May The Force Be With You: Pablo Hidalgo & Turning Passion into a Profession

Mr. Hidalgo and I after his lecture on Oct. 30. His jacket says “VII” on the sleeve. I’m screaming internally.

Fear not, musical lovers: the normal content will resume soon. I wanted to make a post expressing my feelings about this event and there was no better platform for me to do this than my blog. 

On Friday morning, I had the great fortune of being able to see Lucasfilm Creative Executive Pablo Hidalgo speak. Nineteen years ago, Mr. Hidalgo graduated from the same program that I’m currently in. Four years after his grad, he got a job at Lucasfilm. Now, he’s in the story group. He’s one of the people who decides where the Star Wars storyline goes. What? Could anybody ask for a cooler job?

Mr. Hidalgo spoke on how, as a kid, he gained an encyclopedic knowledge of the Star Wars universe playing the roleplaying game. He would be the game master so he would have to know how each character would act as canonically as possible. His Independent Professional Project (IPP) was a Star Wars encyclopedia, since an official one hadn’t been published yet and an online database wasn’t yet established. Eventually, Hidalgo got in touch with the author of the official encyclopedia, Stephen J. Sansweet. Hidalgo proofread it. And made corrections. (In the 2008 revision, Hidalgo was a co-author.) Eventually, a position opened up at Lucasfilm, and Sansweet was on the hiring committee. Since then, Hidalgo worked his way up through the company, starting as a web developer, becoming an on-set blogger for Episode III, and now, deciding where the story gets to go next. Being a giant nerd made his dreams come true.

I began to think about my own career path after this talk. I had always thought that I would get a job at an ad agency or another organization and work at a desk every day, nine to five, get a pension, benefits, and job security. Although that would satisfy monetary costs to cover basic human needs, I never thought about my happiness. My happiness would exist outside of my job, I thought. As long as I never had to struggle with money, I could travel, I could raise children, I could send them to college, and I could rest easy knowing that I had a paycheque coming every week. But Mr. Hidalgo’s talk made me think about my career in a different way. Why should passion and money be mutually exclusive?

I love theatre, of course. For some reason, I always considered a career in theatre as one on stage. I never realized that there are thousands of people who work in marketing teams and who design Playbills and posters and giant ads in Times Square. There are people who work for Broadway Across America and Canada and for the Shubert and Nederlander Organizations, respectively. Why not me?

Mr. Hidalgo, if you ever read this, I want to say thank you. Thank you for unashamedly being yourself. Thank you for loving Star Wars even when it wasn’t cool to like it. Thank you for using the tools you learned in CreComm to the best of your advantage, and thank you for showing me how I could too. Thank you for using your passion and turning it into your profession. Thank you for showing me that I never have to give up on my dreams. I only have to pursue them.


6 thoughts on “May The Force Be With You: Pablo Hidalgo & Turning Passion into a Profession

  1. Diana, I love your revelation on a new perspective on what a job means to you. I totally agree. A job is something we invest so much time and energy doing, we might as well aim for doing something we are passionate about. I enjoyed your post.

    Liked by 1 person

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