Friday, February 12, 2016

It's Okay To Keep The Passion to a Hobby

Last night I caught Last Call with Carson Daly, and by coincidence one of the featured people was British actor Rob Kazinsky. His big break comes in June, with the release of the Warcraft feature film, where he plays Orgrim Doomhammer.

After explaining how World of Warcraft got him through a very bad part of his life, he went into an anecdote regarding a teacher of his. It is this anecdote that got me to make this post. Summarized: incoming freshmen would say they wanted to pursue a passion of theirs, but upon graduation they would say they're off to pursue a profession- having surrendered the passion in the process.

Now, Rob goes on to talk about how acting is a passion he pursued and did until he made it. That's fine, but what he left out--what these stories always leave out--is all the time before you start getting paid for doing it. You still have to support yourself somehow before you get paid, and that's why most folks give them up: they never get paid. (Nevermind paid well enough to do it for a living, we're talking about getting paid at all.)

In short, this is a rational decision for most people. All people are not equal. All talents are not equal. All passions are not equal. Failure is all that awaits most who attempt to make a go of that pursuit, when it would be far more beneficial for both the individual concerned and society as a whole if they instead take up a useful trade or profession- and confined the passion to a hobby.

The world needs tradesmen and professionals far more than it does anything else.

Being a hobbyist is fine, folks. There's no shame in that. We've got a glut of musicians, sculpters, potters, actors, painters, etc. and a lack of machinists, technicians, carpenters, masons, electricians, plumbers, etc.; that's one of the reasons why too few passion-pursuers get paid, and a big reason for our present situation.

Besides that, we are now in a place where even hobbyists can make a little extra cash--not enough to significantly improve finances, but enough to relieve some pressure--thanks to the Internet, so those who aren't good enough (and never will be) to make this a living can still find a niche if they want it.

Don't presume that your passion is worthwhile in the marketplace, or that you're good enough to make it so for you. If you fail, it may well be one or both of these factors at work, and if that is the case then reconsidering another path should be what you do in assessing how to recover and go on. I'll never be a fighter pilot, and I'm okay with that; I can write stories and play games about them instead.

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