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I Wear it in Hopes Things Will Get Better


As a background artist, our job is to be seen but never heard. We are treated anywhere from tolerated to despised. I didn't set out to do this. I had big plans. I majored in molecular biology and went on to get a masters in biomedical sciences. I wanted to go to medical school. I failed. Twice. I was told I wasn't smart enough because I have dyslexia. I was told that I would amount to nothing.

All this was said by people I trusted. My self confidence shattered. With my dreams in a smoldering pile of ashes, I desperately became a background artist. I needed an income and I couldn't be in a lab and was told I was stupid like I had been for the past 8 years.

I have never been happier, but BG work pays next to nothing. Yes, I get to create, but at minimum wage. I have been arguing with myself back and forth over the past year and a half on whether I should just stop this job that pays nothing but makes me so happy to do a lab job that has a steady income but will never allow me to flourish. 

Fast forward to July 2017. I joined a little show called The Gifted as "core" BG. I made amazing friends in my fellow background and even befriended the principle actors. One of them, I will call her C for her privacy, and I hit it off. She is a veteran actor who was able to look Hollywood in the face and maintain her purity and kindness. C and I only spoke a handful of times over the 5 months I was on The Gifted, but it always felt so special. 

The last day of shooting, I gave C a Funko pop I had painted just like her character. Since BG isn't allowed to speak to principles, I had to sneak over and hand it to her. I wanted her to know how much her kindness meant to me throughout the past 5 months. Several hours later, I felt something small tossed in my lap. C was studiously pretending she hadn't just tossed anything, so I didn't look until later. A key.

I didn't know I hadn't been allowing myself to DREAM until she gave me this key. I wear it always in hopes things will get better.

-Natasha

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