My father instilled in his children this maxim: do what you love. If you do, you'll be good at it and it won't seem like work. If you're good at it, you'll make money.
I kind of fell into what I ended up doing. I started out studying Medicine. But I was spending so much time writing and photographing freelance articles for magazines that my studies suffered, and I switched across to journalism.
I mention this today because I am driving 8 hours to see a movie.
That's how much I love what I do.
There's no cinema in Mudgee. And whilst there are cinemas in towns about an hour and a half away, I want to see this particular film on the huge IMAX screen, in 3D. So I've driven to Sydney – eight hours there and back.
The film is GRAVITY, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. It's directed by a very exciting director – Alfonso Cuaron. He made a film that I thought was spectacular – CHILDREN OF MEN.
I read the script of GRAVITY several years ago, before it was cast, and off the page it read as an amazing movie. Today it opens worldwide, day and date. I'm excited!
In ten days I spend a week addressing students at the University where I'm an Adjunct Professor. They are soon to graduate with a degree in Fine Arts, Film & Television. And I will tell them: do what you love.
Oh good one Bill! I would have loved to be a design engineer or a scientist. My Dad, when I told my parents I was going to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts tried to talk me into going in to engineering instead. I would have but my brain does not process math. The numbers just swirl around on the page and I almost get sick. The only class I’ve ever flunked was 9th grade algebra (and then went on to be the top of my class in geometry and physics in high school – go figure). I got my BFA and became a scientific illustrator. Back before there were computer graphics programs. I learned an awful lot of science and engineering drawing it!!
So what have I been doing the last 12 years? Setting up and running scientific experiments!!!! I problem solve my own way and come up with the same conclusions and solutions. And I love it! (granted I don’t get the paycheck that the scientists and engineers do…) Do I miss doing art at work? No, I can do that in my off hours.
I can’t wait to see GRAVITY!!
It’s funny Susan – it was because both my parents were dentists that I started off doing medicine!
I’ve hitch-hiked to Bordeaux — twice — to see the extended versions of Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers on the big screen and in English (thankfully, they showed the third one in Cannes) ; so yeah, I’m crazy in that way as well.
And Gravity most certainly looks like those eight hours of driving will be worth every minute. Children of Men is great, I agree with you.
The stuff I get really crazy about though is Star Wars, my having been 12 years old and already a science fiction enthusiast in 1977 when the first one came out and changed cinema forever …
I will very likely go off to Paris for 3 days or so, just to see the next one at the Max Linder, the hands down best cinema I’ve ever been to, and THE place to see Star Wars in France and in English.
You are as obsessive as me!
I remember seeing that first Star Wars in the cinema.
I’d never seen anything like it!
About 2-3 days before starting on my first “true” Camino out from Paris in 1994, I went to see what I believe to be the last ever public screening anywhere in the world on big screen of the original non-special-edition Star Wars trilogy — at the Max Linder of course — (though I believe there have been screenings since then of each of the three films individually) — using the gorgeously well-preserved prints of the Cinématèque Française ; whose one single condition before handing the prints back to Lucasfilm for digitisation and special-edition-isation was that they MUST be shown in public one last time.
I got into the cinema, cherry on the cake with a delightful young Irish lady who had never seen Star Wars before (she loved it), despite my not even having tickets for us when we went to the (understandably) sold-out theatre.
We even got good enough seats.
The first week of my Camino out of Paris was spent essentially thinking about Star Wars, and simultaneously celebrating those original versions, and meditating on the fact that I would never see them again in the same way.
(the special editions were a bit disappointing ; but CRIPES the final blu-ray edit of all six films is amazing…)
Of course — we also have to do what we must ; love it or otherwise.
I love walking.
As an undergraduate at the University of Missouri I started out on the path to a journalism degree. Like Susan I struggle with math. I flunked Econ 51 a perquisite for J School. I switched to Radio & Television Production, and aspired to work behind the scenes at a major news network. I applied — with hundreds of others — at the CBS affiliate in Washington, DC. After five interviews I was down to the top two. The other woman got the job. That was the closest I got.
I ended up in law school. During my second year in law school, a favored law professor insisted that I audit his Civil Rights class despite the fact that I was already carrying 18 hours. When I questioned his insistence he told me I needed to do what I will love, and that he just knew I was going to be a civil rights lawyer and that I would love it. I just retired from my twenty-year career as a civil rights lawyer. I ended up finding a second thing I love to do! But I must confess: all these years later I still wonder what might have happened had I gotten that internship at CBS News. The advice to do what you love is the best advice I ever got.
That’s a great story. But have you ever thought about all the good you’ve done? And that perhaps it was your calling – whereas journalism may not have been – not because you personally may have liked journalism, but that your purpose was to do your work as a civil rights lawyer?
Bill, I distinctly recall coming home from my very first day at school, when I was just 5 and announcing to my mother that I wanted to be a teacher.
When I left school I had many offers, opportunities and scholarships to do whatever I wanted.
I chose education because I felt that was what I was called to do. I had also been inspired by many great teachers. I have now been a teacher for 40 years and continue to love what I do. I also believe I am good at it or I wouldn’t have had the amazing experiences I have had.
I also forgive you the flippant negative comment you made recently about teachers !!
Ooops – that’s right, I did make a flippant comment about teachers –
actually it was in the context of filmmakers who couldn’t make films anymore going into teaching.
And me, an Adjunct Professor…. ha!