Thursday, 14 January 2010

Jack of all Trades, Master of none

As a generation of wishful thinkers we seem to be faced, on a daily basis, with a rather flummoxing contradiction. Either we’ve determined the path that will lead us through a glittering career, resulting in a Times article written about our success and a place in the Observer magazine featuring the up-and-coming stars of the new generation, or we consign ourselves to a lifetime of bits-and-bobbery, flailing wildly from job to job, desperately trying to find our ‘niche’. This approach to the working world seems to be a result of growing up in a time of relative prosperity, fostering the idea that we had the freedom (and, more importantly, the time) to indulge our hobbies, drifting until they slotted neatly into the bracket of monetary gain. Unfortunately, however, just as we were being unleashed into this dream-like reality, the recession hit and our cosy fantasy was shattered, taking with it all hopes of finding a company that could ‘really use’ someone whose priority in life was to make model sandcastles out of bits of old maths books.
In the twenty-teens, keeping your options open is no longer viable. It is an age where success supposedly hits before you are 30, or not at all.
Let’s take, for example, the music industry – a worry in itself. In that uncertain world, if you haven’t been spotted and signed by the time your voice has broken then you’ll be struggling for the rest of your career. But is this behaviour something we can honestly support? It is no coincidence that, having hit the big time at a very young age, we see bands disappear from the radar entirely to lick their paparazzi-inflicted wounds and nurse their throbbing egos; only to return years later, sage, mature and able to cope with the colossal amounts of pressure regularly exerted upon them.
In this sense, surely we ought to be exercising some caution, cushioning the young talent and not squeezing it out onto the world (and its numerous critics) before it is ready? In doing this, it should be noted, we would also be sparing the feelings of the majority – whose attempts to join the race to stardom are sadly unfulfilled and who spend the rest of their lives wondering what it could have been like. The combined pressure of prosperous peers and the misanthropic media is enough to make any normal person shrivel. However, hope is not lost – life doesn’t end in our mid-twenties, some (old) people even claim that it gets better once the ravages of anxiety and unstable self-esteem have torn through us. All you have to do is act with a little perspective – continue having fun now without getting too serious. After all, children, bills and arthritis will do that for you, later on.

Here are some quick tips to save you some time:

If you weren’t 12 when you landed your first acting role then you won’t be featured in Vogue at 23.

If you weren’t spotted by ‘Storm Models’ whilst walking around John Lewis with your mum at 15, then supermodel you ain’t.

If you aren’t vaguely linked to Mark ‘the endorser’ Ronson (or some other faux-cool music mogul), then going platinum at 25 is laughable. Ha ha.

If Soho Theatre hasn’t put on your autobiographical tale of the hard times of a outlandish middle-class socialite then bye bye The Vics Old and Young.

Some facts to cheer you up:

Morgan Freeman was 43 when he made his first film, having only had some minor television roles prior to that. This lucky break was followed by Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – WIN.

Hilary Mantel, winner of the most recent Booker Prize, had her first novel published at 33 years of age.

Bridget Jones and her impressive posterior didn’t get on TV until she was 32.

(Don’t aspire to this, she is a fictional character.)


1 comment:

  1. i agree! there is such a pressure to achieve at early age now everything has become so goal oriented