Pursuing the Dream, Missing Home

I moved to California (from Florida) 13 years ago to follow my dreams and I'm still going after them. There is no overnight success, that I've seen anyway - I know this now. When I moved out here right out of college I had NO idea how long things might take. Every time I think it's just too hard to keep pursuing the dream, mainly because I miss home so much, something keeps me from stopping, some feeling that I can't ignore. My dream path has weaved in and out all kinds of crazy directions, none of them planned or expected, just the result of taking step after step each day. I moved to Los Angeles for the entertainment industry - to act in comedy! So far I've performed hundreds of hours on stages out here in LA from The Second City to Groundlings to IO and more, taken tons of writing classes, produced and performed in many sketch shows, had some bit parts here and there, entertained as characters at birthday parties, worked as a hostess at a happening Beverly Hills restaurant when I first moved here (UGH! - a few months was plenty), been a balloon artist at a restaurant (hilarious!), been a Producer in TV on and off for the past 10 years, Produced/Wrote/Performed in a bunch of Sendables for JibJab based on characters from a two person show I did with my husband (you can see a couple here and here), and now producing a few webseries for BermanBraun as part of the YouTube Initiative. You can see one of my characters here, more to come soon. I'm getting ready to launch a site that features even more of my characters. I don't talk about this very much and a lot of people outside of my friends here in LA have been surprised to know that's another thing I'm doing out here. So now I've said it, out loud. It is one of my dreams to be a working actress in comedy. Sometimes it's hard to say our dreams out loud. Right? And for the past 15 years I've also been studying photography because I LOVE it and finally decided to start doing it professionally over 5 years ago. Photography and Comedy are my two passions for sure...I love them equally. I'm happy with how far photography has come along and I could do that from anywhere in the world. So what keeps me out here? Comedy and the pursuit of having a career doing it. All this to say the one thing that is the hardest every day is how much I miss my family. They are all back in Florida. So here I am, the entire country between me and my family, chasing my dreams. On Mother's Day this year my Mom said "I wish we could just fold the country in half, like a map, and you'd be right next door". I feel this way every single day. The portrait below made me think of all these things today, the sacrifices made to pursue a dream. It's a portrait I took of my Grandma in her garden picking corn, years ago when I was still shooting on film, before digital. This image reminds me so much of my family and my childhood. There were always lots of fresh vegetables, huge farms, beautiful gardens and fields, lots of open space and TREES. I miss it all. I love my family so much. What dreams are you pursuing? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below. Also please join me on Twitter where I've started a conversation called #CampaignForYou, it's all about supporting each other to reach our dreams together.

JennKL Photography