“I Want To Follow My Dreams Of Becoming An Actress, But My Parents Think Otherwise”

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Email your questions to Your Gay Best Friend at: girlworkonyou@aol.com

Dear Gay Best Friend,

My name is Aliccia, and I want to follow my dreams of becoming an actress, but my parents think otherwise. I have had this passion ever since I was a kid, and this is really something I want to do. How do I choose between following my dreams and not disappointing my parents? I would really appreciate it! Thanks. – A Dreamer

Dear Ms. A Dreamer,

Girl, in the words of Tamar Braxton – “Get your life!” Honey, you better go and pursue your dreams and live your life. IT’S YOUR LIFE! NO ONE CAN LIVE YOUR LIFE BUT YOU! And, no one can make decisions for how you should live your life but you.

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No one can tell you or advise you about following your dreams because they don’t understand your dream, and it’s not their dream!!! It was giving to you for a reason. It was placed in your heart because God knew you could do it. So, how dare someone tell you what you can and cannot do? Follow your dreams. Do them big, and enjoy the journey.

Honey, let me tell you something, if I would have listened to all the folks who tried to tell me to get a “real” job, because working in the entertainment industry wasn’t a “real” job, then I wouldn’t be here today. All I ever wanted to do was work in the entertainment industry. And, I sacrificed everything to make my dream a reality. Despite listening to friends, and family members when I graduated from college I moved to Los Angeles, and New York to pursue my dreams. And, BA-BY, the gamble paid off. Yes, it was rough, and many times I questioned myself, but I did it. I have worked with Spike Lee, Rob Reiner, Keenan Ivory Wayans and the Wayans family, and a host of other celebrities, as well as for B.E.T. and MTV. And, then I had the nerve to write books, and tour across the country speaking at colleges and universities. I followed my dreams despite of what those folks told me. I followed my dreams and did what I wanted to do because I knew it was something God had given me, and how dare I not be courageous, and fearless when I have God on my side? As the scripture states, God didn’t give you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. So, be fearless, bold, and courageous.

And, yes, I understand your parent’s position because they feel and think that pursuing a career as an actress is unstable, especially being in an industry where people try to take advantage of you, and I’m sure they’ve heard all the salacious and scandalous stories about those who struggle trying to pursue a career as an actor. But, honey, that’s any job. There are folks who will try to take advantage of you in any career – Lawyer, doctor, teacher, engineer, or whatever. People are people, and there are just as many scandalous and salacious people in those industries as well. Also, people struggle in those careers as well. They don’t become doctors overnight. They don’t become lawyers overnight, and certainly do not start making money until later in life.

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But, they are your parents and want the best for you. However, you have to let them know that you know what’s best for you. They lived their lives. They did what they wanted to do, and if they love you, and have raised you with morals and values, then they have nothing to fear or worry about.

I say talk with them and devise a plan. Come up with a 2, 3, and 5 year plan. Tell them to let you go and explore your passion, and see what it’s like. Hell, you may not even like it and change your mind. But, at least go and discover the world of acting before giving up on it. And, a 2, 3, or 5 year plan will give you the time to get your footing and establish yourself. Just like any career it takes time to develop who you are, and become a professional in the field. It’s not going to happen overnight. You’ve got to work at it, and keep working at it. Hell, it took me over 5 years just to get myself established in the entertainment business. But, that was my experience. Hell, I have friends and it has taken them longer, but they didn’t give up on their dreams. And, as an author/writer, it took me another 5 years to solidify myself as a bon-a-fide author and writer. But, I invested in it and went back to school. I studied the craft of writing. And, that is what you will have to do. Study your craft. Keep learning and growing so that you can become the best.

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So, let your parents know that you have a dream. Don’t be dream killers or dream stealers. Let you explore what’s burning inside you. Let you explore this passion that you can’t let die. One thing you don’t want to become is an older bitter person who is mad at the world because you didn’t pursue your dreams. There are so many people sitting at their desks right now who are mad and angry because they didn’t take the chance, or they gave up on their dreams because they allowed someone to talk them out of it. Can someone who is not an actor advise you on being an actor, or the craft of acting? Can someone who is not a teacher advise you on being a teacher, or how to be a teacher? No, they cannot. So, follow your dreams, and we look forward to seeing you on the big screen. – Straight From Your Gay Best Friend

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Make sure to get your copy of my new book,  Mogul: A Novel (Atria Books – June 2011; $15). It is available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, click, HERE!

    

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