Can You Have a Personal and Work Life?
Many people struggle with creating a healthy balance between professional and personal demands. However, this goal can be especially elusive for performers, whose work often feels like a life “calling” rather than a job, overshadowing other basic needs. Competition to find status &/or employment, performing on the road for months at a time, and finding people who admire YOU versus your stage persona add to the challenge. Still, it is possible to work towards a successful career without missing out on life—if you make both a priority.
The first question that may pop into you head is, why bother? Although you may be madly in love with your work, please do not underestimate the emotional (and often financial) assistance that come from having a fulfilling private life. Apart from parental support for children, it is age-appropriate for child performers to have friends and playtime outside of their work. Adult performers also have emotional needs that cannot be met only from the applause of an appreciative audience. This is where you need to select your companion with care, given that jealousy for your attention may rear its ugly head. Obviously, it is an asset if your significant other respects the demands of your work without feeling rejected. While it may help to be with another performer, be aware that competitive issues often occur if one career takes off while the other languishes. Childcare can add to the stress if you feel pulled in too many directions.
Communication, problem-solving skills, and mutual respect are all essential in a healthy relationship. Ideally, a secure family life will provide a safe haven where you can be true to your professional goals, while loving others and being loved for the person you are without having to perform.