I have been acting professionally since 1994. I’ve been very blessed to have worked at a number of interesting and stimulating jobs and to have portrayed some great characters. I’ve played Geppetto in Pinocchio, Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web, and George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. I’ve been lucky enough to wear the boots of Santa Clause at Macy’s on 34thStreet in New York City. Perhaps as the universes’ way to balance my time as the Jolly Old Elf, I’ve also gotten to play Ebenezer Scrooge at the Dickens’ Christmas Festival in Skaneateles New York. I’ve been a mad scientist at the Jekyll & Hyde Club in New York and a 1930’s Hollywood Agent at Walt Disney World, MGM studios in Florida. For nine wonderful seasons I portrayed the evil sheriff, Damian Spector at the Sterling Renaissance Festival. I’ve even produced my own work. With one business partner, I co-wrote, produced and performed in a 1950s-style science fiction radio showcase. With another business partner, I co-produced and performed in a comedy sword fighting show. I have done all of this and more, and 90% of the time, I have loved the work I have done, and I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the country. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities that this life has given to me.
But there are two sides to every coin, a yin to every yang. As a professional actor, my work life has been unstable to say the least. You book a gig. You work for a few months or a week or a day, and then you find a survival job to fill in the gaps. Some of the survival jobs I’ve had are slinging popcorn at movie theaters, substitute teaching, selling wine, I even managed a comic book shop in Pennsylvania for a short time.
The problem is that I had no passion for any of those survival jobs. At my core, I’m a performer. As a performer I can make people laugh or cry or experience something new. One of the reasons that I love performing so much is that by connecting to an audience, I’m helping them to escape the trouble and stress of their lives for a short time. I consider this a form or healing, and I truly believe that this is my calling in this life.
In the summer of 1998, while playing an executioner at the Sterling Renaissance Festival, I had the opportunity to meet a spirited young woman by the name of Marci. Marci had recently become a Reiki Master and was offering classes on our time off from the show. I had experienced Reiki once before as part of an alternative healing night, and I was fascinated. When Marci mentioned that she wanted to teach her class I was the first to sign up. That summer I was attuned by Marci to practice Reiki level I. I stayed in touch with Marci, and the next year she attuned me to Reiki II, and the year after that, I took my final class with her in Manhattan and became a Reiki Master.
For sixteen years I have practiced Reiki informally, helping friends and acquaintances and, on occasion, teaching a Reiki class. For years people have suggested that I formalize my practice, but I have finally taken the steps to get my professional practice off the ground. It is my hope not only to develop a business that will supplement my income in those lean times between performance gigs, but also to help as many people as I can. Please feel free to contact me if you think I can help you.
Reiki is not meant to take the place of a physician. It is intended to work in conjunction with appropriate medical care.
Copyright 2016 John Michael Decker. No reprints without written permission.