As a member of Generation Y, I was born into the generation of the millennial dreamers.
We were told that if we worked hard, got the grades, we could achieve anything we wanted to.
Of course, the fairy tale didn’t quite work out that way. Life decided to interject and throw a spanner in that blissful little plan. But it doesn’t stop London being a city of dreamers. Actors, writers, artists, directors…it seems every other person out there is dreaming of the impossible.
Yet in a city of dreamers, where does the dream end?
Arianna Huffington said recently that one of the most liberating things you can do is let dreams go. Perhaps in that sense a dream is like a relationship – when it doesn’t work out, we drop it and move on. The problem, of course, is that we have usually lived with our dreams far longer than we have lived with a partner.
As someone who wanted more than anything to perform onstage during m teenage years, I couldn’t think of doing anything else. But like being in the throws of passion for someone, to the point where you can’t think of anyone else, these dreams pass and give way to other opportunities.
I went to review the musical Ushers this week, and between the camp staginess, the serious point was, in a world of incredible unfairness, how do you keep a dream alive?
Because the harsh truth is, sometimes no matter how hard you work, the dream doesn’t work out.
Luck, it would seem, plays a bigger role than we would like to think she does. But if that is the case, why make the effort at all? So often it’s new jobs, new opportunities and new relationships that find us, not the other way around.
When everything in the arts seems to depend on your level of celebrity, the battle seems almost futile. When everything you wanted seems insurmountable, do you move forward, or move on?
I enjoy where i’m working now in social media, and it seems a viable career path, but it wasn’t a place I pictured myself. Yet a large part of me thinks that it’s time to shelve performing dreams for good, and focus on what is going to make me a decent living.
But to focus on the positive, I never thought I’d be in such a happy place in London, with a job I like and friends who care about me. That was something I never pictured, as working as a performer is often a very lonely profession. It’s why we need the approval and applause of the audience to justify it.
But to sacrifice a dream for real cognitive happiness surely isn’t such a bad exchange?