Me, 2008. NYC. Summer I turned 21. Selfie on my Sidekick before iPhones were the only phone you do selfies on. Megawatt prehistoric flash.
I have that shirt today and others like it. I look the same for the most part, eye roll and selfie included. My hair hasn't changed much. I have a portrait like Dorian Grey or something along that because round cheeks don't age, girl. But, alas.
I've changed inside. Mildly. Not much. OK. Hardly.
I used to be someone who believed I could make people who didn't welcome me in their tightknit medial clubs hire me for jobs I was experienced enough to do. I had a minor in journalism and a lot of writing experience for publications. When everyone I met was a hottie living in LA visiting NYC or moving to LA, when all the cool people I met were in town for work and flying back to LA, when I was alone in the hotel/apartment/hotel-apartment/wherever I moved in my NYC days at 21 onwards, I watched movies and wondered how long away a foot in the door would be. I wanted to work at a news network or outlet where the parent company bled into a film studio. Not once did I expect to find the casting couch situation is worse than anything I've heard goes on in Hollywood. Women so desperately want to be on TV and fulfilling their Carrie Bradshaw writer dreams, they think nothing of participating in it. When you're the lone one out saying no, you feel like someone should've warned you. Because most women I saw around in my situation agreed, men think nothing of asking you to do the same. Speaking out gets you punished, therefore you choose silence in misery. Thankfully, media outside NYC in international markets has never called that work requirement upon me.
I should have taken all that LA-ness and the major unwelcoming attitude from everyone aside from The New York Daily News and AP to mean, "You know, everyone you meet in film and music accepts you. Try it. Date that guy a hint younger than you whom you like in LA who looks like Luke Skywalker and, and, and! Do all you think you shouldn't!" Take a chance. Be yourself. Live for yourself right now.
I'm still that girl in 2017 listening to my iPod collections and focusing on music so I may be a grand film score composer. She who watches every movie ever made. She who people might not always love but most welcome in their circles who share entertainment as a goal.
Why did I try to make something happen that should not have?
I believe I can do anything. Yet, the old me needed to know you should not seek work where you aren't welcome. Be where people love you. The feeling is so much better. Nothing feels right when you chase disrespect. When 99 percent of people make you feel unwelcome, go where at least half the people welcome you.
I haven't changed much from the 13 year old me. We don't change. We try to force ourselves into boxes and never change in all reality. Being yourself is amazing. You should never apologize for it. When everyone else appears to not want you in, don't change who you are. Change the world around them. Change the world with your art. Speak out. Pave the way.
For certain, a big way of changing the world with your art includes movies. We can speak against things we see going on in our stories. One day, between animated films, I'd love to do that with live action works. Dreams take time. I have a good feeling about my new life.