At what point is one supposed to give up on a dream? When is it right to let it go?
I write this with a deep sigh as I am about to consider letting one of mine disappear into the ether...
I think it all started when I was three years old. My nursery school were putting on a play, Peter Rabbit, at the renowned David Lewis Theatre in Liverpool, a grand old building in the Victorian style, red brick as I recall and rather impressive to my young eyes. How exciting then that I was cast in the role of fifth mouse, stage right. Not only that but I was deemed talented enough to be given a xylophone on which to tap out a well rehearsed, albeit relatively simple, tune.
I recall the sense of occasion as I arrived at the theatre on the day of the big performance having spent many hours at school in the preceding weeks rehearsing my very crucial role. My Mum took me to the stage door after having arrived in the modest family car which had been transformed in my mind into a swish limousine worthy of a famous star of the theatre. My imagination running wild, I remember thinking that I liked this life, the attention, the sense of occasion. I arrived at make-up to have my whiskers painted on while I dressed for my important theatre debut, my costume consisting primarily of a brown balaclava - with ears .
We all took our positions behind the enormous thick red velvet curtains and I could hear the audience settling into their seats, rustling programmes and chattering in low voices. Then it all went quiet. Suddenly and dramatically the curtains parted and there we were in the spotlight, the actors facing the rapt audience! Oh my! What a thrill as I tapped out my tune on the xylophone, oblivious to the play going on behind me. No, this was all about me! Look at them looking at me! The reviews would be wonderful: 'A Star Is Born!', 'Mouse Steals The Show!'
The dream was alive. I was destined to be a famous performer.
Alas, without an agent at the age of three, the offers didn't roll in.
The David Lewis Theatre was demolished shortly after my theatre début (by pure co-incidence I should add..). But my dream stayed with me, although in varying guises through the years.
At the age of twelve, as my Barmitzvah approached, I imagined singing not my prescribed passage of the Torah to a packed Synagogue, but the latest hit by Abba! That would be much more of a crowd pleaser surely? In my head I was cheered as I sang 'Mamma Mia' to all my relatives and friends and by chance in the congregation would be a record producer who would inform my parents of my great talent and would sign me up for a multi record deal....
I really believed I could sing, maybe even dance, and that I would make it big somehow somewhere.
As the years went by without any sign of my imminent success, the dream never faltered, it just changed a little to fit my life as it was at the time. In the 80's when some friends of friends had formed bands, I thought that might be where my destiny lay but in spite of my private bedroom concerts in front of the mirror, it never happened.
Then I decided I would attend an open audition in the West End. At some point. Life got in the way of that one, I was between school and jobs – and I had a pet rabbit to look after.
Oddly, very oddly in fact, a real opportunity did come my way at that time when I was approached to be an extra in a Hollywood film with Barbra Streisand (yes, really) and inexplicably I turned it down. I still slap myself hard over that one, that surely was my big break – and I declined, I still don't know why even after all these years. Stupidity I think, or perhaps the slight possibility that it might not have led to stardom and that my dream would be crushed forever.
Hmm. Yes, probably that because now at fifty one years old I still have the dream. It is still alive against all the odds. In my mind, my voice (such as it has ever been) may no longer have the range required to sing all the songs my fans will want to hear but I can still fill the big venues: 'Jason Endfield at Carnegie Hall' might be my next album. It will of course also be released on DVD and available to stream online. My autobiography has never been out of print and I am in constant demand for the biggest chat shows.
Dreams might very well be what keep us alive and kicking. If that's the case then I won't let mine fade.
Then one day when I wake up from this life... I might actually find myself living the dream.
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