Sunday, 18 August 2013

Thoughts on Pigeon-holing...

I have always been pretty indecisive, especially when it comes to career choices. I thought that when I chose to go to drama school to study theatre design my path after that would be pretty direct... It's quite specific as degrees go, right? But actually the further I went through the course, the more I realised that within theatre design there are a lot more choices to make. What kind of theatre do I want to design? West End, opera, fringe, live art, dance, site specific, devised... Each one comes with it's own set of practices and contacts - some of them are different industries all together - so we were always taught that picking a clear route through would make success a lot easier.

In our third year we had to do a five year plan which showed in detail how we were going to follow these paths - which in theory is great, but it's not so fun when you have no idea which area you want to pursue and you are reluctant to have to choose just yet. To make matters even more confusing, I had just discovered blogging and was really interested in this as a side project, plus I had always wanted to run an online shop. I'd just started working on designing events, and started to wonder if maybe I loved this even more than theatre. Cue identity crisis. I tried to form a plan that would include all of these things simultaneously and was told that I was trying to squeeze three full time jobs into one life. While this was completely true, I hated the thought of having to pick one route and felt like I was being pigeon-holed before I was ready to decide. 

I have spent my first two years out of uni just saying yes to things - accepting any work that has come my way. It's been exhausting and sometimes stressful, scary and fulfilling. I have felt like I've been living two lives and building two very separate careers - one in theatre (and dance, live art and everything in between) and one in events, blogging and small business ownership. For ages I've been teetering on the edge of dropping one to focus on the other, then maybe I might have time for actual life to fit in too! But I've come to the realisation that actually I'm not ready to give up either one as I love all of it too much. And I also kind of think why should I have to choose? The whole reason I went into this career was to have a job that I enjoyed, and for now that is exactly what I'm doing - enjoying it. From now on I'm going to try and just carry on on this meandering path - it might make the journey a bit slower, but it will definitely be a lot more fun. 

Thanks for reading through my over-analytical thoughts... Does anyone else have these pigeon-holing issues? 

x Rachel 

ps. hope you enjoyed my silly little pigeon drawing - I like to think he is also having an identity crisis and that's why he has a crazy eye. 


  1. As a blogger and a full time copywriter, I completely hear you! I've only been out of university two years myself (with an English degree) and hate feeling railroaded into one career or the other - surely it should just be important that you're doing what you love?

    Big blog love,

    Felicity xx

    p.s if you're doing a bit of lazy sunday surfing, here's mine:

  2. I'm always being told that I'm trying to do too many different things, and to focus on one thing. I love graphic design, but I also love jewelry design and blogging. I just wouldn't feel complete without them all. The downside is that I don't focus as much as I should, and I think the path to success would probably be quicker like you said if I did just focus on one thing. I would rather have too many passions then none at all- life's too short! I think the biggest part of success for me is loving what I do. I feel you- and I don't think you should put yourself in a box just because the world tells you to!


  3. I get it a lot since I've been country hopping and job hopping till we figure where we want to settle. I have no answers for people who ask what I want to do for a job, and many people trying to help me figure it out by asking what my degree is in. Well Advertising and PR and that can cover soooo many things, and who knows if thats where I even want to end up anymore? I think as long as you are getting through life doing what you love, then everything else will eventually fall into place.

    Dannielle | Chic-a-Dee


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