by: Natalie Lipka
For all of us Gleeks, it’s the end of an era. After six seasons, the Fox TV series, “Glee” has taken its final bow. After watching the season finale, I found myself wishing for them to all come back out on stage for an encore. I have been an avid viewer since the beginning and can honestly say I am so sad to see it go. I’ve laughed and cried in just about every episode. The completely outlandish things that have happened have sometimes appalled me and the things that were so real have touched my heart. I didn’t have show choir at my high school. However, I was cast in my high school’s musical each year. And just like on the show, this was the group that brought together the cheerleaders, the soccer players, the homecoming queens and the band members. The musicals were a magical place where you could feel safe and dare to dream. Having dreams are what keep us going and I think, as an adult, I need to remember what it felt like to be on that high school stage. And so, this Glee-full moment has led me to the three ways to continue dreaming while surviving life in Hollywood.
Creating your own safety net is vital to surviving in the entertainment industry. And I am not just talking about finances. There are so many uncertainties in this business. So many ups and downs. You get the big audition, you work your butt off to prepare and get the callback. You get put on avail and then, you don’t get the part. Every actor goes through this. It’s all part of the process, right? But that doesn’t make it any easier. For an industry where there is no specifically prescribed safety net, you need to create your own. I am blessed with a safety net full of loving individuals from all points of my life. It is important to create this “net” of people. Whether it is friends that you’ve had your whole life, or one’s that you’ve met on your pursuit. Hold the ones dear and hold them close because these are the friends who will not only be there to celebrate your successes, but will also be there to catch you when you fall.
Everyone is your best friend when you are successful. Make sure that the people that you surround yourself with are also the people that you are not afraid of failing with. ~Paula Abdul
Loving What You Do
I recently had a conversation with a high school senior. She was telling me about how much she loved acting and how once it stopped being fun, she would stop doing it. This brought me back for a moment. I know that the reason I got into this industry is because I enjoy it. There is nothing else I’d rather do than share my talents with others. The business of acting can sometimes make us forget this. We can get so wrapped up in the administrative work and daily tasks that sometimes the joy gets lost. I believe this is natural and happens to a lot of people in any business, but when this happens, take a step back and remember why you are doing this. Even if this just means getting together with a fellow actor and working on a scene that you’ve always wanted to work on or filming a funny Vine video. Don’t let the “business” get in the way of your love.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. ~Confucious
Daring to Dream
The pursuit usually starts with an evolving dream. For me it was in eighth grade. I was cast as Maria in the musical version of The Nutcracker. I only got to do one performance, but it was the performance of a lifetime. The experience is still very vivid to me and I remember when the play was over, I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself. How could I possibly make myself feel that exhilarated ever again? Well, here I am now, living in Los Angeles, trying to re-capture that feeling. The dream has continued, and I never want to wake up from it. As hard as it is, I realize that this is something that I chose and I am not the only one going through it. The dream is what keeps us going. Just as I said to hold your friends close, hold your dreams just as close and never let them go. Remember that the dream has gotten you this far and will continue to flourish if you feed it with good things. Stay focused on it and it will become a reality. If and when you get down, take out that photo album of you in your first play or on set for the first time and look how far you have come.
Dreams don’t have expiration dates. ~Richard Lawson
The final episode of “Glee” was titled “Dreams Come True.” You gotta believe this, otherwise, why are you here?
When did your dream begin?