I have long dreamt of becoming famous. Throughout my life, I have imagined writing the Great American Novel (or even a Good one), hosting a cooking show, even somehow magically being discovered in a community theater production and getting a career on Broadway (despite the fact that I don't participate in community theater).
But since I was young, I've most imagined having a singing career. I've been singing pretty much nonstop since I was eight years old, after I landed a part in my elementary school production of HMS Pinafore. (I was the Monarch of the Sea.) My dreams of singing usually involved using a hairbrush or pencil as a microphone, singing my heart out in my bedroom (it was in the back of our house), blasting pop music, show tunes, classic rock or whatever I knew the words to. (My siblings particularly enjoyed bursting open the bedroom door when I was in mid-song to scare the crap out of me.)
I sang in school and summer camp talent shows, high school and camp musicals, Chamber Choir and All-Shore Choir. At that time, I was too young to audition for the original Star Search, and there weren't really other options out there. And while people complimented my voice (those who weren't making fun of me for being into theater and music instead of sports), no one ever encouraged me to pursue a career in music.
But while I put the actual pursuit of a musical career away, I never put away my dreams. However, I never found an outlet other than singing in the car (which I do pretty much constantly) or periodic bouts of karaoke. I tried out for one community theater production years ago but the old lack of dancing ability foiled that. Then it suddenly seemed I was too old for thingstoo old to audition for the touring company of Rent, too old to audition for the revamp of Star Search with Arsenio Hall, and of course, too old to audition for American Idol. Plus, I'm fortunate enough not to have any real "sob story," which seems to be the hook on many of these reality shows.
Now, Simon Cowell is bringing his hit show X-Factor to America. There is no upper age limit for singers, so this may very well be the only opportunity I have to pursue a childhood dream. Yet at the same time, I can't help but wonder if I'm really talented enough to make it happen, or whether taking two days off to head to New York and follow a pipe dream is more a waste of time than anything else.
Should you always try and pursue your dreams, even if you know they might not come true, simply for the sake of trying? And if the dream you've had since forever doesn't come true, what then? Just chalk it up to life experience?
I have a few weeks to decide, but I just don't know what to do.