Are your dreams meeting with your reality?

(Originally posted on

When I was a little kid, I dreamed of climbing the corporate ladder in my pinstripe suit and stiletto heels. I wanted nothing more than to be toughest, no nonsense attorney in a top law firm and live in a high rise apartment in Manhattan with my CEO husband and our glamorous life of jet setting weekends to Europe and dinner parties with the other fabulous people.

Well, at least that is who I wanted to play on TV. You see, I started studying theater and performance arts when I was 4 and auditioned for my first role in Annie at 5. I spent the next decade and a half in a variety of classes, training programs and live performances from one act to television to full theater productions. Like Rachel from Glee sets her sites on an grammy – mine was set on an Oscar. Or at least an Emmy – (but not the daytime one)

In college I was a theater major. Until I met a recruiter toward the end of my 1st semester who laughed at me and then shared his passion for this industry. I quickly changed it to Public Speaking with a business minor – it was the closest I could get to a business major and still be allowed to participate in the theater program. I spent the next 4 years carefully balancing my two lives – the liberal arts side made up of innovation and philosophy, Shakespearean theater productions, hosting a tv show and open thought along with the business school side (or as we referred to them as “the others”) which was comprised of suits and SHRM meetings and case studies and mock interviews and alcohol free “business” fraternities.

It was like the melding of two worlds that just didn’t belong and it was somewhere mixed in with all that mess around my 3rd ‘business’ internship that I realized – I will never even try for my big break break and I should utilize what i have learned through all of that to kick some serious a$$ in the corporate world. This is the role I was meant to play.

Our industry is made up of a lot of people with some really varied backgrounds and experience. We are full of innovative ideas and people that want to make a change. We are also filled with a lot of rules and regulations – process and best practices. We are a group of people that question everything and nothing at the same same time.

Imagine what you would do if you could wipe away the rules and processes and best practices and just create. Imagine if you could just do what your passion is and have it meld with your career. Imagine if you were asked to redesign whatever it is you want and you had no lines, no boundaries, no budget – just innovation. What would you do? How would you do it? Why aren’t you doing it already?

Views: 113

Comment by Hassan Rizwan on October 16, 2009 at 5:28am
That is quite a transition Sarah. What's good to see is that people with a theatrical experience can utilize their abilities in business too. Ibelieve experience in any field gives you a flavor of what new you can add to the existing work.
Comment by Sarah White on October 16, 2009 at 11:09am
Hassan - I think the two really play nicely to each other - I almost wish we had more people that were both analytical and free thinking in our space - I think we would progress faster.

Geoff - #geekgirl is also a #dramanerd - don't act like you were shocked.
Comment by Colin Kingsbury on October 16, 2009 at 12:50pm
This is really interesting because I was thinking the other day that if I had it all to do over again I'd have taken an acting class or two in college. Our facial expressions, how we move, etc., have profound impact on how other people perceive us, but many of us drift through life mostly ignorant of it. Every time I meet people who are in stage, TV, etc., I am struck by how much more vivid their non-verbal communication is than "normal" peoples'.

In some ways I'd venture that formal training in something like drama might be far more career-advancing to an uber-geek than many math or comp-sci classes. After all, if you're an alpha-geek you will drink that stuff up wherever you go, but you might really need help jolting yourself out of your shell.
Comment by Joanne Meleney on October 16, 2009 at 2:06pm
Like most girls, I grew up with a poor self-image and was intimidated to talk to people I did not know. Taking acting classes really boosted my self-confidence and helped me change the way I saw myself as well as how others perceived and responded to me. It has been a benefit both personally and professionally and I would recommend it to anyone regardless of age. Sara, I hope you have not given up completely......I thought my time had come and gone but I have been booked for more gigs this past year then when I was able to pursue full-time.
Comment by Randy Levinson on October 17, 2009 at 8:52pm
The only 100% I ever got on a college final was in a drama class....and I was a Criminal Justice major. I believe that theatrics and our business are very closely tied. An actor or musician works to carry their audience somewhere else. And we do the same thing when we bring a candidate to a job or a hiring manager to hire a candidate. Thanks to RecruitingBlogs you can be in our business and a Rock Star (or Oscar winner) at the same time. Great post. Take your bow and now deliver your acceptance speech!
Comment by Deborah J. Boyd on October 18, 2009 at 7:32am
I am living my dream finally at the age of 60. Boy the OJT was tough for this one. Now all I have to do is recruit 2 billion people in order to establish Peace on Earth by 2027. I just put together a deal for taking online education to the whole world. Once I get the 200 teachers that were fired from the DC school system set to make videos of all their classes we will be set. I was an only child, never married, and never gave birth but I have a huge family. 15 million more or less in my International Internet team. Love & Peace, Deborah
Comment by Sarah White on October 20, 2009 at 7:39am
Colin - I agree. I still find going and doing some improv stuff on the weekend relaxing.

Joanne - I understand completely, I still get VERY intimidated talking to people that I don't know/the first time I meet them. I find (likely because of the training) that i am much more comfortable in front of a VERY large group than in 1-1 situations or in a group of 10-15 people. Interesting about your gigs - My kids have done stuff (I'm a proud Pull-Up Commercial Mama) but I don't have the time to focus on it all all right now.

Randy - They love me! They really love me! Sorry, had to do some Oscar humor for you.

Deborah - Glad to hear that you are able to live your dream now!

Sandra - Recruiters = Exhibitionist, Narcissistic, World Domination Personalities? lol


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