Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Acting As If, Cont.

In response to my last posting, a woman named Liz e-mailed me yesterday to share the following story:
When I was a recent grad of Boston University’s art history department in 1982, there were hundreds of lovely young “art historians” roaming the cultured city of Boston looking for the same gallery job that I was. After 9 months of searching ( being charming was so exhausting), I landed a job in a small gallery where the director was inadequate and the owner had just met the love of her life and was about to become an absentee owner. After only one month of being the gallery assistant she asked me to become her gallery director. There were 50 visual artists in her “stable” and she had a plan to transform the focus from visual arts to high-end, artist-made metalsmithing (read: jewelry). I was simultaneously thrilled and panicked by her offer and vision of me as her gallery director.

She taught me EXACTLY what you suggested in your blog today. I consider her my mentor in many ways because she implored me to act “AS IF” I was in charge. She was a phone call away for consult and guidance and assured me that I had the instinct (if not the experience) TO BE her gallery director. While all of my clients and artists (customers and vendors) were older than I was, I quickly assumed the title and persona of the Director.

Of course, acting “AS IF” is easier when there is support around to guide us through unknown waters. But the self navigation can be even more satisfying. I benefited from both.


  1. Thanks for sharing a reader's comments. I have been reminding myself of this lesson for the past few days.

  2. Funny how things like this work. I've loved (and practiced) this phrase for years but after your last blog, I've talked in up a couple of time. Once in the beauty parlor yesterday, and agin just now in an e-mail. Let's get it out into the atmosphere! It's a really valuable concept!

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging at

  3. It is rather like visualizing what you want and not letting go of that vision... but here she had someone who was supporting her to be the best she could be. And how wonderful for her mentor to have that trust in her. That can do wonders for a person.

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