Thank you for visiting my thread. I want to share my career plan with you today in hopes of receiving constructive feedback that will aid me in making an informed career choice.
My goal is build dual careers in law and acting. When I tell people this, there's often a misconception that acting is my passion while law is merely a safety net. This is not the case. I've wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid, and throughout my educational journey I've demonstrated strengths in related skills (i.e. writing, critical thinking, verbal communication, negotiating, etc.). I've had great experiences in high school and university law classes, and have done exceptionally well in them, I've met and spoken with a few lawyers, and I've read dozens of negative articles regarding law practice. After doing all this, I am still convinced that law is for me. What solidifies this view is the fact that when I think of law, I don't think about the money or the title. I think about the work. Odd as it may be, the socially-isolated 60-hour work-week is kind of appealing to me, so long as I get to apply my "gifts" as I describe them, to challenging and meaningful work. As for my love for acting, it is something I discovered after being invited to give it a try by a local acting coach. I've fallen in love with it and this year alone I've made good industry connections and landed my first television role not too long ago. In short, I don't want to give up any of these pursuits right now. I love art, but I also love academia and the professional-world and I don't want to limit myself ahead of time, so here is my plan and my problem:
The time demands of both law and acting make it virtually impossible to do both full time. A rare exception would be having summers or half the year off as a lawyer and working as an actor during that off time. I wouldn't know how to start making that an actionable goal, so given this, I am willing to settle with having to choose one, but only by gaining time-demanding success in both, not by limiting myself ahead of time.
Here is my plan:
1. Spend 4 years completing my undergrad degree while going through PAIN - an acronym I've come up with to describe the journey of building an acting career (Producing your own work, auditioning for roles, improving your skills, and networking/marketing).
After this period, If I'm not already a full-time working actor at this point, I would move on to the bellow step:
2. I'd hold off my acting pursuits altogether for 3 years to focus on law school, articling, and passing the bar (Assuming that running to auditions, and in some cases having to skip class to do so is impossible at law school.)
Then finally I would:
3. Work as a lawyer while continuing to audition for roles
Phase 3 is what I need help with the most. Based on my research these are the broad fields of law I've discovered.
- Mid-size firm practice
- Small firm practice
- Independent practice
I assume that Biglaw firm life would not afford me the ability to spend time preparing for auditions (This usually takes me a minimum of five hours), or the time to do the actual auditions which can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours if you include the time it takes to commute. Being an independent lawyer or working in-house both seem kind of viable but with the nature of law in general where you have unexpected meetings that you can't escape and clients needing you around the clock, I'm losing my faith in the idea of working as a lawyer while auditioning for roles. This is where I need help. Please let me know what you think of my plan, and any solutions to the problems within it would be greatly appreciated.
Before I end though, I should mention that there are people who have (Sort of) done what I'm trying to do. For example, Flloyd Kane (read his story here), is an in-house entertainment lawyer who also produces and writes films. His situation differs from mine in that all his pursuits are interconnected, but I imagine it would still be hard to represent a media company while producing a film full time. I'm not sure how he does it.
The other person I know is Hill Harper (See his story here). He is an established film & television actor - you may know him from CSI, whose educational background includes a BA in Theatre from Brown, as well as a law degree and a masters in public administration from Harvard. In his case, he gained acting success while pursuing his masters and decided to focus on acting after trying law practice and realizing that he enjoys legal education but not necessarily legal practice.
Anyways I hope all this info has been informative of my situation instead of confusing, as I fear it may be. Thank you for taking the time to read this pre-universtiy crisis of mine (I've done a full year of university and am currently taking a year off to work and create a solid career plan before I return to school and commit to a program in September). Please let me know your thoughts.