Out with friends recently, we began sharing childhood dreams. Answers included the glorified possibilities of architect, stuntman, and astronaut, unlimited McFlurries via the fast food industry, the bizarre ambition of “pospsicle”, the touching imitation of a beloved schoolteacher, and of course a handful of future Presidents. Silly and earnest, it was a good mix. When my turn arrived, I was a little abashed to admit that my dream job has (almost) always been actor.
I was the only one in the entire circle living my childhood dream. It stunned me.
I love hearing what people wanted to be when they “grew up”. There is magic in it! The unabashed certainty that your life will be beautiful, your dreams attainable, that the sweet worldview of childhood is realistic. It is rare to achieve a dream. As we grow older, we see: becoming President is a mathematic impossibility, desk jobs are practical in a way that being a stuntman simply isn’t, and Ronald McDonald does not hold the same clout for adults as he does with children.
Dreams are beautiful but they are daunting. They are intimidating, and after a time it becomes scary even to admit them. Because the older you get the more obvious it becomes: failure is not only possible, it is probable.
Which is why I was so excited to get a message from my friend Anna Paniccia. Anna and I studied Balinese culture in college, and we talked about going to Bali. Last year, Anna went. She explored the world, and she built beautiful puppets, and made beautiful art; she saw her perfect life and she went for it.
Everyone has a dream, even if it isn’t the stuff of their childhood. But we don’t do it alone. I get to be an actor because my parents paid for college and my non-artist friends offer me insanely discounted rent. Whatever you’ve achieved, and I hope it was beautiful, I guarantee that someone helped you do it. Someone bought you that one-way plane ticket or agreed to hire you sans experience. Someone let you sleep on their couch, bought your first suit, made a few phone calls, and told you they believed in you.
This is Anna’s new dream. Think about it. Pledge as much as you can. 10 dollars gets you a SOCK PUPPET!
For me, the most exciting thing about this project is the illustration of a community who support dreams. And how encouraging is that?
After all, we’re all dreamers.