Only You Can Make It Happen
I have always craved performing. When I was a teenager, I was modeling for greeting card and dance calendars while attending a performing arts high school. Coming from parents who owned a business, it was customary to go into a more traditional profession such as a doctor or lawyer. Acting after graduate school was not really an option. I majored in pre-med but continued with my dancing and acting classes. I became a doctor in 2001.
When I was 40, my father became ill. His illness changed my life and persuaded me re-evaluate my future goals. Since 2001, I have worked as a Chiropractor. I began to pursue acting again several years ago. I have been working steadily on commercials, movies, TV, print work and even reality shows. Some have been picked up while others are sitting on a shelf somewhere. You never know where I will pop up.
What made you decide to finally realize your lifelong dream?
When I saw my father dealing with his illness, I thought, ‘How do I want to be remembered?’ Why didn’t I try acting again? I immediately had new head shots taken and became an extra on various TV shows, while looking for representation which I currently have. All the while, maintaining my Chiropractic & fitness businesses. My father’s illness completely changed my perspective on life.
What were the specific obstacles that you faced?
It can be very challenging trying to juggle multiple businesses simultaneously. I own and operate Silverspine Chiropractic and Health and In the Zone Personal Fitness.
In order to pursue my goal of acting, I hired a very supportive staff, and they were able to keep the business running well while I auditioned. As you can imagine, managing all of this is certainly a challenge.
What helped you get through them?
My father’s death seemed imminent as we were told to plan his funeral. He was attached to many lifesaving medical devices, which is very difficult for a child to see. His sister came up from Florida and started singing to him in the ICU. That night for some reason I gained a glimmer of hope that my father will pull through and survive. I am happy to say that the doctors were wrong and my father is still with us today. I find that I no longer sweat the small stuff. In the face of losing a loved one, your priorities and perspectives dramatically change. It was really just then that I knew I had to pursue my true passions in life and that performing was in my blood.
Were there people that tried to discourage you?
Many people don’t understand why I enhanced my career path to include performing. I’m not changing who I am, just following an additional path. I’m pursuing a dream, one that I have had my whole life. I want to experience life more than ever before. Men are always changing careers. Why can’t women? I continue to submit for roles all the time and if I don’t audition for something once per week, I feel like I have missed out on something. I love getting that call. When the script arrives, you know it’s yours. It’s the most amazing feeling.
How did you feel when you finally accomplished your lifelong dream?
When I received my membership letter to join SAG-AFTRA, a professional actors union, I knew that my hard work had been noticed. The endorphins flowed, it just felt like a new dimension of life’s ambition was born. With acting, you are never at the top of your game. There is always room to grow and other classes to take. It’s an amazing thing to dream about something, and then succeed at it. I’m proud that I decided to take the leap. There is a lot of living to do. I could be on this earth another 40 years. I don’t want to look back and say, ‘Why didn’t I do this?’
What advice would you give to others who are contemplating finally living their dream?
Fear does not care how old you are and neither should you. Life can be as exciting as you want it to be, but you have to take the initiative to make it happen. If you attempted something and failed, at least you made the attempt. I give people credit when they have tried and failed. Not everything is going to work out all of the time. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs fail many times before they are successful. It’s a learning process. Someone who gave me a very big break said, ‘Enjoy the ride as much as getting to your destination.’
To learn more about Dr. Marisa R. Silver, click here.