do was Theatre Media & Drama.  And they let me.  I suspect it was only because there were only three others wanting to do it and they were trying to make up the numbers.

Sailor – No, really.  even 20 something years ago I didn’t think there was anything wrong with being a female at sea.  Obviously these days more and more stories like this one are cropping up.  But when I was doing my GCSE’s there was a poster up on one of the noticeboard in school about P&O (I think) cargo apprentice crew scheme, or something of the kind; and for a while there, I actually entertained, for more than a fleeting second, the idea of actually going to sea like my father.  I can’t remember what put me off, whether it was the thought of having to do A Level maths, or the fact that it really would put pay to my acting/writing/directing dreams once and for all…

Marine Biologist/Oceanographer – Yeh…fleetingly, this one.  Mainly because I was fascinated at the time by SeaQuest DSV (for that, read, I had a crush on Jonathan Brandis since Neverending Story 2).

Film Director – I wanted to Act. Until I realised that the person in charge of the actors was pretty much the director.  I wanted to be Stephen Spielberg for most of my teens.

So, this, and Oceanographer, were the two things I went with when it came my turn to see the Careers Advisor during GCSE decision time at school.  I think I stumped him.  Now, if he’d said something creative like, “OK, well how about you go into camera work, learn about underwater filming, and become an authority on marine underwater filming for movies and documentaries…and here’s some ideas on how you could start out in being a camera…person …”, well, then, I’d be doing that today.  As it was, he shrugged, and said, “Well, they’re both so different.  Do all sciences for Oceanography.  And there’s not really any university course you can do to be a film director.”.  And that was that.  Most unhelpful ‘advice’ session I’ve ever encountered.  In fact, has put me off asking for advice in general for anything!

Writer – Because I just managed to do that all the time with pretty much no help and got some pretty good responses to stuff I wrote for English assignments (like incredulous looks from my English teacher on occasion as she appeared to be trying to figure out if I really wrote that…); And I realised, that Acting required auditions.  The thought of which terrified me; and so, the Director being in charge of the actors (and not having to audition!) seemed inviting; but that required a set and crew and budget and producers; none of which I had a clue how to get; but writing ….ah…well…..paper, pencil…and you’re away!  Into your own world … write…write….write… and …rely on the same crippling fear of auditions to creep in to take effect in the event of anyone getting close to reading anything I wrote.  Drat.

Midwife – New country, new normal, new career?  I dunno, I toyed with the idea for a bit when we moved back to the UK.  I love babies and the whole pregnancy and birth process fascinates me; but it’s impractical to keep having them yourself.  I love nurses and the angels who do that; but the thought of doing a job where the majority of people you see might be at the end of their life….well; midwifery at least erring on the side that the majority of your patients were at the beginning … not the end…

Air Hostess – It seemed to be everyone else’s goal, dream, when I was working as ground staff, to move ‘up’ to cabin crew.  At that point it never appealed to me.  Later, it occured to me that a job which was a perfect combination of Passenger services AND Cabin crew, you know, like a whole-journey thing, not just cabin service and safety, would be a perfect role.  And just like that, as though someone pulled it out of my head, Air NZ introduced them!  In-Flight Concierges.  On board purely as Passenger services, info point, Liaise between reservations and check-in and cabin crew and passengers, travel with them, be an expert on the destination.  I applied.  Heart set.  Failed . Still wonder what might have been. But the time has passed.

Pilot – Another whim.  While I was working at the airport.  When I was single and carefree.  I did actually start having flying lessons.  Then… rent needed paying, and bills.  And I got distracted.  I’d still love to learn to fly and get my PPL.  That’ll be a ‘if I win the lottery’ thing.  I think I’m way past being paid to do it for a living.

So, what do I do?  What am I?  For all the umm-ing and Ah-ing; and the ‘get a real job instead of pursuing Drahmah …

I’ve drifted.  I’ve fallen into line and had ‘real’ dead-end jobs.  I’ve given up my own aspirations and followed someone else’s around the world.  It’s been fun, but I’ve felt like I was waiting for something the whole time….waiting for the ‘one day’ from ‘one day, I will write and act’ to come around.  Of all the things above I fondly remember that I once wanted to do (and probably could have done any of if I’d set my mind to); the two I want to do and be known for, are writing and acting.  I have the ability to do both. I just need the confidence and the shove in the right direction …




Writer; Mother; (nonpackageholiday)Traveler; Actor; Petowner; Homemaker; Coffee drinker; liver of life.