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Dialogue about a second gen trying to be more than a nurse or engineer

The Artist Taboo

The following is dramatization of possible and likely events:

A family sits around the boob tube on a Monday night.  It's 8:23 pm and the channel is firmly set on ABC.  That's right it's "Dancing with the Stars" night.

MOM
(slight Filipino accent):
Oh wow, Cheryl Burke, she's so good!  And so pretty!  Ganda-ganda naman!  I'm going to vote for her! (picks up phone and starts dialing.)

SON:
Mom, you know you're supposed to be voting for the contestants, not the professionals.

MOM:
I don't care. I like her.  She's so good! And she's mestiza!

DAUGHTER:
Mom, I wanna be like Cheryl!  I wanna become a professional dancer!

MOM:
No, anak, you're going to become a nurse!



I'm going to make the assumption that scenario, or one very similar, has taken place all across the U.S. (well, perhaps Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, and Virginia Beach) on multiple occasions.

Interesting, isn't it?  Perhaps times have changed and pursuing a career in arts and entertainment isn't as frowned upon as it once was.  I can assure you, though, that quite a few people my age can commiserate.

It's funny.  Our parents appreciate the best and brightest in arts and entertainment.  They love singing, listening to OPM (Original Pilipino Music), watching movies, and cheering for their favorite sports teams. And how many times have you heard, "Oh you know, he/she's Filipino!" as they refer to certain famous people? You can hear the pride in their voices.  However, when it comes to their own children pursuing a career in these fields, all bets are off.

Where do you think these famous Filipinos come from? Writers do not become writers overnight. A painter does not become one in a matter of hours. Do you think people wake up one day and say to themselves, "By golly.  I feel like becoming a famous actor today!" and VOILA! it happens?

Sorry to disappoint you, mom and dad, but it does take a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck.  

Unfortunately it feels like validation comes solely through fame or money (i.e. "success").  And that is bestowed upon a very select few.

That being said, I understand that it's good to have a backup, to have a stable career set, but I can't help but feel that so much artistic development is lost when your art is placed on the back burner.

I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this.  It's getting late.  I suppose the moral of the entry is:

I love you mom and dad, but: Support the arts. Start at home.

After all, without all the creative types, we would have this really cool website to visit every day!