You have to start somewhere
I recently saw a Youtube video from Ashton Kutcher, of all people, where he tried to give the kids the low down on how to be successful. Not some shiny, idealized Hollywood version, but a talk about hard work, perseverance, and being honest with yourself. There was one part I love to tell people about – and I paraphrase- where he said he was never too good for any job he had. Working his way up, he claimed that he never spent his days whining about how he was better than what he was doing and how he should be the CEO already, but that it was a stepping stone, an experience builder for his next job. That’s the way the world works, oddly enough. You put in your time, learn your trade, and if you’re really lucky you marry Demi Moore and make millions of dollars.
Think of all those great actors and directors; they got their start somewhere. Harrison Ford built sets when George Lucas brought him on stage. Joss Whedon was a script doctor on a Toy Story movie, Brad Pitt drove a limo and carted strippers around. So stick with it, Fry Cook; one day you might well be on posters around the world!
Making a segue into another realm of the entertainment industry where hard work matters, there is also one shout-out that should be given to Ralph McQuarrie. If you’re not a sci-fi or design geek, you may not know the name, which is a travesty. But this one man was largely responsible for the Star Wars we all know, and like those script doctors and set guys who never seem to become household names, he was yet an integral part of the movies we all know and love. Major character designs like Darth Vader, R2-D2, Chewbacca, many of the sets and major vehicles were all drawn by this man. He also worked on the original Battlestar Galactica and others. Here’s a perfect example of a guy who created things that were enjoyed by millions over decades, and yet many probably don’t know his name.
So think of all these things next time you are at your job and it’s not going your way. Boss is riding you, co-workers are lazy and gross, and the taco truck in the parking lot is late for lunch. Just take pride in plying your trade, because even if you never become Ashton Kutcher, you could still be a Ralph McQuarrie; incredibly important but in the shadows, known only to those that really matter.