Friday, June 20, 2008

Making A Literary Life: What If We Didn't Write?

All the talk this week of other arts makes us think of the questionnaire James Lipton offers to his actor guests on Inside the Actors' Studio. Originally created by Bernard Pivot, with some credit apparently due in some measure to Marcel Proust, the questionnaire includes 10 questions that include the following;

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?


What profession would you not like to do?

And we will add, why?

Lisa Marnell
I would have liked to be a doctor. I would have hated to be a doctor.

I love the idea. I would hate the implemenation of it in real world insurance realities (revolving-door).

Next, a singer. Believe me, if American Idol had auditions for over-thirties I would cue-up ASAP!

Amy MacKinnon
I suppose if I were smart enough I would have been a doctor. The pace, the drama, the purposefulness of it all attracts me. The worst job I've ever had and never want again is that of a waitress. When people have a little power -- customers -- they wield it cruelly.

Hannah Roveto
Beyond the wild-dream professions -- singing, if I had the voice for it, for example -- I always thought being a meteorologist would be fun, tracking weather and predicting it, not necessarily being the one to report on television. Mother Nature is so powerful and fascinating that being closer to a first name basis (Mother? Ma?) would be worth waking up for every day. As to what I wouldn't do, that's hard. There are a lot of difficult jobs (EMT, working with at-risk kids) but those would have rewards to make the challenges with it. Bottom line, anything with tarantulas would be impossible.

Lynne Griffin
Yesterday's post filled you in on my love of dance. I would've loved to be a professional dancer. Yet when choosing a college, even in the late seventies, I was directed toward nursing or teaching. I chose both. I've worked in hospital intensive care units, nursing homes and schools. Jobs I couldn't do? While Hannah loves Mother Nature, I have to say any outdoor work would eventually do me in. Living in New England, winters and summers can be extreme, I wouldn't last long outside in cold or hot temps. And no doubt I'd pull a Lucille Ball if I ever worked in a factory assembly line. Ditto on anything with tarantulas.


Carleen Brice said...

Amy, weren't we just talking about this? :) As I said then, I'm not much good for anything else so this had better work out.

Anonymous said...

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Amy MacKinnon said...

Yes, Carleen, we were. We would be quite hungry, wouldn't we?

Anonymous said...

ummmmm, let me see, published author sounds good to me.

Lisa said...

It's funny how much my ideas about the ideal career have changed over time. When I was younger, there were lots of professions that appealed to me. Being a trial lawyer under the right circumstances could be great, but I suspect it would quickly become very discouraging. Same thing goes for being a psychotherapist. These days when I think about my ideal job (this is my fantasy where I get to stop being a full timer but I still have to do something) I think about milking cows or digging graves or mowing lawns -- jobs where I could daydream and think all day :)

Anonymous said...

Great post. I would have wanted to be an Archeologist. Digging in dirt, caving, discovering lost civilizations - it all sounds like adventure to me. Of course, I'm from the generation that first fell in love with Indiana Jones. :)

Looking back on that dream, I do see that I wanted to discover a great story. I've always been a writer, even when dreaming about a seemingly non-writing related career.