I had a dream a few nights ago. My dreams aren’t something I’d normally choose to share and write about, but this one has been turning over in my wee brain. One of those times I can’t seem to shake the idea so, to the keyboard I go.
In the dream I was sitting at a computer, though it seemed rather specialized. (FYI – I am NOT a hardware person so please don’t slam descriptions I’m sure I’ll get wrong – besides it was a dream). There was a keyboard, but also lots of knobs and switches and bells and whistles. I was trying to fine tune some music, or some dialog….something auditory. I was frustrated because I just couldn’t get what I was working on to sound like I wanted it to and knew it should sound like. I looked up and the wall that had been in front of me had turned to glass with two guys sitting at a much more complex ‘computer’ system fidgeting with the same bit of audio I was. I had to blink when I realized it was Ron Moore and Bear McCreary.
I don’t supposed the fact that we have finally managed to start listening to Ron’s podcasts had anything to do with this LOL.
I could hear the audio, still not right….then as they fiddled with it, it shifted and flowed and sounded exactly as it should have. I was amazed and blurted out “How the hell did they DO that?!”
The glass wall parted in the middle and slid aside. Ron looked up and said, “Well get in here and we’ll show you!” I hoofed it in promptly to learn at the elbows of greatness…..fade to black.
Why do I relate this rather odd little dream? Why has it been bouncing around in my head insisting I throw it out and let people see it? I think, perhaps, I came up with an answer.
Growing up I was reasonably intelligent. I was raised by dysfunctional parents (alcoholics) and by my grandparents who were both teachers. I was raised very traditionally. I was encouraged to go into teaching. I was told to learn typing and shorthand so I could get a job as a secretary. I didn’t get to take martial arts class with my brothers because it wasn’t ladylike. I bowed to all this because….it’s how I was raised to be. (Fear not….I’ve gotten over my doormat stage in a big way though I do still slip and lie down occasionally when I shouldn’t.)
I had a strong interest in science. Not exactly discouraged – but certainly not encouraged. I loved to perform, but was only really encouraged to learn how to play the piano. I was good enough with very little work to have my teacher happy so I didn’t really apply myself. I think too many girls raised when I was dealt with the same sort of things…..I am concerned too many still are.
What does this have to do with the dream? I have a good ear. Picking out what instrument is playing or a voice on a commercial and knowing what actor it goes to. Picking up sounds – even slight ones – that are ‘off’ and finding problems because of it (very handy skill on a boat). While I didn’t apply myself with hours of rehearsal for singing, my choir masters loved me because I had ‘a good ear’ to adjust things. I did a lot of sound work through school…..helping run the sound board for the jazz choir (did I go out with the sound tech because I liked him and picked up the board or because I was interested in the board and that’s how I could get my hands on it? Interesting question I had not pondered before.) Sound tech (among many other hats) for the theatre department in college. I used that knowledge to step in and run the board for a band whose own tech failed to show up when a scout was coming to listen to them at the bar they were playing. (Guess I did ok – he signed them.) What if I could have done an internship or studied under someone like Bear McCreary? What might my life had been like going completely outside the traditional? I would have very likely pursued something like that – something in performing arts (stage is very addicting both in front of and behind the curtain) but it wasn’t ‘proper’.
I think Ron was in the dream because he is so often mentioned as an advocate for getting more women involved/treated equally and showing them more realistically on screen.
All this has left me pondering in these last few days……how far have we really come in encouraging our kids – especially our females – to really explore their strengths and gifts and reach toward something more than a traditional ‘safe’ job? Something past ‘proper’ and ‘PC’? What if one of my choir directors had really encouraged me to pursue that ‘gift’ of my ‘good ear’ in high school? Had taken the time to help me track down and explore what that might be good for. Would it have eventually led to me sitting in a studio helping tweak the sound to perfectly set scenes for a show like Outlander? Maybe – and wouldn’t that have been cool?!
I guess what it comes down to is – what can each of us do to change that? Encourage the straight guy that likes to play football but has a great eye for color and line and really enjoys working there that it is ok to go into designing women’s clothing. Or to encourage that head cheerleader to use her brains more than her body to advance herself in science or architecture or any other male dominated realm. That mousie, overweight girl (me) that absorbs things when allowed to that might have made a really decent supporting actor with very little encouragement. Traditional and being PC can be so limiting – not allowing for true gifts to be explored and utilized not just for the person possessing them, but all those that person touches. When I make it big as a writer (got to keep those positive thoughts pumping true?) how might I encourage someone else? I definitely haven’t taken a traditional route to get on this path – all my elective classes were geared toward theatre and acting – not writing.
Who do you know that you might be able to encourage? Help out? Steer toward a dream? Who do you know that could help them? How can each of us work towards making a ‘safe’ environment for any kid to express an interest/ability in something that doesn’t quite fit the mold people want to push them into? How about you? What is YOUR dream that may not fit into a neat package? How can you encourage that?