Monday, June 1, 2009
Yes We Have No Bananas
Forgive me another student themed post. Each and every year I teach a 15 week class called Animation Promotion PR. It's the class that led to my book Your Career in Animation: How to Survive and Thrive. In fact, this is my favorite subject to teach and I've been doing so since 2003. And, each year there are students that read my book, listen to my lectures, and meet a who's who of animation talent in my class, all of which reinforces the basic premise of how to find a job, how to keep a job, and how to build up a career over time.
If we took the word "animation" out of the equation, we could be talking about buying bananas. Over the coarse of 15 weeks of my class, students learn how to find a store that sells bananas, how much they cost per banana and, finally how to eat the banana.
Carrying this banana analogy forward, imagine my surprise to get emails from former students up to a year later saying, "Hi Mr. Levy. I'm still thinking of buying a banana at some point. How do I do that again? Do I need a credit card? Exact change? What color should the banana be again when its ripe? Should I join the banana group (ASIFA-East)? How do I do that again? Would it be worth it? I still daydream about bananas from time to time and I'm trying to get myself organized to get my banana website up. Do you know anyplace I can get a banana? I've been meaning to look into that, but time has gotten away from me."
Don't get me wrong, I know this industry can be rough. Two posts ago, I shared some stories in which I encountered some rude or unwelcoming people at the start of my career. But those were never going to stand in the way of what I wanted to accomplish.
If the process of walking to the store, buying, and eating a banana is a mystery to you, than its because you are choosing to live in mystery. That's nothing more than a clever way to keep yourself away from your goal. Or maybe its because after 4 years of expensive art school you learned that don't like bananas. While that can't be an ideal financial situation to be in, its far from the worst position to be in on this green Earth. Just be honest with yourself. You have your whole life ahead of you and its yours to do something with (and that's with or without bananas).