Perspective. The very name of this forum. I gained some important perspective this morning and felt like sharing.
15 years ago, I was living in Los Angeles. I’d recently graduated from USC’s SMPTV program and I was, like everyone else in Los Angeles, struggling to make it. My day job of being a game tester was grueling with 19 hour days, leaving me no time for sleep, let alone networking and trying to score any films or games that seemed only interested in offering me “exposure.” I was making so little money that I had a weekly grocery budget of 2 dollars. Some weeks I bought bread. Every other week, I bought peanut butter. When my roommates weren’t home, I’d try and steal imperceptible amounts of their food to supplement my meals.
15 years later, I had to drag myself out of the house today in order to go to the bank and cash a multi-thousand dollar check before it expired. As I stood in line at the bank, annoyed with how slow the teller was working, I suddenly remembered me of 15 years ago and decided to relax.
This job isn’t for everyone. But it is possible. This job isn’t for quitters or those without the dedication to give their lives to it. But it is possible. This job is sometimes exhausting, and frustrating, and wondrous and glorious and beautiful and I love it. When you’re stealing sips of soda from your roommates and rationing peanut butter, it’s hard to understand the long-term trajectory of a career. But a career is built in years, tiny success by tiny success. And eventually, in time, those successes all add up to something wonderful and notable: a body of work to which you can be proud to attach your name.