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What's in a Name?

Many people have asked me why I named my blog Dreaming Out Loud. Okay, no one has asked me that actually, but irregardless, I have begun to ask myself. Did I think it catchy? Did I feel it represented me? In 1991, a fortune teller told me I was a "dreamer" and that I should have settled down to something more stable such as writing and not acting. Did I decide, at long last, to own that statement and heed her advice at the same time?

Artistic people are often told that art is successful when the specific reaches the universal. When the actor sniffles on stage or on camera during a dramatic scene, someone in the audience relates and breaks down sobbing. Performers picture creating such moments. Novelists fantasize about writing a book whose story connects with millions of people around the world. I dream of producing such works. These reasons, by themselves, are not the ones that named this blog.

Although many of my and succeeding generations may attribute this statement to President John F. Kennedy, It was, George Bernard Shaw, who originally said, "You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?' " We all dream. We all sleep at night or nap during the day and previously unscreened movies play in our heads. When they involve things we wish would happen, we call them dreams. When they include things we fear happening we call them nightmares. I named this blog in the spirit of Shaw's words; when we, fully conscious, imagine a future and say "why not?" or the past and muse "what if?" What if a friend of mine hadn't thought me lonely and given me a four week old kitten shortly after I moved to Connecticut? What if someday I am cast in an Ideal film part or write a perfect screenplay and win an Oscar? What if Trayvon Martin had not worn a hoodie? What if people stop listening to Rush Limbaugh and hate jockeys in general? What if I get vertigo while I'm performing? What if everyone realizes they daydream out loud like everyone else?

What if my daughter marries a man who is studying to be a doctor? How much additional income can I earn if I take that online course in computer programming? Can I be the next person to win the Mega Millions? Can I write the next series to be as successful as Harry Potter or Twilight? If I take that Zumba class can I lose 20 pounds by Christmas? Can't my son or my daughter be the next president of the United States? What if I hadn't told myself I was too old to daydream after I had my second child? What? Why? How? When? Where? I named this blog to recognize all of us who continue to dream and imagine for ourselves and others every day.

Even if you are conversing silently to yourself, you are dreaming out loud. Unlike the fortune teller of 1991, who about me may very well have been right, I don't think that's a bad thing.

Chris Haley - 5/27/2012 2:37 PM

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