A habit of the vast majority of college students, including myself: organizing life — exam dates, meetings, project deadlines — by using a planner.
An unusual addition to that habit known only to be possessed by myself and a few others: keeping track of TV show premieres, movie openings and awards shows just as studiously, if not more, in said planner.
I pay for MoviePass, despite the fact that I know the company is a sinking ship. I’m willing to drive an hour to see certain movies in a theater when they premiere. I’m more likely to be found watching Netflix in my apartment than drinking in a bar Uptown. I treat the Emmys, Golden Globes and Academy Awards the way others do the Super Bowl — they’re occasions meant to be live-tweeted about, analyzed in depth and treated as special events, with location and viewing method determined well in advance.
I want to be a screenwriter for TV and movies. I want to start working on that now, but with a busy schedule and limited brain power to devote to non-school-related writing, I can only do so much. What I can do is study the craft and find motivation and inspiration through watching as much as I can.
In trying to devise a plan of how to work around my obligation to production for this very publication to watch the Emmys (which aired Monday night*), a good friend mocked me for not being willing to simply look up the results the following morning.
And the thing is, this kind of thing happens to me all the time.
Each time, I’m just as frustrated with the response I get from others — many of whom are my friends and peers — for watching TV, going to see movies and talking about awards shows and other industry news as important. It angers me that others can’t see these things as a legitimate use of my time, given that I’m someone who plans to build a career in the entertainment industry.
I’m tired of people not taking my dream — the work I want to do and the work others are already doing — seriously. I’m tired of people thinking it’s easy.
I keep track of awards show dates. I watch 15+ TV shows at the same time because I’m teaching myself the form. I pay for MoviePass because it makes it cheaper for me to go see more movies each month, movies that continue to broaden my worldview and teach me about storytelling. I pay attention to the Hollywood Reporter more intently than the NYTimes because that’s the news I feel the desire to keep up with most.
It may be “just entertainment” for some, but movies and television are my biggest passion and will, in just a year or so, be my livelihood.
It’s going to take a lot to succeed in Hollywood — I know that and I’m willing to put in the work.
But, for now, it would be nice to go about my life with the same confidence in my dream that anyone aspiring to be a doctor, businessman or teacher has.
Chasing a dream — any dream — is difficult. It requires steadfastness, determination and an unwavering belief that success is not only possible, but attainable.
My dream is to make movies and television shows for a living. That may seem trivial to some, but I’d like to be treated with the same respect given to anyone chasing a dream.
Dreamers have it hard enough already. We should support one another, not bring each other down.
*And, yes, I was able to watch all three hours live.