Is it just me or does anyone else hate the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” people still ask me that. I think it’s because I have a baby face. Whenever I was asked that question I felt like I was obligated to a stupendous answer. My answer should be tailored to suit some moral cause like. When I grow up I want to be a doctor. What if you answered that question honestly as a kid? When I grow up I want to be a bum! When I grow up I want to pump gas for a living, have two ex-wives, and consider a 1974 airstream travel trailer a retirement investment. Really, if we all became doctors, like we said we were, free healthcare wouldn’t be a debate.
I have been wondering lately if dreams really come true. Is there a dream too big? What constitutes a quality dream? Why are we so quick to look at people funny with lofty dreams? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but I think they’re good questions.
When I was little… (Let me say younger here because I was never little) I wanted to be a movie star. (Stop laughing! It’s not that funny!) I did want to be a movie star. I wanted the red carpet and the academy award. Really, it wasn’t about the acting just the recognition.
Then, I came to my senses, and I wanted to be a country singer. That’s a dream that’s always stuck with me. I would love to be a country singer. I would be an old school country singer. I would have clothes that looked like they should be battery operated. I would sing true to life honky tonk songs about lost loves and dead dogs. I think that would be awesome! Somewhere in there that doesn’t seem so realistic. Maybe because I really can’t sing, I have guitar and a mandolin, and a stack of books, two DVDs on how to play them and it still takes me 20 minutes to find “G.”
My grandmother always wanted me to be a preacher, teacher, or missionary. She would quiz me by asking that ill fated question often, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I think I want to joine the circus! She would say, “No you don’t! Only homeless people join the circus!” When I mentioned country singer she would pucker and whisper, “No you don’t! That would mean you have a drinking problem. Pick again.” I would think. You know, being a psychologist would be neat. Her reply, “Lord God, you know psychologist don’t love Jesus.” What was I to dream?
The more I think about dreams I think about the American spirit. Tocqueville said that the American lives in the land of wonders. It was filled with wonders because people dared to dream. The reality of tomorrow is based on someone’s dream today. The one thing about dreams, however, is nowhere does it say pursuing them will be easy. Dare to dream because people don’t always know what they’re talking about!
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Charlie McCoin is an actor, comedian and writer from Nashville, Tennessee. He brings his unique style of comedy to the stage using clever wit and southern charm. He's performed all over the country from Nashville to Chicago to Los Angeles and a few living rooms in between. He's also an accomplished actor, which means he's auditioned a lot.