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"I'd like to thank the Academy, my mother, my acting coach, my rehab specialist, my parole officer, my pharmacist...."

No matter your money troubles, glory, at least, can be achieved at just about any step along the way. Even killing it in a community theatre production of Grease comes with an element of glory. That laughter, that applausethere’s nothing like it. You are entertaining people, moving people, and that's why you got into this biz in the first place. That, and so that you'd improve your chances of one day meeting Jessica Alba. And like…do you really care to meet Jessica Alba? Of all the people in the worldthose who invented things, saved lives, built businesses that put people to work…Jessica Alba is who you want to meet? (If you thought about it, the person you really want to meet is her manager or PR people….)

If you are an actor living inside of the 20-mile quadrant around "Hollywood," being a struggling actor is perceived as a somewhat cool gigthe throngs will wonder, "Is he the next Brad?" But outside of that, actors are…waiters with an odd ego. So if you do go home to Milwaukee for Thanksgiving and tell people you're an actor but don't really have a big movie coming out, be prepared for some glances to your parents from visitors which say, "Well, at least your other kids have a life…."

And if the whole notion of this kind of showy easy wealth/power/glory thing really reaches you emotionally in a powerful way, don't be surprised. You're a teen. You have a rough social life. High school is brutal. Nobody looks back fondly on those years. So the fact that you'd be emotionally pulled toward finding a way of shoving "success" back in your "friends"' faces is not a surprising reaction. Just be sure it's really you and not just recoil from the last Saturday night sitting at home with mom and dad watching an old movie alone.

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