“I’m in the industry.”
Oh, really? You live in Los Angeles and are in the industry? I never would have thought that!
Sorry, you and seemingly every other person I’ve met in the three months I’ve been here are all aiming to fly to the top of “the industry”.
Let’s start off by stating that you are “in the industry” – with the usual pretentious tone – is ridiculous when you’re a low level assistant (read: someone’s bitch), barely pulling enough money to afford Ramen noodles. Now, if you’re a top level executive rocking custom suits, and partying up in Hollywood mansions with the stars – by all means, use whatever tone you’d like. You’ve earned that right.
It’s the assistant’s assistants that tend to think they’re all that just for being a part of the industry; little do they know that they’re simply suckers.
What kind of education does it usually take to get into the field of entertainment? Not much, a Communications or Marketing degree will usually suffice. Never mind the fact that that degree costs over three times the starting annual salary to obtain; they’re also easy-peasy to obtain. I knew a few people in school that “earned” these degrees; the technically hardest class a Comm major took was probably Psychology Stats, and the hardest class Marketing majors took was Business Calculus (which was a 100-level course). Easier classloads results in more people getting those degrees, over-saturating the market with these degrees.
Of course, that’s just the start of the oversaturation in the industry because everyone wants to be a part of it.
I get why.
There’s money, glamour, and status associated with it. The problem is that the supply of Communication and Marketing majors, and plenty of others, simply floods the job market for the industry. Supply far outdoes demand, which is why you have the densely packed city of Los Angeles full of young professionals who do low-level industry work by day and bar tend or drive for Uber at night. This lifestyle is sold as a path to greatness – put in your time now and work your equally crappy second job, and one day the dividends will pay off in the form offers to produce, star, or direct movies.
The problem is that those spots are extremely limited, and everyone is going for them.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t try, if that’s truly your dream.
I believe that hard work does eventually pay off, but you have to ask yourself – at what cost? Truthfully, if you want to be great at something, if you want to “make it”, you probably need to give 150% tothat goal of becoming a famous actor or musician. Going to an audition here and there, while working 40 hours a week at the local pub to keep a roof over your head simply isn’t going to cut it. If a Wall Street banker told you he expected to be the number one broker on the street by working 15 hours a week to that goal, he would be laughed to New Jersey and then deported to Nebraska.
The entertainment industry is not different. If you truly want to be at the top (ask yourself if you really do, or is it just the image of being a movie star?), then you won’t get there by going to a few auditions a month and hoping for “your lucky break.” Getting to the top even with hard work is going to take a little bit of luck regardless, but there’s a reason the phrase, “You make your own luck,” was coined. The chances of you getting that break you desperately need will be higher the more that you put into it.
In the meantime, stop turning your nose up at everyone whose not in the industry. Until you’ve made it to the top, you’re just being played.
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