Jessica’s Answer:

Oh, this question kills me!  It breaks my heart.  As someone who has been in this business for 20+ years, I’ve struggled with it myself.  As a coach, I’ve had this conversation with countless people. I’m telling you this so that you know you’re not alone.  I can’t tell you when it’s time.  You have to decide.  What I can tell you is what I ask myself and my clients:
1. Is pursuing your dream causing you more pain than pleasure?
2. Is there something else you can do that would give you just as much fulfillment?
3. Can you do something else to get you back on your feet financially and emotionally, while still pursuing your dream?
4. Would treating your dream as a hobby fulfill you because you’re still being an artist/craftsman, and there’s no pressure to make money at it?
5. Do you remember why you wanted to pursue your dream in the first place and do you still feel that way?

Also, remember that no decision is permanent.  Should you decide to take another path and find yourself longing for your passion, you can always come back.  I’ve left the business twice to pursue other careers and as Michael Corleone said, “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.”

Now, I am a Career Coach for Entertainment Industry Professionals AND I continue to pursue my dreams in the industry, as well.  If you need further individual guidance on this issue, please contact me.