… And the busiest I ever was… right before I went to Ringling’s Clown College. At the time I had just quit my bartending gig at the Empire Diner to circumnavigate the temptation to drink. And the reason to drink would be that my life was full, just not with the things that I wanted to do with my life.

Now, I am also incredibly busy, busy now with a life that I could only dream of…well almost. Like many people I hang around with (actors, writers, musicians), I just lost my job …or actually jobs…

And when I say lost, I mean everthing I do for work has been shut down by this pandemic. Film production, live theater, interactive events, all of it is at a standstill. As a freelancer I am somewhat comfortable with my down time between gigs. The blessing (and curse) is that the gigs ends. I can usually utilize that time to refresh my skills, rejuvenate my soul and get back to making that film which will be franchised.

In fact, in my 32 years of earning I’ve never really had a ‘job’ unless you count my year with Ringling Bros as normal employment. Sagely, at 16, I picked up this wisdom from Eric Hoffert’s amazing (living w MS) grandfather, who told me he had never worked a day in his life. Not knowing how I could do that, this was the life I aspired to live.

BTW I love working… whether its being on set for 14 hours, or being a ‘tummler’ at a family or company event. Fortunately this ‘work’ has brought me all over the world from the Tobu Department Store in Tokyo to the beautiful setting of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. One of the most rewarding of all of my gigs was the one I resisted the most, entertaining pediatric neuro oncology patients and their families.

All of these gift evolved by saying yes to one simple audition for Clown College. In fact that period before clown college was the busiest because I had a full life of recovery meetings, acting classes, improv troupes, a therapeutic lunchtime basketball game, and Broadway Show League softball every Thursday afternoon. I was also getting cash advances on my credit card to pay my rent.

Today I am pretty much doing those same things except virtually and no cash advances.

And now to the rant portion of my writing. Feel free to skip the next paragraph.

When I hear an elected official worry that stimulus checks might make us worker bees lazy, Sorry! No! Wrong! (you, who have lifetime health care coverage) that money will just keep us from starving and losing our homes. I am not even going to mention the stimulus amount per capita going to profitable non tax paying corporations, but that is another story.

OK rant over.

My final thought on this matter goes back to Abraham Maslow. He and his triangle surmised that once one’s basic needs are attended to, one can focus on a higher purpose and make contributions -sometime beyond measure. When a benefactor gifted a years living expenses to a struggling novelist, she was able to focus only on creating something in that time. Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ exists in the world cause she had the time to create. Sidebar note. She actually had the time to write at least 2 novels one that was rewritten into the opus we are all familiar with. I may not write an opus or the great American novel or King Lear or discover calculus but now at least I have the time no matter how busy I am. The end results of my last ‘busy’ period sustained me for over 30 years. God willing we all will have another 30 years to look forward to the results from this one … a day at a time.