Even if you are not a movie buff, chances are you’ve heard of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s musical film “La La Land,” which also happened to be the winner of six Golden Globe awards and three Oscars. It was a good film, and if you already watched it, you know that it’s not just about being in love; it’s also about having the courage to follow your dreams.
“People like what other people are passionate about.”
In the movie, Mia (Emma) ultimately wanted to be an actress, while Seb (Ryan) was a jazz purist struggling to make jazz relevant in the modern times. It was his burning passion that converted Mia from hating jazz to loving it because of him. When you are passionate about something — whether that’s playing the trumpet or doodling on paper or blogging — you do it with enthusiasm, which in turn is going to manifest in your work, and other people are bound to notice it.
I’m totally guilty of this: worrying too much about how my art is going to be received. Will people like it? Will they even notice it? In reality, it really should not matter at this stage. Last Monday, Yoko Ono tweeted: “Never mind them. Keep creating.”
It takes a huge amount of hard work and courage to keep going.
Mia left college to start her journey to stardom, but six years of relentlessly showing up for auditions got her nowhere. Still, she could have quit on her third, fourth, fifth, or sixth year of regularly going to auditions and not getting a single call back. There is something to be said for a mind and heart that refuses to quit even if hard work doesn’t seem to pay off.
Meanwhile, here I am, getting upset over not being able to break ground for something I’ve been doing — very irregularly, I should add — for only two years. It is a flaw in my character that I badly need to address soon, but the words have to be said even if they may sound harsh: that some people, like myself, don’t really give it our all on our craft, and yet we have the audacity to expect for results right away.
To myself and anyone like me, think about our year: the year when we can say that things are finally falling into place. And then say this to ourselves: it starts here in 2017.
Your grandest opportunity may come from your biggest disappointment.
So Mia decided to stop auditioning and write her own one-person show instead, and then perform on her own in the town theater. It turned out that writing plays was her first love and what got her so enamored in acting. But on the day of the play, only a handful of people showed up. Just when you thought it couldn’t have been any worse, Mia overheard a conversation from one of the audience saying that the play wasn’t even good. That was the last straw — brimming with tears and extreme disappointment, she packed her bags and refused to have anything to do with acting again.
That was when the callback came days later: a casting director saw her play and wanted to put her in a lead role for a new TV show set in Paris.
It’s insane how things like that happen. But in a subtle way, it tells us that when you’re doing what you love, both good and bad days are going to bring something invaluable. My bad days in lettering brought me to try sketching, and I discovered that it was something I could also do, and enjoyably so.
For those who already saw the film, you may say that chasing after your dreams also have some consequences, like what happened at the ending. Don’t worry, though; it’s not applicable to everybody. 😉 *wink wink*