Passion plus Patience equals Perseverance
I was backpacking in England, heading through the Cotswolds to Stratford-upon-Avon. I had a ticket for Macbeth that night at the Royal Shakespeare Company and there was no way I was going to miss it.
Unfortunately, my map was worthless, there was no GPS, and my directions were sketchy at best. I’d been hiking for miles through the countryside, across muddy fields, down dirt lanes, at one point inadvertently leading a procession of cattle toward a barn. My boots were cracked and my socks were squishy; my beard was a tangle of wet mess. If there had been a casting right then for a deranged mountain man who came out of the hills, I would have nailed it.
Failure, however, was never an option. There was nothing to do but keep calm and slog on: through the fields and the hills to a vague sense of “North.”
I made it to Macbeth that night, perhaps because I’ve always known that with a committed, consistent effort, I can achieve any goal I set for myself. Not just a hot shower and a hotter theatre ticket, but larger goals as well:
- Graduating from Kenyon College with a dual major in Theatre and History
- Spending a year in Cambridge, England in an intensive acting program
- Graduating from Penn State Law and passing the Ohio Bar
- Moving to Washington DC and launching a successful career as an actor
- Moving to Los Angeles and doing it all over again
Over the years, I’ve learned that just because you’re from a small town doesn’t mean you have to have small dreams. With enough passion and enough patience you can persevere in your chosen profession; you can even change it. And maybe, just maybe, having a good map while hiking will keep you from looking like a badger on a three-day bender.