“Beware the hobby that eats.”-Benjamin Franklin 

For many modern circus performers the ‘career’ starts out as a hobby; An interesting and enjoyable way to spend a few hours a week. Over time the passion and obsession creeps in and before you know it you’re filling in your first self-employed tax return and cursing the day you passed on a ‘proper job’.

I’ve never really thought about the transition from hobbyist to professional. I’m sure for some there comes a time when they say “right I’m going to make my living from this”, and go on to do so. But for must of us it’s a gradual incline (or decline depending on how things are going!) which we hardly notice.

Occasionally important choices will come our way and remind us that this is more than ‘just a hobby’. Whether it’s applying for circus school, dealing with a serious injury or taking a 12 month contract away from home these difficult choices are not often faced by a hobbyist.

I believe a hobby can (and should) be almost always ‘fun’ but a career is (and should be) challenging.

Does trying to pries a living from an ex-hobby take the enjoyment out of the work? Possibly. From my own standpoint I still love playing with objects, getting on stage, sharing the few good ideas I have with the world and getting a reaction and connection with an audience. I hope that if there comes a time when I don’t enjoy performing then I will change what/how I do it or move onto a new profession.

I still have to pinch myself from time to time, remind myself that I survive and even thrive (at times!) thanks to my hobby, my chosen profession.

Are there times you regret being a professional, do you aspire to be one or think your passion is best kept as a hobby? Love to hear from you on this one…

2 thoughts on “Hobby”

  1. I’m planning to take the plunge next march and go full time, turning my back on my degree subject and teaching job is quite nerve racking. If I manage to pay the bills as a performer I will feel like I’ve won the Lottery.

    Keep up the good work, this website is great.

    Marky Jay

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