I’m Pivoting
June 19th, 2021

“A pivot is a change in strategy without a change in vision.” -Eric Ries

I’ve spent more than a decade working in nonprofit professional theatre as an actor, deck manager, and stage carpenter in what I took to be a service to the community. Now, instead of blindly offering what I take to be a service, I’m returning to school to gain a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of different communities and to learn how to engage with others on their terms and at their discretion.

Recently, I learned that service requires consent. It requires conversation. It requires learning about the people I claim to be serving: how they live in relation to me, to others, and to the institutions we depend on. It requires asking (1) do you need help, (2) can I help you, and (3) how I can help you? I’ve realized that if I claim to be engaged in service to a community but have only had that conversation with myself or my colleagues (or not at all), then there’s a good chance I’m giving in places and ways that are not lining up with the actual needs or desires of the people I claim to be helping.

To that end, on May 27th, 2021, I commenced work on a bachelor’s degree in analytic philosophy with a heavy focus on public policy and social inequity.

Early in my theatre career, I learned that the purpose of theatre is to serve others. That is why I confidently refer to this career change as merely a “pivot.” Having already dedicated more than a decade to serving others in a nonprofit industry, I see my return to school and this shift to new modes of service as doubling down on—and expanding my understanding of—existing commitments.

I am grateful to have accumulated what feels like a lifetime of experience in the last ten-plus years, and I look forward to fostering lifetimes of experience ahead.