Friday, June 19, 2009

Parallel Lives

It's Friday...musings begin...

A wonderfully talented colleague, Natalie Wilson had suggested talking about parallel career vs. back up career and it got me thinking...

What is a parallel career? What would then be a parallel life? How is that possible/doable/believable if we are pursuing that acting/singing/performing arts career fully? And if so, WHAT IS IT?

The first thing that came to mind when seeking "parallel" was that there is space BETWEEN that must exist.  

A "back up" career/plan is not what we need as performers.  Why? Because it becomes an excuse.  There is no plan "B" JUST plan "A".  It has to be that way in order to truly commit to the journey of being an artist and pursuing a career that encompasses that artistry.  Back up infers that if Plan A fails, I have this just in case...

As an artist, you are emerging and growing DAILY and there is NO FAILURE there are just choices!  Choices are made when a realization develops that there is fluidity and not rigidity in the artist's psyche.  

Parallel lives allow that artistry and that PASSION to live in the space between and create fluidity one to the other. It is this artistic quest and this passion to live this life/lives with authenticity and truth.  If there is no passion, there is nothing for an artist to breathe.   If that passion informs us as we move through our day into whatever aspect of life we are living - in parallel or not - then we are living an authenticity that is uniquely ours.

If you have potential to do ANYTHING - why would you want to say you want to be in this business and not explore that potential COMPLETELY?  What motivates that potential but passion? And if that passion motivates, how can it not inform ANY parallel life we choose to live?

Again, I say, being an artist in this business is not the same as making a living in this business.  Sometimes the artist CAN make a living but it is the PASSION that truly creates the authenticity of the artist and it is the passion that leads the artist.

If you find a parallel life - a life that infuses itself with passion and creativity so the pursuit of SELF is evident throughout the day, then, there is still no need for Plan B because you are living the ONLY life.  The life of authenticity! There are no excuses for authenticity, nor should there be ANY apologies! LIVE your authenticity by discovering HOW it is best served - in parallel passions or not - but LIVE it.

I was asked last weekend after reading some of my blog entries if I'd had a bad day teaching.  I don't have bad teaching days. EVER. What I have and what I live is PASSION and in that passion I respond to the lack of it in people who often make excuses for its existence in their own lives.  

If our passion is ignited, our authenticity is validated and the space between all of our "DOING" is vivid and alive.  It is that space that motivates the life we lead - and recognizes all paths as possible!


  1. I LOVE this. All the threads of our lives eventually are woven into a unity, just like you do with our voices in our lessons, Susan. The same way there are no longer parallel voices but a unified one will exist the authentic life, with all the seemingly separate threads eventually coming together to make the unified whole that is OUR LIFE.

  2. Great thoughts, Susan. How can an artist NOT be an artist for any part of any day?

  3. What a lovely post. When I first met you and sang for you, I was feeling a bit bad about "abandoning" my singing. But in singing for you, and in seeing your enthusiasm for my parallel career, I realized that it wasn't about a limiting sense of abandonment, it was an abundant addition to my life. Thank you for this perspective; that allowed me to embrace all of who I am; the singer and the med student.