I hate this image, okay so I don’t HATE the image but it really annoys me. Hollywood and the media loves to push this idea that you just have to keep grinding; go to these auditions and networking parties and eventually someone will “discover” your talent and you will be a star. That is a fairytale. At best, it’s an exception. Morgan freeman is NOT the rule. There are countless actors and stresses who NEVER make it. They never get to star in a TV show or movie. And that is the end of the story. No one discovered them. Its not because they aren’t talented, its because this business is rigged. Talent doesn’t cut it. Not anymore at least. You have to know the players, get in the right rooms. Of course it helps if you are Denzel Washington’ son (Ballers) or Julia Roberts niece (Scream Queens) but talent and hard work doesn’t get you up the totem pole….especially as a black man. That’s what’s more annoying in this image. They are using one of the most disenfranchised people in our society! Black male stars are few and far in between. There are most white stars that black ones! Just look at the statistics, or better yet, look at your TV’s and local movie theaters. You can literally count the number of lines a black person says in most movies!
Ugh! I don’t like memes like this, because it tells people that all you need to do is believe in yourself and that’s a lie. Waiting doesn’t get you the job. That’s what I did when I first got to LA and I almost got depressed. Then I started to study how this industry really worked and disregard what people told me. Who are getting the jobs? Why? Who are they connected to? Since I’m not kin to Ice Cube, I have to know the players and most importantly create my own work. For me, that has been the only way to be seen and to progress in this industry. Creating my own work has given me power and a voice in the industry I didn’t have when I was trying to be discovered and network with the right people.
What changed me was talking to people who have in in LA for 7 years with nothing to show for it and then chatting to people who have been here for 15 years and still were “waiting”. Maybe I’m impatient, but I have so many things I want to accomplish in this life so I can’t wait. I need to see progress now. I don’t have to be an Oscar winner by 25, I do want to star in great film that has international distribution.