Fame reminds editor to dream big

Andrew Lafrance

Andrew Lafrance

Admit it. You don’t buy the Disney Channel’s advice about believing in yourself and following your dreams, do you?

But I bet you wish you did.

This past weekend, while enjoying a short but enchanting visit from my 18-year-old sister, we meandered to downtown Brookings and went to see Fame. Skipping the popcorn and candy since I had just downed five large Perkins pancakes, we headed right into Theater Two and put our feet up. The movie began. I was ready to be amazed.

I will just say here that it wasn’t a very well-made movie. The acting was choppy and the plot was a monster of too many sub-plots, causing it to resembled a puzzle that had been kicked across the floor.

But though there were many woes involving how Fame was made, I could not help but love it because it was so endearing. The arts academy high school students, played, of course, by twentysomethings, would only appear in one or two scenes before spouting off lines that made my heart soar. They were quickly being inspired, and so was I.

For some reason, cheesy movies involving youthful-appearing actors pushing their boundaries to make themselves better convince me that I can achieve my dreams. It’s as if their struggles and journeys are really my own. Yes, I do live vicariously, even through bad movies.

The acting in Fame left much to be desired, to be sure. But the dancing and singing was stellar. How I wish I could dance… then I would at least have one marketable talent, because I don’t think coloring in my Harry Potter coloring book is going to get me very far.

I find it hard to believe when people say they don’t buy into movies such as Fame. Other like-minded movies consist of High School Musicals one through three, Step Up and its sequel and Hairspray. Singing your heart out to a musical track or channeling your adolescent feelings into dance are just two of the great therapeutic methods of this charming age.

Just because you are now attending college doesn’t mean that you have to leave the silly Disney Channel philosophy behind. Of course, it can be dangerous to only listen to Miley Cyrus, or to be so delusional that you think the Jonas Brothers will actually come to your twenty-second birthday party, even if it is themed after them. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to maintain the outlook on life that anything is attainable as long as you try for it.

We, as students, may feel stuck in a world of classes and mediocre jobs and South Dakota. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot achieve what we set out to do. You just have to actually set out to do it.

Despite its title, Fame is not a movie about becoming famous; it’s a movie about doing what you are meant to do. Here at SDSU, that could be riding on the equestrian team, mixing chemicals or writing a creative paper. Or if you are like me, it could entail updating your Facebook status every thirty-five minutes.

Whatever it is that you are doing, or that you feel that you are meant to do – do it with all your heart. Don’t just go halfway. Take the first step instead of just standing around and rejoice when the results showcase your efforts to yourself – or maybe even to the world.

It may be cheesy, but believing in yourself makes a world of difference in your life. You may not sing or dance to express yourself, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to. Stop being afraid to dream big.

Hopefully then, when they make a movie about you, the casting directors will find actors that are adequate enough to make you, your story, and myself very proud.