LOVE WHAT YOU DO
Terkel wrote a book called "WORKING." It is the most depressing book
I've ever read. Studs went out on the city streets and country roads of
the United States and randomly interviewed people, he asked each
of them two questions: "What do you do for a living?" And "How do you feel
about the work you do."
He asked a cross section of our popularity: all races,
religion, men and women, tall, fat, skinny, short, young and old, rich
or poor, friendly and unfriendly. He then put about one hundred and fifty
responses into book form.
The surprising responses were that most people work at
jobs they do not like! Many hate their jobs! There were a few
folks that did have jobs that they enjoyed. I can only recall three
out of the one hundred and fifty he published.
One was a Fireman who explained that he had saved a three-year
old boy from a burning building. That made him feel good! The
second was a Hooker. When asked why she did it, she replied, "Just
lucky I guess." The third was Actor, Rip Torn (and Yes, that is his
real name). He had a long and wonderful career. He not only liked
being an actor, he loved it! He said he was the saddest when he wasn't
I feel the same way about my career as an actor.
Someone once said, "To live a happy life, the secret is to blur the lines
between work and play." An actor's work I called a "play."
That's a good start in the blurring process.
In more than a half century, I have had the privilege
of working with many different people in show business. Almost all
of them not only wanted to be at work, they enjoyed the work. Being
around contented workers is contagious.
If you like variety in your life, you might enjoy being
an actor. After all, we do acting in our daily lives. We just
may not think of it as acting.
Throughout the years, I have said, "Honey, I am off to
work." It could mean I was off to Palm Springs, Paris, London, Las
Vegas, Hawaii, Mexico, New York City, Alaska, Canada, a concrete jungle
at a movie studio in Los Angeles, hanging out of a helicopter, being washed
ashore on a far away island, being shot on the Queen Mary, riding horses
and elephants, off the coast of many ports fishing, and much, much more.
There were many more "days at the office", but you can
imagine the view from my desk.
If Studs Terkel had interviewed me, I would have been
one of the people who loved his work!