This is going to start like so many other threads, usually by younger people, students mostly. I haven't worked in the industry yet. And I'm trying to figure out how to get in.
The problem, however, is that I'm not a student. I'm not 22. I am instead 30, and though I graduated with a degree in animation, my BFA is 8 years old, and I primarily studied 2D animation. When I began college in 97 it was a viable art form. When I left in 2001, it wasn't so much. My school had just introduced a Flash class which I couldn't get into, as it filled so quickly. I didn't study any 3D programs. My situation has ended up being the combo of bad decision making out of the gate, and also some bad luck and timing.
I didn't get any internships in or just outside of school. I made a bad decision early on in terms of where I moved right afterward, and didn't put myself where there was a community of animation professionals... or... jobs. Eventually to make a living I ended up in retail.
I moved to NYC and quickly discovered how incestuous the industry is there: everyone went to school together! I did freelance at a few places doing AE editing but nothing really beyond that.
I know a large part of actually succeeding is getting out of the headspace I put myself in, but it becomes very hard to insert yourself into a community and to network when the people around you have years of experience socially and professionally together. I get older and older (and believe me, i know logically 30 isn't "old") and see positions being filled by younger and younger people. I gotta say, my confidence has really taken a hit; I want only an entry level job at a studio, and have in the last year or so finally been in a situation where I am not making the kinds of life decisions that can delay pursuing a dream (relationships, other work, moving, etc), but I feel relatively bad about whether or not a studio head will look at me, look at my meager resume, and look at how long ago I graduated. For what it's worth, I know I am good.... But sometimes I don't think that's all there is to it. Am I psyching myself out? Because I just feel like a studio is more likely to hire a 23 year old upstart over me, because the perception is that kid must want it more, if I haven't GOTTEN it by now in my "advanced age".
I'm not asking if I should just give up and retire myself to a pasture. I'm trying to figure out whether or not it is going to be detrimental. From seeing and knowing how a studio works, watching my significant other immersed in one, I know how nepotism and snobbishness can play on decisions. And from a business point of view, you can probably expect to pay a 23 year old less and not have to worry about their loyalty waning, whereas a person on the cusp of their 30s may want more money or more time off or to start a family or whatever people assume about people my age and older.
Does anyone have any insight? This isn't totally a "woe is me" thing.. this is me trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps and figuring out where to go from here.