What Do You Do?

I don’t have a real job.  So, when someone asks me “What do you do?,” I kinda panic.  One of the primary reasons I started this blog was so that I could continue to put words to “what I do.”  Maybe I should try to only ever answer visually.  Perhaps, when folks ask, “So, what do you do?,” I can whip out a 4’x6′ postcard with this image and hand it to them…

Wordle: What Do You Do?

But, that might be weird.

We all know the traditional way to answer this question.  We are all supposed to have a profession.  “I am a doctor.” “I am a lawyer.”  “I am a firefighter.”  These are all great answers.  But this is problematic for me.  I could say…

  1. I am a theater teacher and director.” – However, I am rarely in the room with actors these days.  And when I am, I am rarely doing theater in the traditional sense.  When I am, I am helping folks, who do not identify as professional actors, practice being braver, more compassionate people.  I just use theater to do it.
  2. I am a business owner.” – However, then, of course, I have to explain what my business does and that is a whole other complicated web of description…one which I am working very hard to make simpler…especially because it is one of those businesses with a mission to do good and not just make money so I could also say…
  3. I am a social entrepreneur.” – Which I have on my business card and LinkedIn profile, but it feels funny to say it out loud for some reason.  It’s not one of those “doctor” or “lawyer”-type professions that conjures up an immediate image in the mind of the person you are talking to.

Maybe, I am being too modest.  Maybe, I am just not being bold and brave enough to say what it is I am truly here TO DO in the world.  Maybe the next time someone asks me, I will have the courage to answer:

I am a leader in a compassion revolution.  Theater is my tool.  I make plays with all kinds of regular folks that promote the  virtues we desperately crave and often neglect as humans.  I also build and inspire programs, organizations, and systems to support this revolution.

Is that too wordy?  Is it just too much to throw at someone over cocktails at a happy hour mixer?  Or, do I owe it to my work and my mission to tell the whole truth.

I don’t know.  You tell me.  What do YOU do?


Mini Play #1: The Old White Guy & Me

Setting: The check-out line at Walgreen’s; 51st Street and Telegraph; Oakland
The Characters: Me and The Old White Guy (OWG)
The Scene:
The OWG tries to pass Me in line.  Me, not sure what the OWG is trying to pull, looks him in the face.  

OWG: Excuse me. I am in the wrong line. I am just trying to get out of here.
Me: No problem.

Pause.  Just a beat.  But, in this beat, Me is able to move her look from his face to his entire body.  She sees a man in ratty pants and a sweater almost the same color.  That special military green.  The color of hard work and sacrifice.  As her eyes land on his boots, black and unapologetic, Me can confirm that this man has more important things to worry about than being in the line at Walgreen’s.

OWG: It’s a great day, isn’t it?
Me: Yes. Yes, it is.
OWG: We just sent that asshole back to his 1%!

Laughter from Me – almost as if she is tossing the laughter into the air so that OWG can catch it. He does.  They hold the laughter together between them for one more beat before OWG exits the store.  Me is left in line, still smiling.

The End.