I spend my days on off-hours building schedules, organizing shotlists, and helping with logistics. I work 12 + hour days during production running the set, putting out fires, calling roll, and facilitating between crew and the director.
I live in one room in someone else’s house that I pay rent to. All of my stuff lives in this room. I cannot afford my own place. My credit is fucked by student loans that I cannot pay off and at this point, practically refuse to. I get approached to lend my services for free on a regular basis as if my career is some sort of fantasy hobby that no one actually works in. I have no benefits to speak of. I am very much underpaid for the amount of work I do and the type of skills I employ to do it. I am considered to be living in poverty and this is not a choice, but a reality.
In this economy, even if I were to go to other industries for a job, I would most likely turn up empty handed. And the idea that I’m told to go to college and pursue my dreams only to be punished by student loans for being raised in a working class family that did not have a trust fund set up is pretty much the reason we’re raising a jaded and empty generation. We can’t afford to even pursue our dreams when we see our own parents losing their businesses, their homes, their retirements, their health, their dreams. We turn to a mindless banality because apathy hurts less.
Where are the bailouts for our parents? Where are the bailouts for our generation? Our younger sisters and brothers? Are we not the folks who put the clothes on your back, the shoes on your feet, the food in your mouth, and the entertainment on your TV? Do we not deserve those same things?
The only thing we have left to call our own is our ability to unite and fight back. Like the unions did during the Industrial Revolution. They did not need to have a “clear objective” to be effective. Their message was the same as ours: “IMPROVE OUR CONDITIONS.” They are the people who brought us the 8 hour workday, the weekend, and the end of child labor in this country. They were not an over-romanticized myth and their work is not to be discredited. We must look to them for hope, for inspiration. We must follow in our previous generations’ footsteps and fight back against the social injustices being brought upon us today.
There is no other choice.