The melding of vocation and avocation

I’m an advertising veteran. I’ve literally spent half of my life in the industry. It’s a vocation I wouldn’t want to trade anything for. I wake up every day feeling energized and excited about the work I do. There’s never a dull day. I collaborate with passionate and creative people. I see brilliant, fun, and memorable work come as the result.

I’m also a veteran of theatre. Primarily acting, and some directing here and there too. It’s an avocation discovered in my youth, and has been woven into the fabric of my life ever since. From community theatre to college and professional level productions, I’ve been regularly involved in theatre of some kind of another for most of my life. Like advertising, I’m able to be around passionate and creative people. And get to see brilliant, fun, and memorable work come as the result.

For the longest time I really didn’t give much thought of how these two paths interacted with one another. Just that they were parts of my life and I went on my way with them. Advertising was what fueled the home fires during the day. It was my career focus. Theatre was for the evenings and weekends. It was catharsis. A release focus. Because of how time was divided towards each, I put up a wall between them in my mind. They were on separate paths. I treated them as such.

Well. Things change. I’m older and a little more self-aware. Perspective comes a little easier. And lately, I’ve been thinking about how these two paths are really more linked than I thought. Shared is probably a better word. They have cued and informed each other along the way. Looking at them as separate, because of my own time utilization, was not understanding the relationship properly. They haven’t been separate. They were melded together. Advertising + Theatre.

I want to embrace this dynamic more. Because it’s fun to think about. They’re on the same through line. Really, they’re the single through line of my life. The reasons that give me happiness as an agency account guy translate well in the theatre. And vice versa — the reasons I find satisfaction acting on stage serve me very well in the realms of ad land. It’s only taken half of my life to figure that out, but better late than never?

This space will be used to share my point of view on how I’ve been able to embrace this intersection of advertising + theatre, and any observations related to that. Sometimes that might be brand or campaign related. Or things about pitching and presenting work. But it might also be stuff I find in theatre or performing arts in general.

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