The phrase, I believe, is “pipe dream.”
pipe dream –noun.
1) Any fantastic notion, vain hope, or wildly irrational endeavor: Ex. – Her plans for a movie career are just a pipe dream.
2) A fantastic but vain hope (from fantasies induced by the opium pipe)
While I can assure you that I have no history with “the opium pipe,” I am elated to finally be able to announce to the masses (that’s you) that I have finally begun the process of pursuing my own irrational flight of fancy.
Warning: This long and self-indulgent message is going to be very…well, long and self-indulgent. If you don’t have ten to fifteen minutes to waste on it, or you’re one of those people who was like, nice to me out of courtesy, but never really liked me because I was too obnoxious…like, maybe we smiled and said “hi” in the hallways and all that, but ultimately, hearing all about my life and plans would be pretty annoying to you; then please, feel free to delete this email or navigate away from the website you’re reading this from and go about your day as you normally would. No hard feelings. …Well, maybe some hard feelings. Jerk.
Anyone who’s ever had a conversation with me that lasted longer than three minutes knows any or all of the following facts about my life: A) that I was born in California, B) that I have a fairly strong background in the performing arts, C) that I have a borderline-unhealthy need to be the center of attention, and D) that I was tricked into moving to Ohio in my early teens by an elaborate time-share pyramid scheme. But what does any of that have to do with my so-called pipe dream? Well, after many years spent living in Ohio (Birthplace of Aviation, Deathplace of Competent Driving and Decent Speed Limits…I shouldn’t be forced to drive 40mph on a highway, ever), I have decided to move back to southern California to pursue a career in the entertainment business. Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “But Dustin, I’ve seen your work, and really, you’re not all that talented. Why risk a life of poverty and failure for you, your children, and your children’s children, just so you can appease your own selfish whims?” …And actually, that’s a pretty good point…but I’ve already sent this out, so I guess it’s too late to back down now, isn’t it? Maybe that’s something you could bring to my attention a little earlier next time, ok?
A Day That Will Live in Infamy:
The not-so-tentative date of my departure from Columbus, Ohio, to Los Angeles, California (which, loosely translated, means, “The Angels, Rich-People”) is January 11th, 2008. That might seem like a randomly-drawn-out-of-a-hat kind of day at first glance, but it’s actually the result of a pretty complex formula consisting of:
Dec. 7th (Jared’s birthday)
Dec. 8th (Joe & Sarah’s wedding, which I’m in)
Dec. 11th (Road Trip)
Dec. 16th (Jared returns home, extended family Christmas activities)
Dec. 23rd – 26th (Jesus days)
Dec. 30th – Jan. 2nd (New Year’s/BAC-Achievement days)
Jan. 2nd – Jan. 7th (Bowl Championship Series)
Jan. 10th (Mom’s birthday)
So there you have it; bright and early on the morning of Jan. 11th, 2008, I will pile as many of my belongings as can fit into my 2007 Ford Focus (hey, if Mike Rowe says to buy a Ford, that’s good enough for me) and begin the approximately 2,246.21 mile journey to LA. Feel free to mark your calendars now and set aside that date as a day of weeping, gnashing of teeth, and general grieving over my departure.
This Program Made Possible With Support From Viewers Like You:
Now, you may be surprised to learn that a 2007 Ford Focus SE — while incredibly roomy and a delight to drive — isn’t big enough to hold things such as a bed, a dresser, most of my life-sized N’Sync cardboard cutouts, etc. In addition, I should point out that I am lacking all of the following out on the Left Coast: a job, a place to live, potential roommates, a general sense of direction, and a decent place to go thrifting (because there’s a greater-than-average chance that for the first time in my life, I will legitimately need to purchase my clothing from the thrift store — instead of just doing it to be “wicked awesome” like I am out here). That’s where YOU come in. I’m asking any and all of my friends/family/acquaintances/former employers/teachers/classmates to pick one or more of the following ways to help me.
Please go through this list and circle the option(s) that best describe(s) you and/or your ability to aid me:
-I know a person/persons who will employ someone with no experience and a questionable work ethic like yourself.
-I have and/or know of a reasonably-priced and/or free place where you can live (no Compton locations, please)
-I know/am someone who isn’t a serial killer that needs/wants a roommate.
-I have “connections” in some facet of the entertainment business that would be useful to someone looking to begin a career in acting/writing.
(mafia connections are frowned upon, but still accepted)
-I have a large pile of money and nothing better to do with it than to give some to you in order to help you get settled out west.
-I can get you a cheap bed/dresser, that may or may not be disease-free and clear of germs.
(germ and disease-free preferred)
-I know a free way to get you out of your contract with Sprint so that you can switch to AT&T and buy an iPhone.
-I have some other, helpful sort of service/aid/connection not listed here that I’d like you to be aware of.
-I can’t help with any of the above, but I support you fully with your endeavors, and at the very least would like to give you a hug/handshake and wish you well. And also, I think you’re a very attractive man, and your rugged good looks have always, and will always, inspire me to achieve greatness in my own life. And on the incredibly off chance that you ever “make it,” I fully intend to mooch off of you as much as possible, even though I didn’t help you in your time of need.
The Final Countdown:
So that’s it, I hope you found these 1,072 words helpful in catching up on my life, and I hope that you all know how very valuable our relationship during my time here has been to me. Please let’s keep in touch — or, failing that, try to remember me as nicer/better/handsomer/fatter than I actually was while we knew each other. This entire endeavor has felt like a blessing from God from the very beginning, and I’m proud and ecstatic to be able to share it with all of you. May God bless you and your pipe dreams as he has blessed the planning of mine. And please, feel free to pass this on or share it with anyone I may have missed, lost contact with, or just anyone in general who might find it of interest.
Love to all,
Dustin Charles Heveron
20 Questions (or less):
OK, so I’m sure you all have questions about the specifics of my journey, and why I’m going in the first place, what I want to do when I get out there, etc. As much as I want you all to feel free to ask me whatever you want to know, I thought I’d include a section that might answer some of the more obvious questions that I’ve already had to answer repeatedly. A “frequently asked questions” section, if you will. Now if only they had some kind of acronym for that…
1) So, what exactly do you want to do in the “entertainment industry” in LA?
Well, in the short term? Anything. Initially, I’m pretty much prepared to do whatever I have to in order to get the proverbial “foot in the door” and be able to pay whatever exorbitant rent I end up leased to in my first months there. Eventually, I’d like to be able to support myself exclusively from acting and writing, but as anyone with a modicum of experience in that field can tell you, that is a lofty and unlikely goal, statistically speaking. But then again, I never liked math that much, so why worry about it now?
2) Where will you live?
See above…I have nowhere to live yet, and no real prospects. I will update this as I get viable options.
3) How many days will it take you to get famous and be on TV and/or in movies? Will it be longer than three weeks?
Some self-conducted, incredibly informal research has revealed that it can take anywhere from two-to-five years just to get started at the very bottom rung of the ladder I’m trying to climb. And that’s if they let you on the ladder at all — it’s a pretty competitive playground, and the line for the slide is pretty long. It’s a known fact that 99.9% of all people (and 67.2% of all animals) in the Los Angeles area are wannabe actors, and most of them go their entire acting careers without ever having acting careers, so while I’m cautiously optimistic about my future as an entertainer, I’m not expecting anything right away, and neither should you. Even the dictionary definition I used for “pipe dream,” uses someone pursuing an acting career as the example sentence. That’s how synonymous “actor” and “least-likely to succeed” are. But rest assured, you will all be kept in the loop should anything noteworthy come my way, and I thank you in advance for your support. Unless we make some major breakthroughs in time-travel soon, in which case I won’t have to thank you in advance for your support, I’ll just travel to the future when you support me and thank you then, face-to-face.
4) I read legitimate journalistic publications like “E! News Weekly” and “Access Hollywood,” and I heard something about, like, a writer’s strike or something that could put everyone in Hollywood out of work or something. Won’t that negatively affect your ability to start an acting/writing career?
Well first of all, those are TV shows you listed, not publications, try proof-reading your material every once in awhile to catch your mistakes. Secondably, yes, there’s been talk of a giant writer’s strike for years…but ultimately, worrying about the potential problems of a proverbial “tomorrow” is no way to spend today, so if it happens, and if it effects me at all, I will deal with it then. And don’t watch so much Fox News, you’re getting paranoid.
5) What will you do if/when you don’t make it? Do you have a timeline or deadline to give up if things don’t work out? Will you move back to Ohio then?
I don’t currently foresee a time when I’ll want to give up this dream/goal of mine. Rather, I intend to always work towards this goal to some degree — even if I’m holding down another job (or nine other jobs) to pay bills, I’m always going to be auditioning, writing, and trying to pursue something in the entertainment/performance field. Your passion is who you are, and to give that up or try and remove it would be like trying to give up or tear out a part of yourself, and I don’t plan on doing that anytime soon. I will say that if it becomes exceedingly clear that I’m not meant to work in this field, or if I find something else that I’m just as passionate about, I will pursue that as fervently as this, but for now, I don’t see that happening. And as far as moving back to Ohio, I will say this: I love my family immensely — which is why I will call, write and visit as often as I’m able to — but I’ve lived in a lot of different geographical areas in the US of A, and California is by far my favorite. So even if I’m 65 years old, single and still waiting tables and auditioning in my spare time (a very real possibility, I should remind you), I would rather be doing it in Cali than anywhere else…and at least they don’t have winter. Now if this whole global warming thing starts to get fast and furious, I may reconsider cooler climates, but at this point it would take some kind of natural disaster (like an earthquake, or mudslides, or miles of raging fires or something) to get me to move…luckily, they don’t have those out there.
6) Look, it’s just you and me now, no one else has read this far, so you can level with me: you’re just doing all this because you want to be famous and have everyone laud and praise you, right?
Actually, no, believe it or not. For as admittedly vain, self-centered, narcissistic, etc. as I am; society’s definition/status of “famous” is something I am loath to deal with. I mean, obviously I’d like to be known and respected for doing quality work in the business, but I’m pursuing a career in something I have always loved doing — I’m not pursuing my face on a billboard and a nude beach shot of myself on the cover of The Inquirer. Just give me steady work, you can keep the fame.
7) I want to be constantly updated on your progress to a stalker-like degree. What’s the best way for me to memorize every detail of your life without texting you every 17 seconds and eventually causing you to block me from your phone?
After careful consideration, I have decided to get with the hottest craze of the late ‘90s and start a blog. You can find it at: http://ocdustino.blogspot.com/
I can’t promise how often it will be updated, but I can assure you everything of interest I do will make it there at some point. Pre-move, I’ll use it to update people on my needs/wants/other-self-centered-focuses, and post-move, I’ll use it to keep people abreast of my progress in the industry, if there is any to report.
8) Don’t you have a pretty good job now, with a lot of opportunity for advancement, great perks, the potential for huge pay, company-paid travel, etc? Why in the would you give that up to wait tables— er, I mean, “be an actor,” in LA?
I once wrote a song with the lyrics, “I don’t care too much for money, ‘cause money can’t buy me love.” And those words say it all: even though I’m not some giant Hollywood hotshot (or any size of Hollywood hotshot, now that I think about it), I’ve done enough performing, acting, writing, singing, etc. to know that I love entertainment/performance more than anything else I’ve ever done. I tried the whole “real job” thing with the “cubicle” and the “future” and the “paycheck,” for over a year after I graduated. And as much as I am thankful for that time I had and the people I met (and the money wasn’t bad, either), all it really did was prove to me how much I wanted to give it all up and pursue my dreams instead. And if that’s not the essence of blind, ignorant youth and inexperience, I don’t know what is.
9) Dustin! I feel the need to inform you — a California native — of how expensive the cost of living is out there! I am the only person who knows this information and it is vital that you understand how impossible living out there will be unless you have, like, a trillion and a half dollars…do you have any idea what gas costs out there?! Are you a trillionaire?!
No, I’m not a trillionaire, and I appreciate your concern and consideration for my ability to sustain myself out there, but I have it on good authority (Wikipedia.org) that dozens — maybe even hundreds – of people live in California who aren’t lottery winners, oil tycoons, CEO’s and the like. I intend to be one of them. And while I admit that I am probably going to roll my eyes the first time I have to pay $83 for a burrito from Taco Bell, that’s just part of the sacrifice I’m willing to make. And besides, that’s why they have Del Taco out there, where prices are still what they were in the 1920’s. Three quesadillas for a nickel? Jackpot.
10) Why aren’t there exactly 20 questions like it said in the heading of this section?
That’s exactly why I added the “(or fewer)” part to the heading, but the number of questions in this section will increase or decrease based on how much I feel explaining things over and over and over again to people. If there’s a question you’re dying to see here, let me know. I’m only here to make you happy, after all.
11) Dustin, you’re looking really buff these days, have you been working out?
Yes, and thanks for noticing. I am incredibly attractive and not at all skinny. Think “Greek god” combined with Hulk Hogan (the good years), and that’s pretty much what I look like now. And it’s probably best if you just take my word for that, and don’t try to confirm it via facebook or myspace or in person or anything. I mean, would I lie to you? …Wink!