My Daughter dreams of becoming a lawyer. One of her friends wants to be a research chemist. Another wants to be a computer engineer. These are not easy dreams, but with planning and work they are fairly accessible. No one thinks they will be easy jobs, but they have an interest and plan of pursuing them. But when someone says “dream job” these are not the sort of job that you hear about: if someone says dream job, they are probably talking about a glamour job.

What is a glamour job? Acting, news reporter, influencer….American Idol caused a stir because it allowed everyday people to pursue their dream of becoming a recording artist. Get up every week, sing a song, capture the attention of the nation, become a working musician. Be a star.

I understand why people like these types of jobs. They look fun. Who doesn’t want to spend days acting on an exotic set, with a food truck right there with you, to get you anything you want to eat. But let’s talk reality: becoming an actor is a very difficult road. I live in a city where being waitstaff is not a career: it’s a placeholder till you get a job on Broadway. When you actually become an actor, it’s still hard work. You’re battling for parts, auditioning, studying lines, studying dialect. You have to pray that you don’t piss off a casting agent, because if you do, you’ll never work in this town again. You need to constantly work on your physical appearance, because no matter what anyone says…looks matter. You could get laid off at any moment: there is less than no job security.

If you do make it, the pressure is really on, because you must keep up with people who are taller, smarter, funnier, younger… And you’re always on. I know it seems glamourous to have people recognize you, but how about if that happens all the time? My daughter used to take gymnastics with the daughter of an award winning actress: how would you like to be leaving the gym to be photographed?  At 10am, in your sweats, because along with being an award winning actress, you are also a Mom? Most famous actors in NYC walk around with sunglasses and baseball caps because sometimes they just need to pick up a quart of milk or walk their dog, and they don’t want to take a million selfies or talk to crowds.

My cousin plays guitar for a famous musician. While he loves when they are actually playing, the hours spent in the studio recording are brutal. Then touring nine months a year. It sounds nice, and it is wonderful, until it isn’t. Living out of a suitcase gets tiring after awhile. You miss your girlfriends birthday, or your best friends wedding….there are drawbacks to everything.

These occupations are glamourous, but they are also a lot of work. They can be boring. Ask an actor who appears in a scripted TV show how many actors learn to knit, because it’s an easy hobby to have when you are sitting waiting to tape for hours at a time…

One of my friends is a director of TV commercials. In many ways it is his dream job, and mostly he loves it. Except dealing with the crew, and the client, and the budget. Having to play teacher, doctor, friend and therapist to a whole lot of people. He loves it…he doesn’t want to do anything else…but that doesn’t mean it’s not work.

And what about the whole “Star” thing?

Do you want to act, sing, model, or do you want to be a star?

We have an acquaintance who is an actor, and has been steadily working for about thirty years, yet, no one has ever heard of him. He does commercials, occasionally has a line on NYC based TV shows, and understudies many roles on Broadway. He has never shot a pilot, nor been the original cast member of a play, yet he loves his job. He loves getting the chance to act, no matter what capacity it’s in. He doesn’t care about being a star. (it also helps that his wife is financially successful)

Contrast this to my friend who was a minor rocker. His band did a few albums, opened for some bands, traveled some. But what he realized when he hung up his guitar after being a musician for thirteen years was that he really wanted to be a ROCK STAR, with all the trappings that are associated with it. The music didn’t matter as much as seeing his name at the top of the billboard…True, he supported himself playing music, but he still didn’t realize his dream.

Nothing in life is easy.

There are pros and cons to everything.

Just try to make it your best life.


47 thoughts on “The Glamourous Life

  1. When I think dream job I don’t really associate it in the same way as the wishful dreams I have had —
    I am Jennifer Grey flipping my ethereal pink dress on stage, waiting for Johnny to catch me in his muscular arms.
    I have overcome my fear of heights and flying and have my pilots license.
    I have climbed a mountain without a panic attack, or five.
    I have also lived in a commune, been that rock star, sung before a crowd and stayed on key, written a published novel…
    I think you get it. To me, a dream job is the one that is attainable, that my head and heart tells me is what I was meant to do, and apparently my instincts tell me that none of the “glamorous” occupations were ever going to be in my future anyway.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s funny that you wrote this response, because cupcake asked me yesterday what my dream job was and I said I never had those aspirations. I just wanted a job that I looked forward to going to, and everything I ever really wanted was within my grasp. I’m very ok with my life

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think glamour in my mind was a buyer in the fashion district. The reality: the grunt work of getting there; low pay in the City of New York; and how to support myself chasing the dream. So I ended up getting a job better paying at the time with the City of New York. Glamour is fine if you have some back up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think we push kids to dream too much. I commented in this vein before, but I feel we’ve gone too far in the ‘you can do anything’s direction instead of teaching that everyone needs a job, that job probably won’t ‘fulfill’ you, and the best strategy is to go for the most lucrative job you can stand (with the best hours) so you can be fulfilled in your free time.

    Otherwise, these kids go to school in something fun -which costs a lot!- then graduate and can’t cover their debt or lifestyles.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. None of those things ever came close to appealing to me. The idea of being in the spotlight like that makes me nauseous to even consider. While it isn’t a job in the sense you get paid a salary, I’ve always and only ever really wanted to be a mom. That’s about as rock star as I get.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Take for example acting and professional sports, only a select (and often EXTREMELY lucky) few attain greatness in their chosen professions, untold riches come with that ‘gig’ but for every superstar thousands upon thousands upon thousands of children will end up being disappointed.

    Children should be TAUGHT ‘life in the real world’ lessons at school, they must understand the purpose behind X Factor on TV is to make fun of the poor deluded talentless for viewers entertainment, and that the winners soon fade back into obscurity! Children dream yourself low level life goals and when you pass them you’ll truly feel good about yourself, set them ridiculously high and you’ll never be happy.

    Lol rant over, but I do feel strongly about this.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Finding happiness in the same venue as your job or career is truly a blessing. I’m not sure that many people do. My daughter has. She didn’t go to college, but she runs her own business. She’s her own boss, and her business is boarding horses and she loves horses. She might be happier than I was in either of my careers. But I can always think of different parts of every job I’ve held that I took joy with 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sobering yet realistic thoughts. A college friend of mine became a voice over artist. She’s had steady jobs for over 40 years, and I’ve heard her over the years on commercials for banks, restaurant chains, dog food, and even a couple of movie previews. But she’s always worked as a solo contractor, and she mentioned a couple of years ago that she’s been able to put very little away for retirement. I used to think of her as I toiled in that 9-5 routine and standing in crowded Metro cars, thinking she had the great life. But maybe not…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can’t think of anything worse than being famous.

    My dream job was to be a farmer, I have always loved animals, manual work and outdoors. However when I was young where I came from you went into office or factory, I headed to the factory.

    I sometimes think children today have far more opportunities than children in my day.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wouldn’t want a glamorous career. Too much need to be out there in the public eye. It seems to me that most of those careers are what extroverts want to do, not what introverts want to do. We live in a society and at a time in history when extroversion is considered the default normal, much to the chagrin of us introverts.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I admire the honesty of your friends who took the time to examine what they truly wanted of their dreams. That’s the important bit. A friend of mine is following her dream of working for herself. She’s built a lovely community, and her business is developing & growing steadily. But I see the stress she is suffering from the amount of work it entails when you set yourself high standards. She’s having to learn to build-in boundaries to protect herself from turning her dream into a nightmare.

    Dreams are always created in the cloud, but it’s important we don’t forget to build solid foundations.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I agree! The idea of a dream job makes us think of something that is easy, fulfilling and very high-paying. But all jobs require hard work, and all jobs have their downsides. I think the trick is to have a job that you find meaningful enough that you’re willing to put up with the negatives.

    Liked by 1 person

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