Lights, camera, action. Today there are so many Hollywood hopefuls. Singers, dancers, actors and film makers all share a common goal. They all want to make it. For many of them, becoming successful in their artistic careers has been a life, long dream. The life of an artist is a difficult one. It is a daily routine of judgment and rejection. They have to develop strong, thick skin. The weak give up or give in. They sacrifice so much emotionally and financially but how much more would they sacrifice to seal the deal and make it big?

Two artists shared with me their passion for what they do and what they are willing to sacrifice to fulfill their dreams. Abosede’ Copeland is a film writer and maker. Currently she is working towards her Masters degree in film at Savannah College of Art and Design. Dani J is a very talented singer from Buffalo, NY.

What is your definition of “making it?”Abosede’: My definition of “making it” is when you as an artist have reached the point when the art you create can touch any audience.Dani J: My definition of making it, in my opinion is having my talent and my songwriting recognized and respected on a national level, and eventually on an international level. Making it is the realization that all of your hard work and determination has finally paid off.

What are you willing to sacrifice to make it?Abosede’: I’m willing to sacrifice my comfort zone to delve into the unknown.Dani J: I will sacrifice my time and put my talent on the line in order to make, because I believe so much in it. In order to make it you have to have patience and strong faith that it will happen for you.

How important is it for an artist to know themselves before they make it?Abosede’: I think it’s very important to know yourself as an artist. Seriously, how can you grow into something if you don’t know from where you start?Dani J: It’s extremely important to know who you are as an artist before you make it. This is because you need to know your limits and how far you will go and how much of yourself you are willing to give up for your craft. You don’t want others making that decision for you. You must know yourself and have your mind already made up and stand firm on that. If you don’t know who you are, them someone can come along and turn you and your art into whatever they want it to be, something that doesn’t have your heart in it.

Do you think many artists “sell out?” Are you willing to sell out?Abosede’: I believe there are some artists who sell out for various reasons. The main one being inability to be able or willing to think outside the box. However, I’m not willing to because I stand firm in what I write about and I am able to adequately “defend” it if necessary.Dani J: Yes and no. Yes because I see many artists become something different than they were when they first started out. But I say no because it could be that they didn’t really know themselves coming in and succumbed to the pressures of the industry and the glamour of the Hollywood lights. In most cases, these artists have families and friends depending on them, so they have to do what it takes, even if that means “selling out”. I am not willing to sell out.

I have a family and a community that I live for and that look up to me. Any project that I do I make sure that it’s not only appropriate but that it reflects me. I’m not into making music just to dance to in the club. All of the songs I write have a meaning and come from personal experience and the experiences of those close to me. If I make it I want to do it knowing that I stayed true to myself and that the people most important to me can be proud of me. Selling out is not an option.

Dani J

Tamara Jackson
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Tamara Jackson was born in Houston, TX and raised in Buffalo, NY. At an early age, she realized her love for words. She began writing poetry which evolved into songs, then skits, then plays, then screenplays. Currently, Tamara is a graduate student at Savannah College of Art and Design where she is working towards her MFA in performing arts. She is writing her first book. (Update: She graduated from SCAD in 2012).

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