Talent and Hard Work: A Necessary Pair

When I tell people I’m an actress and I work at a theater company the next question is always “So when can I see you perform?” Most people don’t suspect that my work at a theater company is about as glamorous as, well as working a regular 9-5.

Because I consider myself a contemporary craftswoman and respect and miss the days where apprenticeships were a respected and necessary part of a career, I started my work at this theater as a volunteer.

For three months, I was always on time and in a good mood I performed the most menial tasks from make coffee, reading lines with the actors, sweeping the theater to washing clothes after each show. But believe it or not, I was damn elated to do it all – for free. Because I know what a great theater it is – and I know that dependable behavior pays off.

If nothing else comes out of it at least I know how to make a darn good pot of coffee.

Long story short I’m now an official employee at one of South Florida’s most respected theater companies and am surrounded by working professionals -- hello, can you say networking??

Trying to navigate through our instant celebrity culture can be quite grueling for those who consider themselves true artists, as this ideology is seldom rewarded. I find myself angry when I hear someone say, “you’re talented so you’ll succeed.” If only it were that easy. The streets to the top are lined with carcasses of enormously talented individuals. If you have talent, good for you. But what really matters is one’s ability to remain dedicated and the amount one is willing to sacrifice for this dream. If you are lucky enough to have the gift of talent, don’t exploit it. Never underestimate the power of a hard work.

Don’t just spend your life. SPLURGE. SPLURGE YOUR LIFE BY DOING SOMETHING YOU LOVE. My husband Paul is a musician. He says that the concept of talent is overrated because "talent" is really the gift of love. "Talent" happens when you are in love with something and you devote your life to it and its your love of it that makes you want to keep doing it, its your love of it which helps you overcome the obstacles along the way, and its your love of it that begets a talent for it.

Suzan Lori Parks, Playwright