To anyone who has ever dreamt of being “someone,” it can be almost unanimously agreed upon that Hollywood is the place to be. Of course, “someone” is mostly arbitrary and subject to one’s own opinion of the term. It’s mind-boggling to think of the way we are trained from such an early age to believe in the falsehoods of fame and fortune, and, even moreso, that we could be the exception to the rule. At the ripe young age of 8 (roughly the age when I personally realized my love for the film world), who could know any better?
So as we go through puberty, and grow into young adults, we start to take this love for entertainment to be something much more valuable than just a “love for entertainment.” We want it to be our lives. We want it to be the focus of our careers. We gradually aspire to become the next individual voice of our own generation because what “I” have is unique. No one else has ever had the ideas “I” have. “I” am going to make it.
Then college happens (if such the route is chosen) and we start seeking internships. We strive for Hollywood because that’s where it all happens. The fact that we don’t actually realize what Hollywood is at this point is moot. We just want to be there. We want to get our hands dirty and start building that resume. So we dabble for a summer or a semester in the illusion that is the glamorous Hollywood life. It’s our first time experiencing “the real world,” even though we have no idea what it’s really like when we’re still under the academia’s protection. We return home, telling our friends that we had the time of our lives (because at the wise, intuitive age of 21, we probably did) and that we can’t wait to graduate and go back.
Then we come back. The struggle becomes oh so real. This is where the reality of the “real world” sets in. Now, some may call me jaded, but I personally believe that it’s necessary to have at least a small chip on your shoulder. Especially in this business, you have to be just jaded enough to not be naïve enough to not be jaded. In laymen’s terms, you can’t be oblivious to the point of selling out. As we try to carve a path for ourselves and begin to pursue what we’ve always believed was our dream, we start to realize the painful truth of that saying that’s always felt so cliché; “Good things come to those who wait.” Key word: Wait. Waiting…and waiting…and more waiting.
One of my personal favorite lines about the business, which can apply to any young adult pursuing their dream career; “The key to success is failure and persistence.” There is something terrifying, yet reassuring about this. It implies that we must fail (terrifying), yet if we’re failing, we are, in a strange way, succeeding (reassuring). Because if we are failing, at the very least, it means we are putting ourselves out there. We’re exposing ourselves to the possibilities of success rather than being too afraid to pursue it all together. I believe that the bottom line is to pick a goal and stick to it. Work the system. You will undoubtedly face some of (if not THE) most challenging situations of your life on this journey, but why not look at those situations as a way to grow, rather than a road bump that we can’t get over? Shifting gears back into positivity, if we push through the most difficult times and continue to pursue that dream that was so realistic to us at the ages of 8 and 21, what could possibly stop us? We are the next generation. YOU are a part of that generation. Someone has to be next in line, why not you?