When you are replaceable and he will never be

Credit Julianna Brion

By Marin Cogan | The New York Times

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)

here are a lot of ways to pursue a career in a creative field. One path — that many young people eventually discover — is through the doggy door of a powerful institution.

All of those unpaid or underpaid interns, fact-checkers, personal assistants and aides — they are tomorrow’s writers, directors, artists and editors. Or at least, that’s what they hope. Unlike people in jobs that require advanced degrees, these workers often serve at the pleasure of powerful gatekeepers. You dream of making a movie eventually, so you’re grateful for a few odd jobs fetching coffee on set. Or you hope to have your paintings in your own high-profile gallery show one day, but first you must help a famous artist sort through years of poorly kept records. Or in my case, you stay late at the office, ordering greasy takeout and checking facts in magazine articles, so that you might some day be able to write such articles yourself.

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