Chasing a Dream: YES YOU CAN!

One of the things that I never realized until I was doing an exercise to develop a solo show is that NO ONE in my entire life ever told me “YES you CAN have your dreams.”  Realizing that was a revelation to me.  It’s not that I was told I couldn’t have my dreams—I guess it’s just that dreaming of being an actor was simply acknowledged as “just a dream.”  And then life went on: working, getting married, having a family, working…


She wanted to play football or be a soldier, and I would support her in her pursuits!

She wanted to play football or be a soldier, and I would support her in her pursuits!

I remember being a young mother with a child whose spine would never be normal—and she wanted to play football for the NFL and join the Army.  Of all the things she could dream of doing, the two least likely for her to physically be able to do were those things of which she dreamed.  I remember giving serious thought as to how I should respond to those dreams.  On the one hand, I didn’t want to tell her yes, she could play NFL football and be a soldier, because those things were not likely with her spine problems (not to mention the fact she was a girl and they don’t play NFL football!).  On the other hand, I didn’t want to destroy her dreams.  So I ended up telling her the absolute truth:  football and soldiering weren’t real likely with her spine problems, but if they were things she REALLY REALLY wanted, I would support her in her pursuit.  I then went on to tell her that she could be ANYTHING she wanted, she could absolutely live her dreams.

A Night Dream

Last week I awakened from a dream so exciting that I was practically breathless.  In that dream, I was accepting an Oscar award.  The best part of that dream was the first two sentences of my acceptance speech.  I held the little golden Oscar in the air and said, “This is for anyone with a dream: YES YOU CAN.  For every child who has a dream and is living in a rural community, for every child who has a dream and is living in the most remote town or village, let me be the one to tell you: YES YOU CAN.”

When I awakened, I talked with Robert about the dream, how exciting and real it felt, how happy and satisfying it was to deliver that speech.  It was “just a dream,” but it was also an unexpected treat, and it made me proud to be a dream chaser.

So for those of you who have dreams:  YES YOU CAN.  And for those of you who have no idea what your dreams might be:  it is exciting and wonderful to have the drive.  Find it for yourself, because it is such fun to dream!

DREAM BIG!  Don’t limit yourself with small dreams.

Thanks for being here!


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