Please Don’t Give Up
The one working on your shot at home, alone. Hoping that this is the one. Hoping that this shot, the one that you’re pouring all of your free time, all of your heart into, will be the one that makes the difference. Maybe this is the dialog clip that strikes the right tone. Maybe this acting choice is the one that sets you apart from the ever-growing crowd competing for the dream job. You want it more than anything. I hope that it is. I hope that this is the one that changes everything for you, because I’ve been there. I’ve done what you’re doing, and I know that it’s hard. I know that you didn’t want to get up before the sun and boot up Maya, and I know that you would rather be sleeping instead. Or, it’s way past when you should have gone to bed, but this is the only time you have to work. I can’t even remember how many times I did that. Please don’t give up.
You might work full-time at a job that you hate. Your bills are paid, but your soul is in a cage. Every minute you’re there, you’d rather be animating. You have friends at studios who work on the coolest projects, and you wonder why it can’t be you. Or maybe you’re so far away from the coasts that the “industry” feels like it’s on another planet. I can assure you that it’s not, but that doesn’t do you much good while you’re toiling in your apartment day after day, night after night with no end in sight. If only it was as easy as the others make it seem, but it’s not. It’s brutal, and most days it seems hopeless. I know, because I was you. Please don’t give up.
Maybe you have kids, and finding time to chase your passion is near impossible. Your spouse claims to understand why you need to be left alone to work, but it causes tension all the same. There never seems to be enough hours in the day, and progress crawls along slower than your toddler, who is always vying for your attention. You know that what you’re doing could lead to a better future for everyone you love, but you don’t know when and you don’t know how. It can, and it will. Please don’t give up.
I’m not writing this to give you an answer. I can’t, because there isn’t one. All I can do is assure you that you’re not the only one who has gone through this, and someday it will get better. This isn’t forever, but for right now, it will feel like it. If this is your true passion, and I’m assuming it is if you’re putting yourself through this hell, then you will get through it. Maybe the “dream job” will never come, and maybe the sacrifices are far from over. But you’ll make it if you just don’t give up. I couldn’t sleep tonight because I had to write this. For some reason, all the memories of the mornings, nights, and weekends I spent unceremoniously grinding kept going through my head as I laid in bed, and I thought that maybe this could help you. You’re kicking ass, and I’m proud of you. Be kind to yourself when you need it, but push yourself when you can take it. If you’re lucky enough to have someone there who supports you, be grateful for them and make sure they know it, too. If you’re all by yourself, remember that you’re really not. I’m here if you need me.
Please don’t give up.