In 1980, a psychiatric nurse at Chicago's Michael Reese Hospital (and mother of two) divorced her husband in the midst of a particularly troubled married life and decided to pursue her lifelong dream of an acting career. She was 40.
She had a poignant catalyst: her mother's deathbed confession that she regretted not pursuing her own dreams. So, this woman, with no previous experience or training in acting, signed up for classes at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.
For ten years, she made a bumpy transition into acting. To support herself and her kids, she painted houses and hung wallpaper. She slowly learned the craft, winning parts in local theatre productions. And in 1990, at age 50, she was hired as a street performer at Disney World.
Last night, I was at a Christmas party, and this nice gentleman struck up a conversation with me. Asked what I do. I told him. He said he works in the Trump administration. He then says: "I vote Republican, but I'm socially liberal." Let's discuss this for a second.
I get that there are folks in D.C. who work in the Trump administration who don't support Trump but want to serve our country capably. I recognize that nuance. I also get there are some conservatives who don't support Trump at all and walk the walk on social equality.
But this gentleman put to me that a) he's a Republican, b) works in the administration, and c) regrettably votes for the GOP, BUT... wants me to know that he's on my side.
That is a summary of the first 90 seconds of our conversation.