From Theatre to Taxes to Text
The journey of the self-defined individual isn’t an easy one.
Every day we are told the rules we are supposed to follow. We are pounded with the reasons we must stay in line. Across the street, which we are never to cross, is another set of expectations. Follow your dream, you can achieve anything, you can be anything.
What we are never told is how to follow our dreams and stay in line. Eventually, one or the other will be disappointed. Eventually we are destined to fail.
For whatever reason, I was never really expected to stay in line. My father is a dreamer born into a world where achievement means everything and my mother is a free spirit, an adventurer, only allowed the path of nurse, secretary or wife. They had me later than most of their generation had their first child and for whatever reason they were always delighted to see me step slightly to the left of single file.
But the open road ahead is daunting and takes an incredible amount of work to survive on. I learned after college that for some it’s a road never destined to be taken. I would have been saved many a heartbreak had I learned it earlier. I was fortunate to find a job on Broadway. I had a theatre degree in dramaturgy (theatre theorist/historian) and to work on shows like Phantom of the Opera and Fosse was the pinnacle of success.
Even now when I tell people about working there it sounds so glamorous. Like another life. But the reality is I was miserable. Art is a business and commercial theatre is no different from any other profit-focused endeavor. I worked so hard I made myself sick. I cried and I crumbled.
Leaving theatre was one of the best decisions I made. Where it led me though was unexpected. After years of various jobs and training I am now an accountant. I have two small children and I work from home giving financial advice to small businesses and preparing tax returns. Who’d have thought? From the outside it seems so much less exciting. I’m no longer out till all hours or working with stars or opening to full houses. Now I am a rule follower and I really like staying in line.
But the dreamer my parents raised is still within me. And so as an adult I faced the same dilemma children must grapple with. Do I stay in this line or do I achieve a dream? My children are old enough they go to school. I love my work and don’t want to stop. But I have a story to tell and it sings in my head, distracting me and pulling me out of sync.
Returning to art was difficult, it took a leap, a self-confidence I wasn’t sure I had. But in the end these stories in my mind, this part of me that needs to skip instead of march, took over and demanded to be allowed to roam free.
Perhaps this basic dichotomy in my personality is why Indie Publishing appeals to me so much. I’ve stepped out of line; I don’t want to just wait in another one.
Being involved in the Indie Community has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have reclaimed the artist and dreamer within me. I have made my own rules and am free to skip or run or twirl as I see fit. There are no hard and fast rules and each of us does what we can. If you need help, there are communities and groups and even some companies that will guide you, but no one can tell you the right way to do this.
Pavarti’s debut novel, Two Moons of Sera is a Fantasy/Romance and was released in serial format beginning November 2011. Her next novel, Shadow on the Wall, is a work of literary fiction and is scheduled for release in May 2012.