The Question isn’t Why, it’s Why Not.

I woke up this morning with the sudden urge to do something I’ve thought about for a long time — take an acting class.

Of course, when I floated the idea, it got shut down.

Why would you do that? You want to be an actor? Why not do something that is more in line with what you already do?

To which I merely replied —why not? I mean, what other reason does one need to do something other than the fact that they are actually able to.

But then I started getting into justifying it, explaining myself. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Thinking prevents you from making poor decisions.

Still, the more I talked about it, the more sense it actually made.

Even if I were to never become a professional actor, would knowing what actors go through, what they learn, how they prepare, the things they do for their roles — would that knowledge somehow be worthless to me?

Not at all.

Maybe I wouldn’t be an actor, but I might understand them better. Maybe that would help me in my day-to-day work, or maybe that would just allow me to enjoy movies and plays and commercials more.

A breadth of experiences, that is something that expands our worldview, allows us to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. It allows to understand others. To see outside of ourselves.

And it’s bigger than what I’m talking about here. If you’ve been poor, but you’re somehow not poor anymore, you understand poverty. You’re intimate with it, familiar. But now, you also may understand being rich, too. Thus, you have a far more comprehensive view. I don’t know what the value of that experience is in dollars and cents, but I would argue it probably makes you into a more complete, well-rounded person.

So, the next time you think about doing something, and you’re on the fence like — ehh, maybe this isn’t right for me — if you can do it, just go ahead. You’ll probably get more out of it than you realize. Because in life, there are no wastes of time. There is just time, and all of it adds up to something. It’s what makes you… you!

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Wrote for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Vice, Fader, Vibe, XXL, MTV News, many other places.

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