Gareth and I went out for dinner the other day and conversation quickly changed to the children and where they were in their lives. One of the topics of conversation was Harry leaving school and having to make the decision between going to 6th form or college.
During our discussion we mentioned how Harry had his heart set on becoming an act,his overall dream being to play The Doctor in Dr Who. Obviously the acting world is tough, in fact any kind of performance related work is tough and the odds of actually making it are slim.
I was just like Harry at his age, I was determined I was going to become an entertainer and nobody was going to stand in my way. The school careers officer visited and told me how it was a tough business and that I should probably think of a back up career just incase.
Obviously back then I was a 15 year old know it all who didn’t need any advice and simply thought ” well I’ll show him” I didn’t take his advice and thought I knew better. Leaving school I went onto college but left after a short while because I had finally landed my dream job.
I had sent out letters ( yes you know pen on paper and posting through the letterbox and everything) to every holiday park in the UK asking them to give me chance until finally somebody was willing to give me the chance.
The job was everything I dreamed about and more but as the career advisor had said, it had a short shelf life and at the age of 22 my entertaining career was over. Guess what? I didn’t have anything to fall back on. So now at the ripe old age of 37 I’m living a life where I feel like I could have achieved more, I could have worked harder and been settled into a career.
Time for a chat
With all of this in mind we decided that evening we were going to sit Harry down and stress the importance of following his dreams but also having a back up in place.
He walked in from school and we simply asked, ” what are your plans for the future” Fully prepared to have to battle him with facts and drumming it all into him.
However he shocked us completely when he said ” I’m going to study performance and computer science, that way if I don’t become an actor then I will have a career to fall back on”
We let out a sigh of relief before telling him it was a great decision. So now he is in the process of deciding whether to go to 6th form or college to study. Since a very young age he has been adamant he will go to university so I guess we sit back and watch what develops.
As always I will guide him and offer his advice but this is the first time ever I have to completely take a step back and let him make the decisions that are best for him himself. I’m not 100% sure I’m ready to step back too much just yet.
When did he grow up eh?
Thanks for reading