Fade In On Reality

"I don't take the movies seriously, and anyone who does is in for a headache."—Bette Davis

There's a Los Angeles radio station I occasionally listen to, and a bumper message they sporadically play says, "Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream?" It's no secret that scores of people move to this town every day, as they do New York and other entertainment and film centers, to try to break into the "biz," to be discovered, to attend film school, to get an agent, to perform, to sell a script, to be seen, to be the one who discovers talent, to network, to land a great job, to find the right portal that's going to transport them to the fantasy world they've been dreaming of. Some make it; many more don't. Some have dream-come-true experiences and others leave terribly deflated and disappointed. And once in the biz, some will encounter more good experiences than not, and others will find that surviving in this industry is a struggle throughout their entire career.

But whether you're someone who's thinking of getting into the business, a film student or someone who has recently started working in the industry, no matter what you assume it's going to be like, want it to be like, or expect, it's going to be different than anything you've ever imagined—and most likely, much, much tougher! Being in this business, you will no doubt encounter some or all of what many of us have faced: the challenges, the joy, the politics, the excitement, the rejection, the camaraderie, the struggles, the fun, the frustration, the gratification, the disappointment, the adventure—the entire roller coaster ride of emotions wrapped up into one profession. And yet no one can adequately prepare you for what it's like. No amount of reading or attending classes or seminars will teach you absolutely everything you need to know. Some of it can only be learned through practical experience and by sheer osmosis. More importantly, I can't tell you exactly what it's going to be like for you, because the experience isn't quite the same for any two people. Having stated that, I can provide you with a thoroughly realistic understanding as to how the industry works and what it generally takes to become a contributing member of this realm. Because only when you fully comprehend what it's truly like will you be equipped to make the best decisions and choose the career path that's right for you—whether it's in this business or not.

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