What Dreams May Come
Monday, August 23, 2010

When I was young, in the days of covered wagons and when I used to have to walk 5 miles in the snow to get to school— you know, here in Florida, I had a dream. 

I wanted to write. I wrote all the time. I couldn't help it. It poured out of me. 

And then I grew up. I went to school, paid for on my own dime. I worked two jobs and I eeked by. And the thing was I stopped writing down the words that came to me. I stopped dreaming that dream. I had to make a living and I took the first real grownup job that came my way.


Me and numbers, that's as big of a contradiction as Miley Cyrus and singing. 

Throughout my life, that spark remained. I could feel it there, in my soul, just biding its time. 

And after far too many years, I reignited that spark. 

And because of those years I wasted on debits and credits and prime rates, those years where I tried to forget my own dream was ever there, my biggest piece of advice to young people is: Listen to that spark. Dream those dreams, no matter how big or how wildly unpractical they may be, take a chunk of those days when your responsibilities are still small and just close your eyes and jump. Nothing in life happens without chance. Try on the dream, so that you never have to listen to that awful whisper that haunts far too many of us as the years unwind.

That dreaded,"If Only."

I know a girl with a dream, so much like mine.

Bunny Fitzgerald came into our lives as a young, bubbly teenager. She was and still is actually, this pixie of a girl, with velvety, doe eyes and a spirit overflowing with charm and just a fiery zeal for life.

And then there's her beauty.

She is a stunning young woman with an incredible resemblance to Rachel McAdams.

She used to babysit my girls when they were small, even though she was only a few short years older than them. They loved her. And more importantly, so did I.

The first time she ever babysat for me, after she successfully put 3 happy girls to bed, she picked up the toys and then? Then she cleaned out my refrigerator.

Let me repeat that. She cleaned out my refrigerator.

When I came home, I nearly wept at the organized, sparkling shelves. If I could, I would have adopted her on the spot.

In high school, Bunny found Drama and the second she entered the classroom she knew she was home.

And the Dream began.

Bunny immersed herself in acting. She performed in almost all of her high school plays throughout all 4 years there. She competed in state competitions. She lived her dream.

And she was good at it. So good, she nailed straight superiors at district competitions. So good, she was awarded Most Talented at her high school. So good, she won a scholarship for Drama.

And that was when the real world came a-calling.

In the middle of writing this post, I needed more information than Bunny was freely giving me. You see, she'd left out all of these awards and accolades in her bio. She'd left out the part about how really talented she is. I had to push and poke, until she finally gave up what I was looking for and in the process, I saw something in her that is such a barricade to so many struggling artists—that nasty, little bugger called self doubt.

At the end of her high school years, she convinced herself that maybe she just wasn't good enough, that acting was more of a pipe dream, a dream more suited to a little girl than a young woman who was on the verge of stepping into the real world.

After much deliberation, Bunny chose a more practical major—nursing.

Shortly after that, she switched to Education since Math and her were not friends.

I, too, am not friends with Math. In fact, I do believe Math hates me. But this story is about Bunny and her lack of friendship with Math and, more importantly, her dream.

And so, Bunny decided to become a teacher, a noble profession, indeed. Her dream of acting was now locked away in that small space that rests in everyone's heart. The space that never dies, that remembers what it felt like when you were 10 and were asked the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

And we all knew at 10. We all knew before we were even aware of things like Practicality and The Odds and Responsibility and Limitations, that our own destiny awaited each of us as an actress or a ballerina or a writer or a doctor or even President of the United States.

Because we didn't understand that dreams oftentimes are just that. We only knew in those sweet days what stirred inside, the first faint rumblings of what we were capable of and the endless possibilities that innocence brings.

After high school, Bunny stopped acting and focused on college and her quest to become a teacher.

But her dream stayed there, still flickering, right under the surface. She missed acting.

Two years into her new life, her boyfriend urged her to return to the stage. He knew how much she missed those days. He'd heard the stories of her talent. He wanted to see her in that dream.

She decided to audition for the play, "Closer".

She'd been away for so long, she wasn't sure if she could do this. She wasn't sure if she still had it in her. She went to the audition, full of self doubt. This would be her first time auditioning before people who had no idea what she was capable of and the talent she possessed. The people in that front row, judging her didn't care about "Most Talented" or scholarships. They just wanted to see what she was made of.

When she got there and saw the huge crowd of actors lined up, waiting their turn to audition, she almost ran out of the building. She couldn't do this. She couldn't. But something kept her there, that spark, that feeling of being exactly where she was supposed to be. Instead of taking off, she called her best friend, a theatre major at Emerson and poured out her angst, her worries that this was too big of a hurdle, that she didn't stand a chance. Bunny's friend pleaded with her to stay.

And so she did.

She walked out of the audition, feeling euphoric, knowing that even if nothing came out of this, she'd given it her all and she had tried to touch that dream, once again.

The callback came.

Bunny snagged the lead role

And with it, her spark roared back to life. It was a tough, emotional show but it was the most fun she'd ever had in her life.

But even as she reclaimed her passion, there was still school and studies and a job and an internship looming. She managed to act in one more play, but then the new life she'd created, so very far away from acting, called her back. She couldn't manage the time to keep up with the acting. She needed to focus on becoming a teacher.

And still that spark burned, whispering her name.

What didn't help were the accolades she received for her acting. What didn't help were the people who told her she was wasting her talent, her God given talent.

And so, Bunny found herself at a crossroads.

Her biggest fear? Looking back and knowing regret, feeling that "If Only" inside her soul.

But at the same time, she had a practical, wonderful life plotted out. She had invested years of schooling. She had an internship. She had responsibilities.

What would happen if she shucked all of that and took this very big risk as an actress and it didn't work out? She didn't want to spend her life pursuing an elusive dream when she'd worked so hard to create a life and career full of promise and worth.

Two paths. One—a steady, sure good path full of fulfillment. The other—a risky path, certain to be full of stumbles and detours and no guarantees for success.

She didn't know what to do.

And then another path opened up right before her eyes. And she knew.

It was a contest, a competition for a walk-on role on the show, Mad Men.

Sponsored by Banana Republic and Mad Men, it is a chance for one lucky actor or actress to strut their stuff on that stellar show. Banana Republic has a website, RIGHT HERE, with the contestant's pictures and anyone is allowed to vote. 1 computer vote a day.

So, you know what's coming next, right?

I want this girl to know her dream, even if it doesn't last forever.

Or even if it does.

Bunny needs our help. There are some folks in the contests with hundreds of thousands of votes. Not sure, how people get that many votes, but I am not one to make accusations. Hmmph.


The thing is, they are taking the top ten women and top ten men and giving them auditions.

What a Sasquatch sized foot in the door for any actor or actress.

If Bunny wins this, she says it will be her sign and that road, that road filled with bumps and stops and starts will be hers for the taking.

If she wins, I'm totally advising her to ask for changes in the script. I'm telling her she must insist that her character has a hot, steamy make out scene with Don Draper. And of course, Bunny will need a stand in for rehearsals. Bunny, I don't have much experience in the acting department, but I have tons and I mean tons of experience in the make out department. So, keep that in mind.

Bunny says she knows it's a long shot, but she also knows if she makes the top ten, that role will be hers. She knows this with all her heart.

And so do I.

Now, my dear, darling readers, will you help me? Wouldn't that be such a noble thing if we could all band together and help one person live their dreams? I'm in. You?

Here's the site.  Go vote.  Vote every day. You have over a month of hitting that little vote button. Make it as much a part of your life as brushing your teeth. In fact, when you brush your teeth, let that be your reminder to go vote for Bunny. Give the site to your friends. Tell everyone to help this girl and her dream, her great big dream.

Look at this girl. Doesn't she scream secretary to all those incorrigible ad men who are such chauvinist pigs, I just want to reach through the television and slap the smack out of them? Except for Don Draper, of course. Or doesn't she look like she'd be perfect as Betty's best friend, that smart girl who consistently talks Betty down from her crazy place, all the while, winking and giving Betty's hot husband Don Draper knowing looks? And wouldn't she be perfect as Don Draper's newest make out partner with a very capable stand in?

Please vote. Every day. Tell your friends and family and neighbors and co-workers and mailman and anyone who has a computer. Vote for Bunny. Keep her dream alive.

Bunny, whatever comes, know that you are an indomitable spirit. Wherever your path leads you, I know you will light up the skies with your passion. The world is yours, Girl. Go conquer it.

Today's Definite Download: "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserable. That Susan Boyle almost ruined this song for me. I swear, I just don't get the fanatical obsession over that woman, but I don't pretend to understand Lady Gaga either.

But then Glee did their own rendition and I fell back in love with this gorgeous song. With the incomparable Idina Menzel singing with Lea Michele, this song is rightfully back in the category of one of the great songs of all time. These two ladies do such a spectacular job, I've included a link, here, so you can hear for yourself how this song deserves to be sung.

No lyrics today, just enjoy the song. For Bunny, Dream your Dream whatever it may be.


Lisa said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl...I am going to vote for Bunny right now.

Bunny - Good luck!!

Renee said...

Voted!! I wish her all the luck in the world! I'm going to pass this on to my bloggy friends too.

Unknown said...

I voted. Bunny is lucky to have someone like you in her corner! I wish her luck!

LisaPie said...

I love how fiercely you love and look after those around you. Of course I voted for your Bunny!

The Furry Godmother said...

I am doing exactly what I wanted to do despite the fact that my parents thought I was a loser for not getting a "real" job. Thank whomever for teachers that took up the slack.

Voted for the beautiful Bunny. Cheers!

twelvedaysold said...

Thanks, Joann. I really needed this post.

I'm voting!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

She certainly looks like she could fit right into that show. She got my vote. Best of luck to her.

I listened to the song. I know nothing of the show Glee but the song gave me goosebumps. I have no idea why they looked to be in so much pain though, and looked amazingly alike.

Rita Templeton said...

Just voted for Bunny! Good luck!

And thanks for the "follow your dreams" reminder ... I especially need that lately. :)

Baby Sister said...

I voted...and I will vote again tonight when I get home. I hope she gets it. Good song choice. Love it!!

Mrs. Ohtobe said...

Awww - I voted!!

Noelle said...

Geez Joann...

Les Mis is the music I listen to every time I clean my house. I think I've seen it on Broadway 5 times...I love it that much. This song is beautiful and I'm at work with tears in my eyes

I'll vote and vote and vote...and then I may just consider going back to school to fulfill my dream...that's how good your post was.

Love you lady!

McKenzie said...

I definitely voted! I wish her all the luck in the world. I will vote as much as I can.

Dee said...

Wow. She is gorgeous! And we all need a shot at our dreams...

Bunny Fitzgerald said...

Thank you so much for voting me guys you don't know how much this means and Eva I agree! I consider myself insanely blessed and incredibly lucky to have such an amazing woman in my life. She's the best :)

Unknown said...

I'll vote.
and when I was 10 ~ I wanted to be a writer,
went to school for economics and other things I've forgotten.
here's to dreams, yours , hers, mine, ours.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to vote.

But I'm also going to say: you can be a teacher any ol' day. You can chase your dream. If you want to, now is the time.

You only get one life... live it.

You're beautiful and talented... now you need to be motivated.

I'm going to vote every day.

I hope you make it. But if you don't, please don't let that be a sign. It's not a sign, it's just a hurdle. And you know what you're supposed to do with hurdles right? Just knock them over, jump over them, push them out of your way, whatever it takes.

Ami said...

The website didn't say, can I vote daily?
I will go back tomorrow and check.

Good luck to her... I'd love to see her dream come true and feel like maybe I had a small part in it!!

Michelle @Flying Giggles said...

What a beautiful story. I say she follows that spark. Living life adventurously is so much more exciting and in the end, she will have a great story to tell. I am going over to vote now!

Dazee Dreamer said...

I voted!!! I hope she gets to do it.

cheri said...

bunny is so lucky to have you as her champion! off to vote for her...

Alyson -- Common Sense, Dancing said...

I voted!

Great post.

Math and I are not friends either. i tried to be, but was shut out so many times I gave up. English and I, though, we're really tight.

Go Bunny Go.

Shell said...

I hope she gets her dream. Off to vote!

Cheryl said...

Of course I will vote for Bunny! (omg, don't read my blog today. it's about a different kind of bunny).

BTW, when i was 10 I wanted to be an astronomer. Then I found out you had to be good at math.

Liz said...

i hope she gets it! and i LOVE Mad Men! have been a fan since the beginning!

i voted and bookmarked the site to keep voting.

MrsBlogAlot said...

Voted! Can you hear me cheering for her over here?

Go Bunny!!!!!

Cheeseboy said...

Looking like Rachel McAdams is a great thing. Being able to act like her is even better.

Great story and well told. I hereby promise to vote. Often.

injaynesworld said...

What a lovely piece about your friend. I had the Hollywood dream, too. I thought I wanted to be an actress. Turned out I was a writer, but I never would have known that if I hadn't followed my heart.

I wish Bunny all the very best and now I'm going to go vote!

Tracie said...

Go Bunny! Be brave and follow that dream! So many of us old fat broads are sitting around wishing we had done the same.

Bossy Betty said...

On my way to vote. Those dreams that flicker within us should never be extinguished. No . No.. No...

randine said...

I just went and voted for Bunny. I will vote for her each and every day. Anyone who cleans someone elses fridge is deserving of this and more, in my books.
Lovely story.

Cupcake Murphy said...

Ok several things. #1: Bunny IS total total total 100% Mad Men material but she is Bunny Material. She's gonna fulfill her dream. You can just tell by how she rests her foot up on that table and how her expression completely draws you in--there are not many faces like that and #2 you will win your dream because you dissed That Boyle Woman. I hate her so much and I love that you hate her. Yay for Bunny! Yay for you! Ok I'm gonna go vote now.

Unknown said...

That was so nice of you to write about Bunny! I'm still daydreaming of someone cleaning out my refrigerator. Can't you just keep her all to yourself? No, no. That would be a travesty! She will go far! On another note, I left an award for you over at my site, if you are into that sort of thing. :) I also left you a dessert...

Crazy Brunette said...

Minxy! OMG she is GORGEOUS... I will vote EVERYDAY. God, I hope she does this.

You are such a wonderful, amazing bitch Minx... I don't know if anybody's said that to you lately.

YOU have passion for PEOPLE like I've never seen.

Damn, I HATE the 'if only's' I can't turn back... GOD, I HOPE she can!!!! I love you hooker!

Baby Sister said...

Voted again. And I listened to that version of I Dreamed a Dream...wow, it gave me goosebumps it was so beautiful!! Thanks for sharing.

Rae said...

You are the kindest, most unselfish woman I know. How wonderful that you've chosen to help Bunny with her dream! I will certainly vote.
Now- what can all us blogging friends do to help you with your writing dreams?

Anonymous said...

Of course I will vote! The chance to be near Don Draper and wear those fab clothes is one every gal needs.

I love Don even if he is a cad.

Gigi said...

I am so going to go vote for Bunny.

I was a high school theater chick. I got a theater scholarship to college.

I decided to be practical and changed my major 2 years in to pre-law. And I became a lawyer.

And it was horrible. But, it led me to some very positive changes in my life as well.

Theater was one of the few things I still wonder "what if" about.

You are so right, though, if we are aware and open-minded, the path we are meant to take becomes so keenly obvious. I'm glad she saw the opportunity. Good luck Bunny!

jayayceeblog said...

Don't you just love the nickname Bunny? She's adorable and I voted. I have yet to see the show Mad Men -- it's on my list.

granny1947 said...

What a beautiful girl...what a lovely person you are to care so much...you can tell her she got a vote from Africa!

Alexandra said...

Going to vote now and what an awesome friend you are in her life.


Was hoping to find a heartbreaking post on dropping your baby off...not that I want your heart to break, but I was ready for some off the chart reading...

Not that this isn't, just , you know....wondering how you are.

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

I SOOO voted for Bunny! She's got that special something, for sure.

You really are a fairy godmother.

Ms. G said...

'If Only' sucks. Good for Bunny for jumping in! I'm jumping over to vote.

Anonymous said...

I'm in and I've added to favorites to make it easy to go back tomorrow. Good luck, Bunny. Have you guys ever listened to Dar Williams and "The Babysitter's Here"? So sweet.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I have some catchin' up to do Joann! I'll be back

Melissa B. said...

Good luck to Bunny...I voted!

Lindsay said...

Seriously. Why do all those other people have so many votes? They must know people. Because some of them are downright scary.

But I voted for Bunny. And HER picture is awesome.

Cari said...

What a beautiful post. I so voted for her!

Ash said...

Off to vote.

You make a lot of people believe in their dreams.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tweet Me Subscribe Follow on Facebook 

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe Now

Grab My Button!

Laundry  Hurts My Feelings

Following Me Into The Madness


Blogs I Love

All content (C) 2010 Laundry Hurts My Feelings