Monday, May 15, 2017

What I Learned About Dreams from La La Land


Summit Entertainment via redbox.com
Have you seen La La Land? I recently watched it, since it just came out on DVD.  As a fan of old movies, especially Singing in the Rain, it was my cup of tea: lovely score, costumes, and snappy dialogue. I was enthralled with this story of an aspiring actress and a jazz musician till the end.

But all that talk of following your dreams made me think of my own dreams—and how long I’ve wanted to be a writer (since fourth grade—but who’s counting?).

Here’s what I learned about dreams:

***Spoiler Alert—if you haven’t watched the movie, you might want to stop here.***

1.  Rejection can make you lose sight of your dreams. There’s one point in the movie, when Mia, the main character, is so discouraged she wants to give up. “It hurts,” she says. I don’t blame her. Auditions are harder than querying. I’d rather get a form letter. But no matter how it happens, rejection does hurt. The only thing that’s helped me is to remember—it’s not personal. It’s my work they don’t like, not me.


Summit Entertainment
2.  Support is essential for any dreamer. I loved how Sebastian pushes Mia when she’s at her lowest, finding her an audition and driving her all the way from Nevada to L.A. This made me thankful for the supportive people in my life—like my husband who always took my dream seriously, never doubting I’d see a book in my hands some day. I know it’s harder following your dreams without support, though not impossible.

3.  Being a dreamer means making tough choices. The only part about the movie I didn’t like was the ending. If you’ve seen it, you know it’s not typical Hollywood. But, at the same time, I agree with what the filmmakers are saying. Having a dream—a big dream, like acting or any of the arts—is consuming. It can be hard on your family. I know this, because there was a time when I was so consumed with my art that I had very little left over for my husband or kids. But unlike Mia, I don’t think that is a good thing. I love writing, but I hold it a lot more loosely than I once did. Of course, it’s still my dream to get published, but there is more to life than writing. And I don’t regret the fact that my writing dreams have sometimes moved at a snail's pace in order to put my family first.


Summit Entertainment via redbox.com
Have you seen La La Land? What do you think about what it said about choices and following your dreams?



* I won't be blogging for the next Mondays due to a family wedding and Memorial Day weekend. I'll be back on Thursday, June 1st with my post for the blog tour for the new MG adventure, THE EXPLORERS: THE DOOR IN THE ALLEY by Adrienne Kress. I'll see you then!

10 comments:

  1. I'm helping out at a community theater group and agree with you that auditions can be painful. I do think the querying is the same, just a different type of rejection.

    Have fun at your family events!

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  2. I haven't seen the movie but I've heard some don't like the ending.
    It does take support but it's not healthy to ignore those who support us.

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  3. I have the DVD and haven't watched it yet, so I stopped at your spoiler alert... But I know this-- without dream there are only dark valleys. Hope (and hope-against-hope) is the blood-life of our striving.

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  4. Jenni, I loved it and bought the sheet music for it. Had some thoughts about it as well: http://vijayabodach.blogspot.com/2017/03/meets-movies-and-music.html

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  5. ps: and to be able to post a comment again! Doing it twice. Dagny loved it so much she saw it twice and then a friend saved the movie poster.

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  6. My daughter is a professional actor. Yup, auditions can be killers, just as rejections are in writing. I liked a lot of things in the movie, but over all it didn't quite work for me, but I sure agree with the messages you gleaned from it.

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  7. Yeah, I learned about how it ends, accidentally, and I knew that would ruin it for me. Sad, right? Dream chasing is definitely a hard business, and sometimes we find along the way that there are more worthy pursuits. (I think that's what I would have liked this movie to say. Alas.)

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  8. Excellent post, Jenni. Like you, I've been known to crawl along in the dream department at times to allow more family time, but without them, I wouldn't have much inspiration for my dreams anyway.
    I haven't seen the movie, but it sounds like I'm not going to be a fan of the ending. :-)

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  9. More than likely, it's not that an agent (or publisher) doesn't like your work, it's just not a fit for what they need right now:) Loved the movie!

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  10. Interesting post. I guess some people are willing to pay the price for fame or whatever they're looking for. I haven't been able to do that.

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