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The Back-up Plan

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

In the entertainment industry, I feel like a constant question that I get asked is "What is your back-up plan if things don't work out?" That question comes off in a condescending way and implies that what I am trying to do is something that is temporary. The average person is not the only one who mentions "the back-up plan", it is heard by nearly everyone. Countless times I have seen celebrities say there was no back-up plan and working in entertainment was their only plan. When I hear that, I hear a couple of things.

What I hear:

  1. I hear that a back-up plan is still something that is discussed. It is a concept that is accepted even if they don't have one.

  2. That someone's plan is rooted in their career and not in other aspects and attributes of their life.

The entire notion of a back-up plan infuriates me because why does that have to be a concept at all? If I decide to change paths and pivot careers, so be it. That is simply the plan and it should not be looked at as the back-up when arts and entertainment are no longer feasible. I feel that using the concept of a back-up plan devalues what I am doing because it indicates it is not a safe route to take. In addition to that, if I were to give a "back-up plan" a thought and then chose to pursue it, I will feel like I am a failure. I think my narrative will sound like I was not able to survive and persevere through the grit of the industry. I failed at finding stability and a lifestyle within arts and entertainment so I had to look elsewhere. What I am doing now (YouTube, Thoughts n' Things, the Newsletter, and more) is a career regardless of how fruitful it may or may not be, this isn't a hobby that will pass because at my core my plan is to work creatively.

Trust me, I am well aware of the challenges this field poses. I no longer even consider that I have a back-up plan because my back-up plan is the same as my plan. It is to listen to what is best for me. This plan doesn't focus on my career but rather on my life. That is the only plan all along, to do what I need to do for myself. Why did I switch majors back in college? I did because I was unhappy. Why did I reimage how I work and create? I did that to better support my lifestyle. What if my job takes up too much of my life? I pivot because I wasn't able to be as social as I liked. I did it because that was what was best for me in the moment. This is what would make me the happiest. The change is not my back-up plan, it was my plan all along.

I don't want to hear anything about a back-up plan and I refuse to act like I am using a back-up plan now or ever. I am doing what I can do to find the most fulfillment in my life. I am going to live the life that I will live. There will be bumps in the road, ups and downs, and challenges for sure. The plan isn't necessarily crystal clear. Despite that, I know it will all make sense with the passage of time.

This is the end of the back-up plan and now it is just the plan. What is your plan?

*BuckeyeThon 2017, in the search of a new major but, still following my plan.

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