I like to think I help others in need. I'm a schoolteacher, after all. I wouldn't have gotten into this business or have lasted these past 25 years if I weren't somewhat altruistic.
But not all that I do is selfless, obviously. I enjoy it. Teaching is an effective outlet for the creative artist inside me. Along with writing, playing the guitar, acting, directing, cooking, and everything else I do to express myself, teaching always gives me that platform. Each time I step in front of a class, I imagine that I'm a celebrity speaking to his fans. Maybe a rock star or a famous athlete. Either way, I know I have the power to motivate young people, and although I might not reach as many in a single setting as I would if I were making movies, over the years I hope I've made a lasting impression. And I know not everyone's gonna love me or appreciate me - that goes with the territory; same with celebrities, right? For those who haven't, they've probably tried too hard not to be inspired by me.
I wish I had the money to donate to charities on a regular basis. That's the downside of teaching. We don't get paid much. Let me tell you a secret ... none of us does this for the money. But let's say that I made enough to give some away. I'd start with lupus.org since my wife's had that disease for longer than I've known her. I'd also give to jdrf.org since my niece was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes a few years ago. Beyond those obvious choices, I'd like to help stjude.org for their unending fight against childhood cancer. By the way, Alex's Lemonade Stand is also an outstanding organization. We donated the proceeds from our production of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog a couple of years ago. I don't know that I've ever been more proud of an accomplishment involving my students. If I had to pick one more, I'd probably choose mda.org. Jerry Lewis might have been a silly funny man, but the work he did for his kids was unsurpassed by anyone I can think of.