I’ll try not to bore anyone with too much narcissistic background, but it’s relevant to note that in order to join TechTV in the first place, I had to make a huge personal and professional sacrifice. I’d founded a theatre company in 1998, and by the turn of the century we’d put on a few shows and were doing relatively well. Not thriving, exactly, but surviving.
I was living off barely $400 dollars per month, eating pasta for almost every meal and my roommates were threatening to kick me out of the house we shared because I’d spent my rent money renting a stage. Still, it was my company, producing my plays and the people I was working with believed in me and shared my vision. So long as there was no choice but to keep on truckin’ no matter how dire the situation became, there was no question I’d continue to lead these people on, even at risk of ultimately letting them down.
Then I was offered a job at TechTV. A job with a considerable salary. The only catch was I would have to abandon the theatre company. I felt like I owed it to my troupe members to keep pushing on, but I also felt like I owed it to them to not let them down, which I was sure I would eventually do, being relatively young and absolutely horrible with finances. I was also just plain tired of never having money and wondering not only from where my next meal would come, but if it would come at all.
I took the job, obviously, and many people have told me since that it was not only the right choice, but that there was really no choice at all. As in Ghost Busters, when someone asks if you’re a god, you say yes. And when someone offers you a job in television, you take it. Period. End of story. Except it’s not that easy. For many people a job like the one I took at TechTV would be the realization of a dream, and in a way it was. But I’d already realized mine and was living it every single day.
I still wonder if I made the right choice, even now, with eight years of experiences in my head, all of which would be altered or erased had I stayed where I was and struggled to keep the company afloat. I feel as if I was the dog with a bone, seeing his reflection and thinking it was another dog with another bone. When he barks at the water dog to scare him away and steal his bone, he drops his own in the water and loses them both.
I can’t say for certain that I’d be better off in any substantial way had I refused the job at TechTV. I know for sure I would have circumvented a great deal of the pain that followed, but who’s to say I wouldn’t have endured a different set? Who’s to say what I missed out on wouldn’t have been worse? Ultimately we must all live with the choices we make and attempt to make the best of the lives we live as a result, and that’s what I’ve spent the past several years trying to do. I think, in the past few years, I’ve made some progress in that. But I’ve still never known such joy as I experienced every day as the head of my company. Perhaps some day I’ll have something like that again.