The Perils and Pleasures of Two Careers

Most people I have encountered in my life, especially New Yorkers, are juggling more than one career. It seems initially to be quite exciting, however, there are no limitations when it comes to having self-doubt, others doubting you, and the yearning for some level of relief and success in what one truly desires with their life.

I have been juggling at least two careers for quite some time. I am a makeup artist by trade and a singer / songwriter, by every craving I can imagine to express myself, and performing in the evening. It seems simple enough. I wish it were. I also chose to take on acting, writing poetry and in the current moment, I just wrote my first short film. So to frame it easily in my accountant’s mind I am a makeup artist / entertainer. Duo career.

To backtrack for a minute, I must confess that I have been writing poetry for over 30 years. Always hiding it from myself and everyone else. I felt like Vivian Maier. Didn’t want anyone ever to see what I was doing, all the while not being able to stop myself.

A few years ago, I took all of the small notebooks, scraps of paper napkins and the like that I had stuffed all over my apartment in different drawers, yes – especially the lingerie drawer, and decided to put them together in some order. I am still working on that.

I wrote it all down and have 200 some pages that I put into book form. Some are poems that became lyrics. So, I have before and after pieces. It reminds me of being a makeup artist and how something can be transformed with just a few strokes of an idea.

I have several hundred more to organize. I got used to carrying a notebook with me to write when I am moved to do so. Could be anywhere … usually when I have to wait for someone, or when on the subway. I cannot stop myself. It is streamlined consciousness that I have no control over. I will reveal it all,l I told myself. Well, that did not happen. I share in small increments with close friends only. I will share it. Soon.

The perils of being judged are overwhelming at times. I keep telling myself to not hide anymore … that does not always work so well. Hiding is my favorite pastime.

There are challenges that are immediately set up for anyone who wants to balance a duo career. Time is the big one. Managing your time to accomplish what you are working on can not only make you tired, but it also can leave you feeling frustrated that you are not doing enough.

It takes time to bring in the money that gives you the dough you need to survive, and the drive never leaves to express what is burning in your soul. How do you change that? Well, you don’t. I don’t. I keep moving forward. It’s the only way.

How many people have you talked to that drive a cab only to discover that they are studying to become a teacher or a nurse, or any number of other professions. They may need to drive a cab to get through the hurdle before graduating or moving on to their next profession. Daunting and diligence come to mind.

There are hair stylists who are great artists on canvas as well as with a head of hair. I have met several with this incredible gift. I have also met hair stylists who are great photographers, actors, and singers. All still needing the day job. What do they do? They keep going, never stopping to express themselves. Their gifts need to be shared.

There is stay-at-home Moms who write books, blogs, and cater. Attorneys who audition for roles on Broadway, stylists who are recording engineers, actors who are Reiki practitioners and countless other duo careers for people with a need to fill up their soul.

That leads to the pleasures of a duo career. No one can ever take your talent away from you. It is unique unto you, just like your smile. The pleasure is in the doing, not just the dreaming.

Pleasure and pain can often go together. In birthing a new project, or career, the joy of the unexpected takes over with gusto. The pain of obstacles that come in the way, usually in the shape of another person, cannot in any way prevent the joy of completing the work you set out to do.

The pleasure outweighs the negatives. To be living in the truth of what I have to do to express myself is by far more rewarding than what any naysayer can bring to the table for me to chew. I spit it out and give them a Cheshire grin.

Continue to give yourself the pleasure of your self-expression and never let anyone get in the way of your golden gifts that can help someone’s life. If one person is moved by the work that you have done, it is by all means a success!!!!


  1. What a very true and real article about so many people living in this wonderful city. Some times you need two job jobs to make it work but so many are working as a bartender, let’s say, and then on their nights off they are acting in a theater production, I know so many people making it work somehow like this. It is so very hard on all levels to keep this up and it takes self determination, will power, internal fortitude and bravery to keep going back out there and putting yourself on the line to get your art, whatever it is, out of yourself and to the people who are waiting to experience what you have to offer. We all know without artistic self expression this would be a very sad place. My hat goes off to the thousands of people like the writer who continue to step outside themselves and show us who they truly are and make so many sacrifices to do it. Bravo!!

  2. What an honest thought provoking article pertaining to so many unrecognized but driven people holding onto their incredible talents that are only burning in their souls to be released into our worlds. The honesty of internal struggles unfortunately are a part of this. The joy that comes from the release of an artists gifts, that can only come from them, end up being a gift to all of us making our worlds a little bit better for it. Thank you for such a great article – glad that I took the time to read this.

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