It’s 2013 … Damn the Torpedoes!

It’s 2013 … Damn the Torpedoes!

If you work in entertainment or, more accurately, aspire to, you have undoubtedly suffered countless wounds of rejection. Wounds that either killed your dream or, if you possess the requisite masochistic personality, calloused your once-soft skin into an armored exoskeleton worthy of Iron Man.

As writers, directors, actors, etc., we work extremely hard (for little or no pay) knowing we’ll most likely be dismissed for lacking a marketable voice, vision, or look.

How do we go on? How do we endure the constant failures and start over, each time, with a renewed sense of energy and hope? It’s not easy. This industry is a battlefield. We are at war with our competition, our bank accounts and our own insecurities.

On August 5, 1864, during the Battle of Mobile Bay, a U.S. Navy fleet, led by Rear Admiral David Farragut, attacked a Confederate fleet and three forts guarding the bay. After the USS Tecumseh was sunk by a torpedo, Farragut was faced with the decision of sending his remaining ships around the torpedo field that sunk the Tecumseh or directly through it. Believing the torpedoes to no longer be effective, he shouted his order: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

The bulk of the Union fleet sailed safely through the torpedo field, subsequently destroying the Confederate fleet and capturing the bay – a victory that secured the Gulf of Mexico for the Union and gave President Lincoln a significant boost heading into the election. Farragut may have lost a ship and suffered some casualties, but his gamble paid off.

And that’s what all of us who choose a career in entertainment do every day – gamble. We take some hits along the way because we see the bigger picture and believe in our strength. We shake off a tough 2012 and embrace 2013. We give ourselves the same order Farragut gave to his fleet and we keep pushing forward, full speed ahead.