Saturday marked the beginning of our three week stay at a hotel while our wood floors are being replaced and hall and living room are being retextured and painted. I'm thrilled! I can't until all the work is done and it feels like a new house. (I'm even more thrilled that insurance is paying of it since we had a water leak in our A/C.)
Anyway, while there's not a whole lot to do during nap-time around here at the hotel, Michael and I had a lengthy conversation about something that had been on my mind recently. I just remembered on Thursday that my theatre teacher's certification renewal is due at the end of September, and I still have a bit of continuing education to do - not much, but enough. Then on Saturday when we were moving all of our stuff into our large dining room from the closets and rooms Michael accidentally broke this group production picture that all of the kids from my classes signed gave me when my student teaching was over. We did a production of Stage Door, and it was just all too symbolic and weird that the picture (just the glass, actually) got broken.
When it broke, all of my fears of failure came rushing to slap me in the face. I was never able to land a job teaching theatre (well, I did have one offer, but it was a 45 minute drive for not much money, which in hindsight I probably should have taken for the experience). And at each interview that I went on I was reminded that this profession wasn't suited for me - not because I wasn't smart or talented or able or didn't love it but because I simply didn't have the resume.
So Michael and I dug deeper as to the reason I got the certification in the first place. First of all, I got a degree in a business (film) that is not suited for family life, which I was fine with until I ended up getting married way sooner than I expected (I imagined 30-ish, and I got married at 23) and ended up wanting to be a stay at home mom, which I didn't expect. So I thought, 'What can I do that will still use my degree and casting experience that is more suitable to family life?' Teaching high school theatre was my answer (completely forgetting about after school rehearsals).
So I went back to school (after I already graduated with my film degree) to get a minor in theatre, but I still didn't have time to be in any productions. Then I went to grad school to get my secondary teacher's certification and did my student teaching. All of that took a year and 12 weeks. It wasn't that hard because I'm pretty smart and a fairly decent student; it was the easy part. So I did everything that I needed to do to be able to get certified to teach, but the one most important thing I didn't do was ask myself, 'What does it take to be a successful theatre teacher?' My answer should have been, 'To have a lot of experience in theatre production (not film) and be able to share insight from those experiences with students.' I thought that my film experience would translate well enough, but it just didn't.
We talked about what I would do differently if I could go back and have a do-over, which was good to think of for when the kids don't need me at home anymore. We came up with a pretty good solution, I think. First we talked about doing things in a creative environment that would make me happy but that weren't so specific as film and theatre.
But the coolest solution we thought of, I think, is saying, "Okay, here's $X. Now go make at least 20% more out of it." That way this risk of deluding myself is very low if I start out small. Say I make something for $100, and try to sell it for $120, and it ends up tanking and no one wants it. Well, at least the risk was only $100, and I didn't go to school for a year and a quarter and spend a ton of money on tuition and books. The idea is not confined to selling stuff; there are lots of ways of investing money to make money, so I'm really excited about discovering what might work for me to be the most profitable and fulfilling for me and our family. I have quite a while to figure it out. I plan to stay home with the kids for the long haul.
Live and learn, I guess (I think I say that a lot). When I think of my teaching certification I still get a sense of failure, but I think I was just a bit misguided and deluded and young. Oh well. **sigh** Now to start my day. Life goes on. ;-)