Would You Light My Candle? – Rent and Maturity

When I was in high school, to my classmates and I, Rent was the coolest production to ever grace the stage. It was dominating Broadway, it had been around for almost a decade, so it had its tenure on the stage, and it was being made into a movie. My high school theatre group took a trip to New York and saw Rent on Broadway, and that was it! We wanted to be that boho group of rebels. We sang the songs. We dressed in our boho chic fashion, and we moo’d on the daily (at least I did). When that movie finally came out, we were there at the midnight premier cheering (and crying) with the cast. We were young, free-spirited artists celebrating the ideals of integrity and inspiration. Bohemia was definitely not dead! Even watching Rent today ignites the artistic rebel in me ever so slightly, adding a bit of fuel back into my fire.

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My (now) husband and I at a theatre festival in high school

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I held onto those ideals. Money didn’t matter. We were young and empowered. Stability didn’t matter. There were days I only had 5 cents in my account, and we ate Ramen with pride. Though, I was always responsible, and I continued to work hard at my craft, I recognized that there was, in fact, a business behind it, too.

And, as you grow older, the business side of life balances out more with the artistic side of life in a natural and strangely universal way.

So, after turning 30 (oh lord!) and re-watching it as an adult, I also began to over-analyze Rent (something my teenage self would surely hate me for). A friend of mine once joked that you know you’re becoming old and mature when you start relating to Benny… and they weren’t wrong. This guy is trying to set up a stable business and hook his friends up, but his friends deny his integrity because he ‘sold out’ by moving into the business world. Time and again he tries to help them and make exceptions for them to only be cast aside. Now, he’s kind of a douche, too, so at least you can still root against him as best you can. And, inevitably, it leads to the question of integrity: “When is it too much?”

After all, while integrity in your art is important, who is to say that you are selling out just because you are ALSO making money? If you can find a balance in staying true to yourself while also making money in a way you enjoy- what’s wrong with that? As an adult, the one thing that makes me roll my eyes in Rent is Mark feeling as if he lost his integrity by ‘selling out’ because he starts working for a tabloid-like journalist team. But if he gets to make his own movie (which he clearly still does) AND can also make money shooting these films… why not do both? When we’re young, the idea to stick it to the man and just create your art just makes sense to us. But at some point, as we mature, we begin to understand that maybe, just maybe, having integrity doesn’t have to mean starving. Perhaps, we can keep our integrity, do what we love, and make money, too? Hell, I do it!

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I proudly make my own content while also working as a writer and editor for other companies. I love what I do. I don’t always love the topics I have to write about, but it’s good money to get to do what I love. AND I can still balance my own art in there, too. So, what’s the issue? Who am I really fighting with if I fight against it? When I succumb to it, after all, it’s a win-win. So, why fight the inevitable?

At some point we learn to stop fighting with the business side of the art and embrace it (at least most of us do), and that’s okay! Am I betraying my inner Maureen? A young, rebellious me might say yes. But the older, mature, wiser version for me is screaming for me to have my cake and eat it, too. I can be balanced. I can have money. I can make money loving what I do. And I can still be true to myself.

I hope you all learn to live creatively and passionately as who you were meant to be while also succeeding in life- isn’t that the real dream, after all?

Malorie Mackey is an actress, published author, and adventurer. Malorie grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she loved sports, the outdoors, animals, and all forms of art. She took to acting at a young age, so it was no surprise when she decided to go to college for theatre. While in college, Malorie studied body movement with the DAH Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia, voice in Herefordshire, England with Frankie Armstrong, and the business of theatre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Malorie moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles after receiving her BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon arriving in LA, Malorie participated in the Miss California USA 2011 Pageant where she won the “Friend’s Choice” Award (by popular vote) and received a beautiful award for it.

While living on the West Coast, Malorie accumulated over 40 acting credits working on a variety of television shows, web series, and indie films, such as the sci-fi movie “Dracano,” the Biography Channel show “My Haunted House,” the tv pilot “Model Citizen” with Angie Everhart, and the award-winning indie film “Amelia 2.0.”

Throughout her experiences, Malorie found a love for travel and adventure, having journeyed to over a dozen countries experiencing unique locations. From the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre mountain range to the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Malorie began adventuring and writing about her unique travels. These travel excerpts can be found on VIVA GLAM Magazine, in Malorie’s Adventure Blog, in Malorie’s adventure show: “Weird World Adventures” and in the works for her full-length travel book.

In 2022, Malorie was thrilled to become a member of the Explorer’s Club through her work on scientific travel. Her experiences volunteering on archaeological and anthropological expeditions as well as with animal conservation allowed her entry into the exclusive club. Since then, Malorie has focused more on scientific travel.

Malorie’s show “Weird World Adventures” releases on Amazon Prime Video in the Spring of 2024! Stay tuned as Malorie brings the strangest wonders of the world to you!

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