“Hey… are you still interested in meeting my producer/friend?” Nicole asked me as we walked through yet another potential house. “Howard* was supposed to meet with some casting agents tonight but they canceled last minute, so he offered to take me and a friend out instead.”
“Mornin,’” I said through a mouthful of toothpaste. Liz joined me in front of the bathroom mirror, turning on her hair straightener. “Are you off to work soon?”
“So what did you earn your degree in?”
I always hesitate before answering this question. For the past month, my parents have introduced me as their ‘new college graduate.’ Their friends smile and pay their due diligence by asking me this simple, straightforward question.
Seemingly simple, I should say. I often wish I could respond with “Education” or “Business” or even “Biology”. Those one-word responses have the most obvious correlations to actual careers. Adults know how to respond to those majors; follow-up questions can easily be contrived, like “Oh! What medical school will you be attending in the fall?” or “What company are you going to work for?”
But then, there’s me. Always beginning with a qualifier: “Actually, I studied Biblical Archaeology and English Literature. And I also squeezed in a minor in International Relations.”
Not only is it a mouthful, but it is also nearly impossible to respond to. A furrowed brow and a slight frown are often all I receive for an endless few seconds. “So, are you going to graduate school?” is one of the better rejoinders. Most of the time, however, I face a more direct, skeptical response:
“What exactly are you going to do with that?”
Here, I have a choice: I can defend my scholastic decisions and elaborate upon the many potential careers of an archaeologist/writer… or I can tell the truth.
“I am moving to Los Angeles and hope to pursue a career in film production.”
Clearly, there are some loose wires fizzling in my brain.
But isn’t that the point? I am a loose wire. I don’t have my future all neatly tied up. I’m crackling and sparking and willing to take on anything that the future sends my way. My parents always told me to pursue my dreams (be careful parents, your kids might actually take your words literally)… and Hollywood is one of them.
The media has always held an allure for me. I have witnessed its dramatic impact on American culture, as well as the perceptions and stereotypes that Hollywood creates for people abroad. Film is art, and it is art made up of myriad forms of communication. I want to be one of those voices speaking into the media. I want to produce films that tell the truth, to craft shows that attempt to tell a story with depth, stories with meaning. I have no desire to chase glamorous acting roles; I want to be behind the scenes, putting it all together.
Doubtless, the road ahead will be rocky, but the challenge is one I’m very willing to take on. Speaking of the road, though, I have big plans for my move out West. I will be driving out with my good friend and recent film director, Ten. Yes, like the number. Ten has never been out West and I do not enjoy driving for long periods of time, so we are going to stretch out our journey: see the sites, visit old friends… and film a number of short films.
I will be updating my blog regularly from here on out. Check back often for roadtrip videos, travel stories, details of the “job pursuit”, and all things crazy in California. Please keep us in your prayers!
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
(F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)