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'My BF thought my advice to his little cousin about the industry was rude and discouraging.' UPDATED

'My BF thought my advice to his little cousin about the industry was rude and discouraging.' UPDATED

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"My BF thought my advice to his little cousin about the industry was rude and discouraging. I truly don’t see how I was!"

So before I even start I want to say I AM NOT A HATER. I love the arts so much. I wanted to be an actress when I was a kid as well, until I saw what it takes. My father has been in the entertainment industry for 30 years he has been a comedian, producer, television writer, actor anything under the sun my father has done it.

As a child, I have helped my father a lot: acting in audition tapes, watching his shows, helping him promote, reading his TV scripts, listening to his comedy bits. Me and my whole family even did an episode on the Discovery Channel. I have done and seen it all. My father is now a really great comedian. He’s not world famous but he has some videos that went viral, and appeared on a few TV shows.

However, he has shown me what it takes to become an actor. That is to become viral!! Multiple times agents have turned down my dad because he doesn’t have 50,000 to 100,000 followers. It was heartbreaking because my dad had this amazing rapport, but since he is not internet famous he gets cast aside.

Don’t get me wrong he makes pretty decent money now, but nowhere near Kevin Heart or Gabriel Iglesias. Now I saw my BF's little cousin and she was talking about how she is bouncing around careers. She is thinking about either becoming a musician, actress, or animator. Her cousin went to Juilliard and has been on Broadway, she is a huge hero for her.

I told her honestly as a person whose family has been in the entertainment industry I would say do animation. Nowadays they are looking for people to go viral, and it can be very difficult to become an actress unless you were a child actor. I also explained how people are getting turned down if they don’t have at least 100,000 followers. To add to this his cousin does not have a rapport.

She has done a few musicals for her high school but that is about it. She has not taken acting classes, she has not participated in an acting program, nor does she have an internet following. She is only 16 but I was just trying to show her the reality. Out of all that, I believed animation would be a wonderful segway into the entertainment industry.

However, she still wants to try to get into an arts school and build an acting rapport through her university. I said alright you do what’s best. I suggest that you try to find an acting program while you’re still this young.

My bf then tells me “Why did you tell her that? That’s not true!”

I was like EXCUSE ME!?? “Um yes they are. That’s LITERALLY why my dad has been turned down from several roles, along with HUNDREDS of other actresses."

He said “No you can go to a University and build connections and become a theater actress that way, being an influencer isn’t acting. That’s not what they're looking for.”

I responded “THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR!! They want a fanbase to buy tickets to their movies and shows that’s why they want people with a following.”

After that, I left. I was not about to have him mansplain to me a subject OF WHICH HE HAS NO F-KIN EXPERIENCE!! I wasn’t trying to be rude to her. I thought I was just trying to give her the best advice. Was I truly discouraging?

Commenters had a lot to say in response.

jaethegreatone wrote:

My BA is in Speech/Theater. I went to school with people who now have Grammys, Oscars and Emmys. I know others with nominations in them all. I know people who made it to Broadway, know a guy who is a really, really big deal in the Marvel Universe and know a ton of award winning writers.

None of this means anything in terms of return on investment for a degree. And even if you get all those accolades, you can still be living in a box under the overpass.

But, you can't convince a young artist the hard facts. You warned her. Now leave it alone. Smile and nod at ever musing of the dream. If you have the time, buy a ticket to her show, post a congratulations. When the inevitable comes, just say I told you so to yourself.

OP responded:

I have been trying to explain this. Tell me as a fellow person in the entertainment industry do you believe that there was some truth to what I am saying? And that my partner is being extremely naive?

jaethegreatone responded:

Oh, I left the industry almost as soon as I began because there is soooooo much truth to what you are saying. I was in acting and music a very long time ago before influencing was a thing. I vividly remember the rumors going around about Puff (before he became Diddy) and to never be alone with him, don't sign to him, etc.

Within the writing world, which I dabble in occasionally now, some publishers want you to have a large following to publish your book. Then you go through all of this to make pennies on the dollar because pay is not the same. Pennies for millions of music streams.

Pennies for millions of views on streaming services. Writing on a show now condensed to a few weeks vs months to the point you don't even qualify for health insurance because you either don't work enough or didn't make it.

She would do better by doing exactly what you said, creating her own platform and going viral. She would at least keep 100% of the profits vs pennies she has to split 5 ways.

Equivalent-One-5499 wrote:

Question - what do you think rapport means?

OP responded:

It’s like building a name, presence, brand, or gaining experience.

Murkami8000 wrote:

I think you meant “repertoire” rather than “rapport?"

OP responded:

YES, THANK YOU THAT WAS THE WORD!!

TheatreWolfGirl wrote:

I teach theatre to youth. The most difficult is knowing that even IF a kid has that “IT factor” their chances are slim. If that child can dance, sing, play an instrument, then it goes up. Add in them knowing more languages. Being adorable or cute or very pretty.

Bonus points if they are visibly a child of colour. Extra bonus points if they can actually act! The industry is tough as nails. Parents want the best for their kids, and I tell them to ensure the child gets an education with a degree to fall back on. There is no guarantee. Never, ever. Go to school, work hard and fingers crossed.

I shot several pilots, was an understudy for a huge musical that came into my city. But, my “break” never came. I am grateful for the time I have had trying for it professionally, I now work more in community theatre and enjoy knowing I always have a place here. You did your best. The most difficult is trying to explain to someone how hard it actually is.

Especially when they have no clue and the fact that if they fall into the “pretty” category they will hear how “easy” it is. I have a student right now, she got an agent. Has done some commercials, modelling. She HAS talent and an IT factor. Her agent wanted her in L.A. for pilot season, which I agreed with.

But…she flakes out too much, so much so, her father has told her post secondary school would be better until she matures enough and realizes that it is a business that needs to be worked on every single day, a lifestyle to live in.

I also agree with him. She currently has no drive right now other than it can be fun for her, she says she wants it, but…and that is another thing. Your drive has to be there. Every day. Every moment you have to want to continue going, like your dad does.

You did your best OP. It is best to leave it alone. Unless the cousin seeks you out for assistance, guidance, or support, just leave it in the past. If your BF brings it up, simply state you have spoken from a place of wisdom of observance and knowing. Continue to move forward. All the best!

Southern-Interest-347 wrote:

Natalie Merchant was talking about how people don't want to book her because she doesn't have a large social media following. We're talking about one of the most talented singers.

TrekkieGamer359 wrote:

Lots of people react poorly to being told that their dream or their family member dream is harder to attain than they want to believe. Your boyfriend, and possibly his cousin, didn't want to hear the truth, and lashed out because of it. They're wanting to substitute real reality for the reality that's in their heads, which says the cousin is about to be the next huge hit with almost no work.

If I were you, I'd wait a bit to cool down. then write him an email explaining briefly how the industry works, and how you know that's how it works, and then explaining that his mansplaining was both, wrong, insulting, and hurtful, and that you want an apology.

Say you're sorry that the reality of show business is harsh, but that's reality, and him throwing a tantrum isn't going to change that. Hopefully your boyfriend will pull his head out of his a-s. If not, then you'll have to figure out how to navigate a larger problem with your guys' relationship. Good luck.

Fancy-Cry-1152 wrote:

I got a scholarship for theater. One of my professors pointed out the average salary for theater majors after graduation was 6k. Most of us changed majors. I know one guy who didn’t, moved to NYC, got a job at Starbucks. Saw him in a JG WENTWORTH commercial a few years ago.

Empress-Rae wrote:

I work in entertainment law. Everything that came out of your mouth was the gods honest truth and though you can never spare the determined (otherwise LA would run out of waitresses), you can mentally prepare her for life in that industry.

If it was hard for me to just be a paper pusher behind the talent - I can only imagine how world crushingly hard it is to be the actual person in the spotlight. I don’t even wish it upon my children or the children of my enemies. Do us all a favor - be a dentist or something.

OP responded:

Dude you should read all the comments telling me about how you don’t need a media following from people who have 0! Experience in the industry. It made me laugh so hard.

Empress-Rae responded:

It takes a near Ivy League degree, a social presence, a near perfect LSAT & GPA, judicial clerkships and nepotism connects just to be an agent - and that’s just being the MFer that writes the contracts. I got in as a clever diversity hire with work ethic, and I know they know I’m a DEI pick.

What y’all do is crazy. And the speed in which you can go hot to not - especially with the break neck velocity of internet criticism is wild. Couldn’t be me. Stardom can’t be wished upon. But then again, stranger s-t has happened in Hollywood and Broadway.

glittersparklythings wrote:

I recently missed out on two projects…why? Bc the kids of two famous people got my job instead. Why? Bc the kids of famous people tend to always go into wardrobe. And instead of bringing a paid hired position like it should be…they are using them as interns. And they can afford to be interns bc their parents are super famous actors.

Also lots of people are currently struggling after the last two strikes. They are losing their health insurance bc they didn’t work enough hours bc of them. And we still don’t know if IATSE will come to an agreement or there will be strikes. The industry is about to get a lot harder.

stickylarue wrote:

People need to learn their own lessons. People rarely react to the reality of situations with with grace and patience. She’s also young. Add youth into the mix and honestly, nothing you may say will sink in now. It’s all about making sure our young ones have soft places to land when they fall.

You’re not wrong with your message and the info/guidance you gave. You’ve said your piece. Now drop it. It’s her life to live, not yours. We can guide and advise but we can’t choose for others.

A day later, OP shared an update.

The argument made the house a bit heated for a while. Usually, I come back and try to work things out or have a more understanding perspective. However, this time I couldn’t! I just felt so disrespected that he would try to mansplain to me a subject he knows nothing about!

Eventually, he came back and apologized to me. He said, “I am so sorry, I don’t even know why I tried to argue with you. I truly don’t have any experience in this field, and what I did amounted to nothing.”

I said, “Listen, I understand there are a lot of things I don’t know about. That’s why I always try to listen and understand when you have a different opinion. But this! This is the one thing that I KNOW FOR A FACT! Why can’t you just take my word for it this one time? It makes me feel like you can’t trust what I tell you.”

He said, “I know, and I was thinking about that as well. You almost always engage with me in these kinds of conversations, and it should not have been hard for me just to say you’re right because you are!"

"I am your partner; I shouldn’t be making you feel like you don’t know anything because you know WAY more than I ever could. I guess I’m just used to always talking that way with my family and you. I am very sorry, but I am going to work on it.” So I decided to forgive him. However, he owes me boba today 😂. Also lastly the word was not Rapport it was Repertoire!

Commenters had a lot to say.

yokayla wrote:

I have bad news about the stability of animation.

Old-Mention9632 wrote:

My daughter has a degree in animation. She is working indie projects. She just did an animated short as part of the animation team. Knightlights and Teddy Bears has won awards for best animation in many film festivals. I just asked her if she was going to start applying for studio animation jobs.

She said, right now "AI" is taking over animation. It's not as good, and to make it somewhat good requires a lot of work, so she thinks this fad won't last. But until then, freelance and indie projects for her animation. She also sells art at a couple of anime conventions.

She is teaching an animation class at a camp her college runs for high school students to try out the school. She is assistant manager at a very nice bakery in Philadelphia for her bread and butter money.

vesperadoe wrote:

Idk if acting is harder to get into than animation or not, but even animation...hell no. The working conditions with big companies will destroy your body, mind, and soul. And the competition to get into any of the better ones is insane.

You gotta be hella driven to thrive there. If the cousin does try animation instead, I'd recommend her doing it as a hobby to see if she has what it takes, or just go indy from the get go.

TealHouseWife wrote:

I have a friend from high school who is a very talented working actor. He's had speaking roles in Oscar-winning movies and won a SAG award as part of Best Ensemble Cast for a pretty huge film. Up until very recently, he was also working as an acting coach because he even though he's been working steadily in theater, TV and film for a few decades, it doesn't always pay the bills.

Another girl I went to school with was on a soap opera for a long time. She's back in our hometown working in marketing. Even people who have success in the industry don't necessarily have ongoing stability.

symphony789 wrote:

Legit, one of my friends just got a country record label to sign her since she's an influencer and became connected with country music artists in Nashville. If she didn't have way over 250k followers I don't think she would've have those connections.

And because of her, I got to write a couple songs and quickly learned "nope, not for me." I had fun for a bit, but yeah, even in music having a huge following helps.

Korilian wrote:

"Bonus points if they are visibly a child of colour."

I seriously doubt it helps to be a child of color of you want to go viral or make it Hollywood. The vast majority of content creators are white men, just like everywhere else.

Sources: Reddit
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