As a performer or an entertainer you have a job to give people what they want. You have a job of being on a pedestal especially if people are paying to see you or listen to your music. But if you don’t ask yourself “how far you’re willing to go or not go before you step into the industry?”, I’m telling you first hand that decisions will be harder to make, you’ll be more wishy washy, and you will probably compromise your beliefs and your morals.
I remember being younger, and growing up in a Christian house going to church. I knew what was right and what was wrong. What was for God and what was against Him. I always said I would never do things or be a certain way. Obviously it was easy to say these things since no real struggles and opportunities in these areas had presented themselves.
When I was twelve I started dancing in a studio, and I was determined to become something big in the industry. I wanted my name out there, I wanted people to know who I was. I wanted to be a hit in the dance world. I danced regularly all through Jr. High and High School, training for the day I could step into the big leagues. And that day comes when you step out from under the wing of your parents and your studio. For some people it comes early and for some it comes later. But it will inevitably happen. I danced in magic shows, competitions, shows, and even started teaching dance and doing choreography. At one point I was employed by three different dance studios and it felt great to know that my hard work was paying off and I was starting to “make it”. But through the whole journey of me dancing and performing, I struggled with presenting myself in a way people would notice.
When you audition you have about fifteen seconds to catch their attention before they start looking at the next person. So how are you going to do that? It’s always tricky because different auditions call for different standards. Is what you need to do worth getting that attention? Are you willing to compromise? How far are you really willing to go? And trust me people WILL ask you this question in the entertainment industry. And I’m telling you to be prepared, because, as Marilyn Monroe put it “Hollywoodis a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”
Something that I wished I had realized sooner is that your attention and glory and gratification only happens maybe 30% of the time in a performing career. As an artist, you are never fully satisfied and constantly want better and bigger and more. You are constantly working on something or another whether it is the actual or the publicity of it. Most of the time the things I did were never worth the attention. The attention lasted for the five minutes of my performance, and afterwards I felt good about myself and my career for about a week. Until I realized that I still needed to do more, and there were still people ahead of me I needed to catch up with. So I felt.
I wanted to be inLos Angelesfor dance so badly. I applied to the school, I started training harder in tumbling and dance and I started being obsessed with my weight and appearance. I was whatHollywoodwanted and I was so “happy” about that. Until the day I sprained my ankle doing a back hand spring and obviously couldn’t go toL.A.I was devastated, I was so angry and depressed. I felt like everything I worked so hard for was thrown out the window. When in reality, it was the greatest blessing in disguise. Anything I thought was worth anything was out of my reach at this point. But life and God were working in different ways that I wouldn’t see until later. I had lost myself pretty deep for a while, with drinking, sex and drugs. But by the grace of God was pulled out faithfully like He does with his children.
About a year ago, I was determined to leave my hometown and move to a bigger city with more opportunity. That would cost a lot of money that I didn’t have. So long story short, I had a friend who was a stripper. She introduced me to this world and I began stripping and making incredible money. Money that I see now was never worth it. I told myself I was just doing it so I could pursue my dreams in dance and entertainment. I needed to get into the city where I would be noticed, but stripping was never part of my plan when I was thirteen and discovering my love for dance. Never in a million years would I believe that I would start stripping in order to support my dream. Did I HAVE to do it? No. But I was willing to go very far to get where I needed to go.
I made the money I needed and I moved to the beautiful city ofPortland,Oregon. I was still stripping but still had the intention of dancing with my friends in crews, and at studios. At this point I had compromised so much of my soul to try and make it in the industry. I really couldn’t see straight, or feel straight for that matter. I had knowingly walked out of God’s will, and into the world of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. I hadn’t felt like I became a bad person, I would always justify my actions saying that I was pursuing my dreams. Then one day I woke up and realized I wasn’t going anywhere. I was stuck. Money, attention, fame, glory, recognition, was all in the palm of my hands. At the cost of what? My soul. I never knew how much a person’s soul was worth until I completely broke mine and realized I wouldn’t be able to get it back. All for the sake of trying to be big, trying to get known, trying to get where I wanted to be, trying to succeed in the wayHollywoodsaid was success. I didn’t succeed, I don’t think I failed, but I definitely, without a question, lost my soul and gained a world that I now see was never worth it.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best at what you do; striving is good for the soul. But like I said earlier, how far are you willing to go? And is it really worth it? Its cliché’ to say but you can never take anything back. And everyday people are compromising what they know is true and right, for a chance in the limelight. And the limelight feels so nice, for a little while. Until you are driving in your car and you’re overwhelmed with a sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction. Until you realize your friends aren’t your friends, and you aren’t making the best of your gifts and talents. You’re just using them as an excuse to justify why you do what you do.
I hope and pray that you see really how much more your soul is worth than your fame before it’s too late. There is nothing wrong with being famous or people knowing who you are, doing what you love for a living, and getting to share it with the world. But as I quoted earlier Luke 9:25 “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?” I pray that you will prepare yourself, and you can be a light in an industry mixed with so many lost souls. And I pray that you will find and know for yourself that feeling of God’s everlasting love is far better than the temporal love of a million people you will probably never know or remember.
Blog by Serena S.
Luke 9:25 “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?”
Mark 8:36-37 “and what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”