When I was young I loved to play piano, drums, and guitar. I did not practice much, so I did not develop into a skilled musician. As I grew up, I got involved in theater, and I took that pretty far; but I was never famous.
Growing up, my sister and I used to love to watch the show Fame, with Debi Allen, Lori Singer, Erica Gimpel, and others. The characters I followed as a guy were Leroy the dancer, an African-American guy, and a piano student taught by an older teacher named Mr. Shorofsky.
I always wanted to be a famous movie star like Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant (or in my day maybe it was Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, or Christopher Walken), but when I got to New York to make a bid at stardom, I just stumbled into theater and spent many years pursuing stage acting.
Though I was never famous, I acted in front of thousands of people, and I can tell you that as artful and creative as acting is, it is a job, a skill that takes hard work. Debi Allen’s character on Fame used to say, “You want fame? Well fame costs, and right here is where you start paying.”
I bet fame is not all it’s cracked up to be: all those celebrities subject to pressures we have no idea of; ones they often can’t handle. Some actors getting strung out on drugs, facing sexual pressure; plus all the paparazzi hounding them constantly.
In retrospect, I’m not unhappy I did not become famous. I would still like to be in film, but I like working in sales, and would love to be a call center or sales trainer at some point; plus I enjoy writing and blogging.
If you are seeking fame and fortune in film, just know that it is hard work, the unemployment rate hovers around 98% for actors, and the price for fame can be high. But this is just one side of the picture, because the desire to share in the arts and to let your talent shine does have its merits.