Dear Future Successful Self,
This is your conscience calling. You seem to have forgotten in your upward spiral of fame and fortune your younger, treading-the-water-to-save-from-drowning, predecessor. Try to remember, I know it must be hard, a time when things weren’t so stable and the life you are enjoying now seemed impossible to imagine and you felt like giving up.
I’m sure this must be a painful reminder of a past long forgotten, now that you’ve reached the side of the grass that’s greener, but you once wrote this letter as an exercise in ‘never taking for granted’ and I’m afraid the time has now come for lesson number one.
Sure, you have age and wisdom ahead of me. You know best. You are running the National Theatre single-handedly after all and the RSC call you twice a day to see if they can poach you. You’re married to George Clooney who you had a whirlwind romance with on the set of a film he was directing and finally convinced to settle down. He bought you an art gallery in Florence. But you know all this already…
Today, an unassuming girl caught you in the corridor to ask about work experience and ways to get involved in the arts. ‘Do you have an appointment?’ She wanted some advice on how to get started. You were her ‘hero’ she said. Yah, yah, great, yah, you replied. How annoying, you thought and sent her on the way with few words of encouragement to hand her CV into the front desk where you knew it would probably stay – honestly, you must get about a hundred CV’s a week. You are just too busy.
How did you get your first arts related job? Your past self is, at this moment, running around on empty steam, studying full-time, holding down two jobs and an internship just trying to get her foot in the door. Hard work pays off and your past self knows it won’t be long until her efforts are rewarded by an added dash of luck. Right time, right place and someone will give her the break she needs. The rest, as we now know, is history.
Please, do your younger inexperienced self a favour. Give her that break. Go down to the front office and have a look at her CV. Give her a ring and invite her for a little chat, you’ll be impressed. After she has successfully proved herself to be an asset to you, you will offer her a job. After this, you’ll realise the value of potential new recruits and there’ll be no stopping you: An annual advertised internship; a mentoring scheme; subsidised tickets; community workshops; a round table industry career talk… And you’ll increase your profit margins threefold allowing you to build that experimental programme you’ve always dreamed of but never had the backing for.
You may be sceptical and wonder at how your past self seems to know so much about the path you should be taking but you suddenly remember that your younger self was always looking towards the future. So why aren’t you?
Trust me – it got you this far.