Is college a necessity?
Abso-fucking-lutely (to quote my friend’s girlfriend’s response after he proposed to her in front of The Bellagio last weekend).
There Mom….are you happy?
I said it!
COLLEGE IS NECESSARY!!!!
Is it necessary if you’re going into the arts?
I only said “maybe”, Ma!
Jeez! It’s not like I said, “Art school is totally a waste of freakin‘ money!”
But what if it is?! You know?! What if it is a waste of money!?
Quit pulling the Jewish guilt trip, will ya?
1.) So I want to go to artsy fartsy school. Is that good idea? Did you go to artsy fartsy school, Lauren?
I went to film school. Upon leaving film school and working in Hollywood, I was angry. Film school did not prepare me for the realities of the industry. Theory and critique is wonderful, but considering the chances of film students actually becoming filmmakers are low, knowing what unique camera angles Orson Welles used in Citizen Kane is most likely not going to help you understand when your agent is trying to figuratively or literally f*ck you or deal with your producer when he is high on blow and threatening to jump off the 8th floor of the Sunset Tower with the final cut of your movie in his hands.
This was a common sentiment voiced by other friends who work in the arts industries. My friend, Chris, a TV writer/producer in Los Angeles who attended Gonzaga University and has $27,000 in college debt, said, “In terms of actual concrete skills necessary to do anything with my job – my degree didn’t do anything there. On the other hand, things I learned through experiences at college made me better at research, organizing ideas, and writing. The first step that got me my first job and launched my career was an internship at a production company and because internships technically as a legal matter must only be given to an enrolled college student — and even if the place that might hire you for an internship doesn’t technically follow that rule — being enrolled in college helps you to get that internship in the first place.”
2.) So if they don’t really teach you anything at artsy fartsy school, what is the point?
The big point about artsy fartsy school that I conveniently forget is that I got my foot in the Hollywood door through my internship. At internships you make connections. However, internships are often difficult to obtain unless you’re enrolled in college. There is much debate on whether or not it is “illegal” to hire an intern that is not currently enrolled in school. I’ve always been told this. However, after some research, it’s appears that is not the case. In some states like California, I believe if a student is not enrolled in school, then you will have to pay them for the internship. That could be where the confusion lies (please correct me if you know more on this). Regardless, this misnomer or the fact that employers like “hiring” interns who are going to school, puts the non-college student in a tough place.
3.) Is it worth spending $30,000, $50,000, $100,000 just for the internships/connections?
No, it’s not.
5.) No, seriously…what the hell are you trying to tell me?I don’t really know.
I guess what I’m trying to say is if you’re parents are freakin‘ loaded and you really want to go to art/film school, then do it.