As long as I can remember, I've been able to immerse myself into whatever it was I was doing. This skill was helpful during my time on stage or in front a camera as an actor. A director wants to mold an actor into an ideal character so that nothing of him remains, thereby beguiling audiences.
Disappearing into a character is good for actors, but might not work as well at a job interview, in a marriage, or when accosted in a dark alley or elevator. I've only been guilty of acting or blending in to get a job. The masquerade lasted a few months or years if I played the role of employee well.
I used to have a friend who'd ask, "Tiger, where are you working this week?" I was adept at getting jobs back then, perhaps out to prove something to someone, but it escapes me now. We'd joke about it, but my early employment record seems anything but comedic now. Some people call me a hustler because of the same ability to walk into a situation and get what I want. I take it as a compliment, acknowledgment of my determination and chameleon tools.
Over the years I've had an assortment of friends and acquaintances, rich, poor, codependent, and downright dangerous, that I walked alongside, counseled, and had reciprocal lessons. I sampled and absorbed the best of them, for better or worse, a veritable all-you-can eat buffet.
No one's to blame for my true nature. I'm a survivor. My childhood and young adulthood wouldn't have warranted a mental health professional, been fodder for a TV show or movies.
There are days I when I feel abnormal, when I think it'd be easier to have remained in Texas as a tenured Ph.D. in English Literature at any number of universities. Ah, wonder. Life as a married professor living in the suburbs with my 2.5 kids, and dog named Spot or Rover. Nice work if you can get it, but the more I thought about that life and career track, the less appealing it sounded to me.
I'm at my best when challenged and able to express my different selves. Humans are multi-faceted creatures. Why then should we settle for what's predictable and safe?
I've experienced yet another metamorphosis in recent months. I've launched a part-time Publicity/Marketing business, Keneritz Media, LLC, a multidisciplinary agency. I work with a diverse list of clients in music, media, and business. My training in theatre, directing, writing, editing, and experience in corporate America is the foundation for my creating a successful enterprise. I'm closer to an ideal balance of colors and talents as a Publicist. My current clients require specialized combinations of me depending upon their career goals and temperament. I think I might be onto something. Being a chameleon isn't a bad thing at all.