I have an ivy-league degree and have always excelled in all of my classes. I used to win competitions in every major discipline from writing to art to mathematics. I graduated from college in 2009 and took the risk of trying to make it in show business as a writer and musician. Due primarily to the fact that I struggled to find a sustainable day job in Los Angeles, I did not have time to even try to produce any creative work, 'make it', submit my material to agencies or network with industry professionals. In 2011, I had to call it quits and leave town.
Now it is two and a half years later and while I don't entirely regret taking such a risk to pursue my dreams, on paper I appear to be a total screwup. My resume lists a history of low-level odd jobs, none of which lasted for more than five months or paid a salary of over $15/hr. Any prospective employer looking at this is going to think there's something wrong with me and cross me off immediately in the midst of thousands of competitors. I know this to be true because this is what recruiters tell me. This is in spite of the fact that I have a great work ethic and a variety of employable skills such as communication, computer, business management and analytical. I envy those I went to school with who got worse grades but graduated being tracked into 100K/yr investment banking jobs.
I would love to start my own entertainment enterprise, but I have absolutely zero capital to invest and currently live paycheck to paycheck. The job I have now pays lower than nearly any other I've had ($10/hr) and does not offer health benefits. Two weeks ago, my employer suddenly cut my paycheck by 20% for no reason. The level of work is extremely menial and my coworkers, though well-intentioned, frequently put me down and make fun of me.
Not even the laziest, most mediocre, least ambitious person should have to go through what I have, but I have so much to offer. Where are my opportunities?