I can’t do that.
There’s no way. As much as I’m a big believer in hard work and passion and perseverance, there is no way that I’m going to win 8 gold medals in swimming.
I just wasn’t built that way. But Michael Phelps was.
At 6’4″, 194 lbs and a wingspan that an eagle would envy, the man is a just a couple of gills short of being a fish. And no one is gonna catch him.
I would be a fool destined for failure if I thought that if I worked hard enough, one day I’d be able to out-butterfly him.
Does that mean I should give up my dream of working in swimming, if that’s what I was passionate about?
No way. There a zillion things I could do to work in and out of the pool. I could coach. I could design a more aerodynamic suit. I could negotiate the zillions of dollars in endorsement deals that Phelps is going to get.
I could figure out what my greatest talents were and apply them to the world in which I wanted to work.
If you want to work in the most competitive of worlds, including the
Great White Way, you’ve got to be objective about what you can do, and
yes, what you can’t.
Maybe you weren’t meant to act, but you were meant to direct. Maybe you weren’t meant to direct, but were meant to design. Or maybe you were meant to write, or produce, etc., etc.
If the theater is your hobby, do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want.
If it’s your profession, and you have to work at the top, then you owe it to yourself and to the biz to find out if you belong in or out of the pool.
And then, wherever you are and whatever you do, kick like a son-of-a-fish.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.