WHAT DO YOU DO?- An Article By "Mr.M"

A mind blowing article by one of Nollywood's finest, Femi Jacobs,  with the sobriquet "Mr. M", lol. Sure you all know  how he came about that nick name.....I love this, very funny but factual. Ride on:

I had a chat with a lady I met on social
media recently. The first major thing we
talked about was what I did. Now she asked because she has seen my profile and probably had a picture in her head that although I might be an actor, I must do something else in order to seem so
Well, she asked and I said I was an actor.
What she said next wasn’t strange. It was the effrontery of her bluntness that staggered me a bit. She said, “that’s not a job…I don’t think that’s a job.” This is not an unusual thought as I said but this was different.
People usually keep this in their head and
do not necessarily express this out loud,
much less to a total stranger. “You guys are just acting to get attention so that you can get rich lovers to pay your bills and all.”
This is a bold insult, to my person and my
aspirations and dreams, and much more to my entire industry and what I know of it. As an aside, being an actor is not a small matter. But this is not the time to actually explain what the job of an actor entails. I may do that in a later article or
engagement. I felt a mixture of rage and shame and sadness, all at the same time.
Well, the conversation was over at this point, and so was any potential or semblance of possibilities for the interaction.
I had no idea where to begin to straighten
this out from. But I still wanted to make a
point. So I asked what she did. Well, it turns out she is a flight attendant. I told her how I got my Cabin Crew Licence many years ago and how I went on to get my Private Pilot License a year later; and how I returned home and had a profitable shot at Banking and Advertising before deciding to venture into Media Content and eventually into acting and Production; just to chip away at the ignorant assumption that only the jobless and vain venture into entertainment and the
I told her that not only did I know my job
but I knew hers, maybe even more than she did. And that although there are many of her colleagues who are in it to get
connected to rich men and women for shady reasons, I knew that there are plenty of others who are in it because that’s their dream job, and they do it with pride and
I asked her to name a few actors, male and female, that she had seen their work and she could only talk about one or two films she stumbled on on the Africa Magic
Channel. Plus she only knew one actor by
name. This is typical. People like to prove
how cool they are by how little they care
What she said is not altogether untrue, don’t get me wrong. But is it true for every one actor in Nollywood? Is it even true for most? Is it also true of ONLY Nollywood?
I have been in banking and mingled
extensively in the Marketing and Advertising world and I knew of many professionals there who are making giant strides and are committed to the highest ideals of those professions. But there are also many who are there to sell their body parts. Do we now define Banking as a profession for fornicators?
Why do we define the pantry by a few bad
eggs? Why are we so hung up on what’s bad sometimes and rub it off on everything else? I know many fair minded individuals who would agree with me on that banking instance but disagree on the nollywood one.
I can understand that. Bankers aren’t on
television everyday kissing each other on
screen and they don’t film themselves
sleeping in beds topless. I understand the
power of imagery and suggestion.
Film is a powerful medium and it can be
hard to separate a person on screen from
their normal selves. This I know. But still we must respect people and get to know them before writing them off completely based on what they do and what our perception of that is.
Before you think I am saying this basically
because of the insult, please imagine with
me for a minute how dangerous this
assumption is. This industry is in need of private and public funds to drive its growth. Those who go out for funds to make films face a huge propaganda deficit, and these beer parlour chatters are not helping.
A bigger NOLLYWOOD is good for everyone. Well, almost everyone. Nollywood needsblawyers for contracts, marketers for promotions, logistics support for distribution, research agencies for script developments, writers, technology for gears (imagine if we manufacture cameras locally?); bankers and accountants, security agencies, fashion industry for costumes, bright talent managers, and so on.
A single set can employ more than thirty
people for a whole month and these are just non actors. The benefits are huge if we would just take a moment to own and
understand it, instead of hiding behind the
walls of convenience and cynicism. This is
not just for NOLLYWOOD but for every other sector of our young and tottering economy.
So when next you get a chance to talk to
someone in another industry, really listen.
There’s great possibility in understanding, if we don’t let what we think we know get in the way of the things we may actually learn.
So what do you do? You can tell me. I won’t judge you.
Source: FemiJacobs.net
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