By Rich Figel
What's your dream job? And how far would you go to get it?
For some, it's building sand sculptures around the world. That's the premise behind the Sand Masters television show on the Travel Channel, which just featured the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on last Sunday's episode. (You can catch the rerun on July 17.)
It's a nice promotional piece for the Pink Palace, and mentions their recently completed multimillion dollar renovation project. We shot our Career Changer TV segment introductions for the May show at the Royal Hawaiian, and that's when I heard about Sand Masters filming in their lush green courtyard. The series producers do a great job of raising the stakes and ratcheting up the tension: The team is building a special sculpture for a gathering of VIPs -- and they're doing it on sacred ground... then parts of the elaborate piece collapse with just an hour before the big event! Uh-oh. I won't give away what happened.
Essentially though, these sand sculptors found a way to get paid for doing what they love to do. Playing, in other words. Another new reality series I've gotten hooked on, has a similar theme. Platinum Hit on the Bravo channel follows a group of talented young songwriters as they compete for big prizes while going through elimination challenges in each episode. There's also a Hawaii connection. Or was, I should say. A Honolulu resident named Melissa Rapp got cut after getting snippy with the judges. Not a great career move to call out Kara Dioguardi on national TV, especially when your fellow contestants haven't had much good to say about you.
Personally, I like Platinum Hit much more than American Idol because this format truly tests their creativity. They have to come up with catchy hooks in minutes, then craft lyrics and melodies in a few hours. On Idol, they just sing. What's more, most of the PH contestants actually are pretty good vocalists and can play instruments too. They are the whole package. As a writer, I appreciate how difficult it is to come up with original ideas and write new material on tight deadlines. The songwriters have to work in teams as well, which is important because music, TV and movie projects are largely collaborative efforts. If you don't play well with others, you're not likely to last very long in the entertainment biz.
Whether it's building sand castles or writing songs for a living, however, there's pain and sacrifice involved. You have to give up the security of a regular paycheck, while enduring rejections or having to watch your creations fall apart... then start all over again. But I think the hardest part is the self-doubt that creeps in when success eludes you, and you wonder if it was worth chasing the dream.
Have you ever regretted pursuing a seemingly-unattainable goal? Or do you wish you had taken more chances in your life, and gone for it all?
We're wrapping up shooting and editing for the July show this week, but you can still catch the current program until next Thursday. Please visit www.CareerChangers.TV for daily viewing times, or check out videos from past and present episodes on the CCTV YouTube Channel.