When Dickens was very young he began hanging out a great deal in the theaters of London, and he loved everything about that world. In considering a career, he made a firm decision that he would be an actor. He was VERY good at it! I’ve read many quotes from people who knew him in those early years who said that he could mimic anyone, and he was quite naturally a very dramatic person. He studied and practiced very hard while attending to his day job as a court reporter for a London newspaper.
Young Charles was thrilled when he got
an audition with THE man in London who had the most influence in theater. He
felt certain this was the beginning of a great career. But Dickens never went to
that audition. He got a horrible cold and was so sick and stuffed up and puffy
eyed that he was unable to meet the appointment. Years later he told his best
friend, John Forster, that the outcome of that day had greatly influenced the
course of his life and career.
In spite of his huge success as a writer,
Dickens remained very actively involved in theater. He wrote some theatrical
productions, acted in some of them, directed them, and sometimes even made the
sets. He was incredibly resourceful and ambitious and had a lot of energy!
There’s a story that during one of those theatrical adventures, one of the stage
hands made a comment to him that went something like, “We in the theater
business was sure sorry when you took up writin’.”
I laughed out loud the
first time I heard this. Oh, the irony. He was world famous as a writer at the
time. Imagine the world without the writings of ! I wonder how many times in our own
lives it feels like something goes wrong and ruins our plans, when in fact, it’s
the very thing that will get us on the right course to fulfill our own