21st April 2021

Letting Go Of A Dream with Tim Brown

Finding a career that inspires, creates joy and motivates you is an important goal shared by many. I thought I had found what would generate eternal contentment, a career that I had trained for, that was my passion, that I lived and breathed. I always admire those who chase their dreams, those who risk it all and go against the norms of society in pursuit of happiness.

I pursued a career in the performing arts because dance was my passion.

It was the only way I knew how to express myself whilst experiencing pure joy. The possibility that I would ever become successful would only ever be a bonus. The thought of ever doing anything else felt strange and untrue to who I thought I was. Standing at the turning point of coming to the end of one dream and starting another seemed daunting and at times forbidding.

I had always identified myself as a dancer and associated myself with the lifestyle that comes with that. A lifestyle of travel, passion and one of the inconsistent highs of performing on stage to the lows of endless rejection. My sense of self had always been determined by what I did and whom I had worked for. Between jobs, I would frequently ask myself if it was all worth it. Unexpectedly I would somehow be pulled from the anguish of scrambling for rent money with the opportunity to join a production with a contract waiting to be signed.

I was offered to join the cast of The House of Dancing Water by Franco Dragone as an Acrobat/Dancer. To join a cast and crew who devoted themselves to putting together a production daily like no other was an enormous privilege. Performing on stage to thousands of spectators on a regular basis was a dream come true, however, as time went by I noticed a change within myself. At first it seemed unclear, nevertheless, I could see that I began to no longer experience the satisfaction of performing on stage. I gradually could sense that the dream that had once filled me up with purpose had come to an end and the longing to experience a life away from the stage started to become a reality.

Transitioning careers is never an easy decision, especially when you identify who you are with your profession. I had to rediscover who I was away from dance and I gently uncovered that I was drawn to a life helping others.

As I embarked on my journey into a vocation of nursing I had to take a step back and distance myself from dance. They say that with any loss comes a sense of grief and that has been true for me. To let go of an industry that I thought would always be a part of my life has been challenging. I have faced numerous junctions where the thought of moving on from chasing my once loved dream felt like giving up. The longer I held onto this belief the more guilt I experienced within myself and there has been immense freedom in being able to let go of this way of thinking.

As time has passed I can now appreciate the stage as an audience member without wondering “what if I had stayed”. Life has presented me with new opportunities to grow and I am once again filled with a purpose in a career which is extremely rewarding. Every experience is valuable and I have come to realise the dancer who I once identified with will always remain a part of who I am.

Editors Note: Tim left performing and returned to Australia to complete a Diploma of Nursing on a full scholarship with NSW Health. Currently, Tim works as an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse at Concord Repatriation General Hospital. Tim is undertaking a 2-year conversion course at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to become a Registered Nurse.

Written by: Tim Brown
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Anna Robb is Co-Founder and Managing Director for TheatreArtLife. Anna is an experienced Producer/Production Stage Manager. Her 20-year work history spans Asia Pacific, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. She has worked for companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Franco Dragone Entertainment Group, Christie Digital Systems and The Sydney Opera House. Anna was an integral part of the research and development, training and formation, creation and operation of the 250 million dollar aquatic show, The House of Dancing Water in Macau. She also maintained the daily operations of this complex show as the head of Stage Management for 7 years. Anna has been employed on over 70 shows in the areas of concerts, arena events, corporate events, trade shows, musical theatre, plays, dance, circus, outdoor festivals and mega shows. Anna holds a honours degree in Design for Theatre and Television and is passionate about the evolution of the industry.

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