--a blog about: art, photography, design, new york, food, books, humor, travel and more.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nature/Nurture


1st & 2nd grade

Yesterday a friend from elementary school came to visit me. I think this was only the second time in 25 years that I have seen him. But sometimes when you have known someone that long and maybe more importantly when you met them when you were really young, you can just pick up where you left off. Of course he and I have lived and experienced much in between, but it feels as if there is a fundamental understanding of who the other person is.
So conversation was easy, we laughed a lot and giggled and time went by fast.

He is a successful actor back in Germany. He also happens to have a great voice. A lot of his work is voice-over gigs. But not only does he have a pleasant voice and perfect intonation, he also has a real singing voice. He is a trained opera singer and has done a couple of productions. However he said yesterday, that he really isn't all that musically inclined. He trained his voice because a voice coach heard it, and said that with a voice like it he could not not train it. He is blessed with an incredible voice, but his passion is acting and speaking. I guess this is just one of those little curve balls the universe throws us.
My friend is successful at what he does, but he is not a super star and in any event, the German language market is much smaller than the English market. So he has known lean times. Like pretty much any artist.
And like many artists in mid-life he has contemplated changing directions. But he came to the conclusion that it is all worth it, as long as he continues to enjoy his work.
I am big on nurture. I believe that I can better myself, that parenting matters, that my conscious eating is good for my health,that change is possible, etc, etc.
But it is not all about nurture. There is nature. Talent is nature. However talent alone is not enough, you also need training and practice -- nurture.
To get life right I guess you need to acknowledge the two and figure a way to play to your strengths and enjoy yourself too. Joy is essential it seems. Without joy you might be ok, but you won't be great.

No comments: