Engineer vs. Actor

The typical response from people when I tell them my story about being an engineer and an actor is "Oh, you got an engineering degree. You must be smart"... my typical response is an awkward pause and a simple "Thank you."

Photo by Jordana Dale

Photo by Jordana Dale

Now, why is there an awkward pause? That's because these people automatically think I am smart when I spent four years surrounded people who got it, who made me feel like I had no idea what is going on. This feeling of "I have no idea what I am doing at an engineering school" got so bad one year I almost dropped out of my engineering program and switched to business. But, luckily, I have amazing mentors who told me to stick it out and just push through and get the degree. It was a dream of mine to get a degree in electrical engineering; and I did it!

Here is another reason why there is an awkward pause, just because you have a degree in a STEM related field does not make you smarter than someone who has a degree in the performing arts. I know plenty of engineers who get up and cannot give a speech; I would rather stare at rocks all day because they cannot give a damn talk to save their life. If you put an engineer on stage, most of them would have no clue as to how to act, dance, or sing... much less do all three at once! And you probably would not want to see them do any of that in the first place. Performers memorize an entire show in just two weeks. Performers dedicate countless hours to rehearsals, studying, training, performing, and auditioning. 

Everything takes practice and some people have a knack for one thing or another. Some people find they have a knack for performing and numbers. And some people do not have a knack for anything, but that is a different topic. Instead of focusing on just STEM, remember to put the Arts into it and make it STEAM.

So, before you decide to say actors are not as smart as engineers. Remember what this engineer is saying; performing is hard. Math is hard. In this world we need both.