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What If the career I want to pursue isn't very successful?

I like dancing and acting, but I know that to be successful in that career, it's a one in a million chance. I would love to just be apart of that world, either editing or filming the whole thing. But I don't know what college to go and am pretty unsure of going on to pursue it. film dancing cinematography

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Subject: Career question for you

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Emani’s Answer

The best advice that anyone can give someone in the performing arts or non-traditional career field is to know that no one can decide your own destiny! Just remember, you do not have to major in or pursues a career in all of your interest. You can indulge in all those different areas in different aspects!


Coming from someone who has a passion for filming and editing and danced since the age of three, I know what it's like making that tough decision and battling listening to your heart and the thoughts of others.




  1. Research! Take time to research different schools and programs that fit EXACTLY what you want to do. Pay attention to the local area to take advantage of internship and volunteer opportunities that can advance your education.




  2. Experience! Know that you are not the first person to do what others have tried to do before! Learn from professionals and companies that match your goals and aspirations and possibly follow what they did that worked and did not work for them, then create your own path.




  3. Passion! This is the biggest of them all! Understand that if this is something you are passionate about you will find opportunities and experiences that place you in the position to be successful. Never doubt your ability to live the life you always imagine!




Know that you will change your mind and dreams numerous times, but it will all work out for you! I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

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Mark’s Answer

Hi Edzel,
You're right about dancing and acting and filmmaking too. If you work hard and show that you're A-list, then you could make thousands to pay your monthly bills. But 99% don't. We simply enjoy arts and entertainment. My Mom advised me to get a degree or certificate for a job that would pay the California rent. If you're really interested in filming, then initially see if you can get involved in a project as an assistant or intern in a production company. The best universities are UCLA, USC, Pepperdine and Chapman. But the tuition isn't cheap. Best luck, Mark Wagner.

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Hank’s Answer

This is always going to be a difficult decision. And, by the way, the difficulty NEVER goes away. I think if you chase after what makes you happy and gives you at least some measure of fulfillment, then you'll do okay. And you're right, success lives in the upper 2% of any endeavor. But to get there, you have to crawl your way through the other 98%.


Here's a clue that could be helpful - NOT my invention, by the way: When you were around seven years old, what did you like to do most when you had to play alone (or just be alone)? You may have to ask parents or friends to get a true picture. And I'm talking about what you gravitated toward most often, not what you now remember fondly.


Because whatever it was, THAT is what you're meant to do.


Give it serious consideration and be accurate. Don't "remember" the thing you want to be now. Go back in time in your mind and be real about it.

Thank you for the advice Hank! It was really helpful, and really cool, knowing that someone with the career that I'm very interested in gave me some help. Edzel O.
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Angela Theresa’s Answer

Film Editors probably get hired quickly. Camera Person have a good chance of paying jobs. Acting & dancing -- you'd be best in a stage career. Your best training: New York.
What makes your heart sing? If you want performing w/ tech? Try NYU Tisch School of the Arts program. Dance : Alvin Ailey is incredible. Acting: American Academy of Dramatic Arts [the performing arts school always require an audtion]. Great programs in Illinois (Chicago) & California. Check CalArts, UCLA, Julliard NorthEasternUniversity, YaleDramaSchool, ,PaceUniversity.
Do what makes you happiest. ucla julliard northeasternuniversity paceuniversity yaledramaschool calarts
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Jan’s Answer

In the real world where you have to earn a living, know the job situation for a field before you study it. I never did that and ended up making peanuts upon graduation! Don't ever give up on your dream. Find a job that's flexible so you can pursue the training you'll need or get an internship in the field you desire. Some people become drifters for years, but you'll always have your dream.
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