My mind has changed so drastically in the past 2 years that I really can’t fathom how I got here. Currently I listen to a lecture by Jane Goodall on hope for the future with deforestation, climate change, animal conservation, and cleaning up this planet that we call home. And when I think about how my mind worked 2 years ago when I was just graduating college with a BFA I am blown away to the differences that encapsulate it now. I was so young, naïve, and unaffected by politics and environmental awareness. I still picked up trash and recycled but I never really felt a deep fire for cleaning up the planet. I was just doing what I knew was the right thing to do. I would take scissors to plastic can holders because I knew it could hurt marine life. I didn’t act lazy when it came to picking up after myself. I tried to keep things pretty for the animals that lived close by.
All I can think about is working with animals. I want to share my time with them more than anything, and I’ll do anything to have a chance at that. Next summer when I volunteer at BLES (Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary) I plan to begin my journey to giving my time, knowledge, and love to wildlife. Jane Goodall’s lecture proved that point for me today and it was so profound and perfect. She spoke of our world seeking this material happiness, but then feeling depression when the winter months set in and we aren’t able to feel the sunlight on our faces. No car, or house, or technology can change the fact that we grew from animals that made their homes in the wild, and although our intellect is far more advanced now we all need the sunlight, nature, flowers, and trees to rest our minds at times. I’m starting to wonder if living in Los Angeles away from so much natural beauty was the force that awakened my yearning for it and in turn making me realize that I wanted to be out there living in it, working in it. Wanting to be a Wildlife Biologist. Wanting to follow in Jane Goodall’s footsteps and really put my life to good use as a Primatologist.
Watching her speak and intently listening to what she had to say about taking action on saving our planet and everything on it was very inspiring to want to make a difference. It made me confident that I have a lot of passion on the issue. Something I’ve slowly acquired over these years in my 20s. I can’t imagine doing anything else now, which is so interesting because before now I was dead set on doing Theatre for the rest of my life, but I can’t find the passion in it anymore like I can for animals. I’ve always loved animals, and I continuously want to surround myself with them. Friends and family can attest to that, as I believe I am happiest in such cases.
If I had a choice to go back in time and change things though, I don’t know what I would have to do differently. I guess I was just young. That’s really the only thing I can think of that makes sense on the path I was taking at the time. I was brash and severely opinionated. I didn’t want people to tell me theatre wasn’t a plausible option for a future. I didn’t want to hear the bad with the good. I didn’t want to stray from what I knew to be comfortable and safe. I suppose a plethora of things changed my stubborn hard-headedness. I began to realize that although I loved theatre I had nothing to show for it besides that. Which is ok for a time. But when bills start to come and I get closer to having to pay for insurance, and car payments, and loans I start to realize that just having a passion for it isn’t enough. In this modern time it has to include money. Everything has to include money. I would get auditions in Los Angeles that didn’t provide pay, we had to buy our own meals, travel costs were on us and I would turn it down. I wouldn’t go because I couldn’t afford to. And how are we supposed to for that matter? All of these people told me that you have to go through with all of that to get to the places you want. You have to sign up for $500 classes just because the name of the teacher looks good on a resume. But that still doesn’t solidify your guest star booking in a major motion picture. There’s so many things that they shove under the rug, and I don’t like that.
I started to ache to be away from the city. I missed the crickets at night, I missed the birds singing in the morning, I missed actually seeing the sky and not all the exhaust from last nights rush hour. That’s when my “severely opinionated” mind started to ease up and think back to what people told me. It’s hard. It’s hard to be creative these days. Its hard to be a writer, a poet, a trumpet player, an actress. Unless you want to literally live on the street or in your car to do it. Theatre was important to me, but not enough to starve myself over. Not enough to pay for a class and skip out on groceries for the month. Not enough to sleep my way to the top. So once I took my blinders off and looked around at things outside of the stage I realized we create such a major problem for ourselves here. I quote Jane Goodall in saying, “How is it possible that the most intellectual creature that has ever walked on planet earth is destroying its only home?”
I’ve learned to enjoy the simple things more frequently, and ones that don’t involve killing the planet around us. My brother and I were in Barnes & Noble dancing to an Irish song on the radio. We were laughing at how funny our dances were, and how ridiculous we were being in public. An older woman looked at us and said, “What you’re doing is good. You’re laughing, you’re enjoying yourself. That means you’re having a good day”. That had an impact on me. It was so true. We were just living in the moment and we were enjoying ourselves. But how many people out there are just living for their paycheck, or for their house, or their car, or their new suit? Who is caring about the trees that have just been cut down, or the animals that have lost their homes, or the elephants that were killed for their tusks? There’s activists, and there’s businessmen. “You’re the cattle, or the butcher”. And what that lady told to me today, that is the solution. We need to live more in the moment. Enjoy the earth around us. Give our love to the animals that we grew from.
I don’t know where I’ll be in the next year. School, yes. But I want to live in the moment with animals in the meantime too and let them know that I am not the businessman. I am the activist. And that could be anywhere. That could be back in Thailand again, or in Florida at the Great Ape Sanctuary. Nevertheless, I am continuing to grow as a person where ever I am. Living in the moment. Showing love and compassion to all living things. I am continuing to change my opinions to ones that actually matter. To saving our planet. To saving animals. To saving us.
Be the mushroom in the grass. Be the one that’s different with me, and we’ll mold this place anew.