Host: Let me ask you what was the most depressing aspects of your lives when you got out of college and were trying to make that transition into figuring out what you were gonna do next, figuring out what your adult lives were going to be like?
Robert Lopez: Well, when I was in college I knew I wanted to write for the musical theater and I don’t think I knew exactly how stupid a dream that was because so few people get to do it and have a living at it. But I didn’t give myself a “plan B.” I didn’t give myself another…another career path that I might have in mind. I just decided I would move to New York and do it, and I ended up moving back in with my parents. So I was living in New York and I realized, “Well, nothing is going to be happening for me, I’m not going to have a Broadway musical for a while now.” And I was 1)temping and I was living with my parents, and that’s being on the bottom of a very, very tall 2)totem pole. You realize that, you know, suddenly you’re in the middle of this3)hierarchy. College is a very equal, 4)egalitarian society where everyone goes to the school; doesn’t matter how much money you make, doesn’t matter who you are, everyone…everyone’s a student. But when you get out of college you realize, “Oh, its all…it’s all about money, it’s all about success, and who you are. If you live with your parents and you want to be a Broadway composer, tough luck!” So I realized, “Oh well, I got a very long, difficult journey ahead of me.”
Jeff Marx: I think, this is Jeff, when you come out of school and, in fact, the better the school—Bobby went to Yale—the better the school, the worse you feel it. You just have this vague notion that you’re talented and you’re smart and you’re gonna do something with your life that’s important or respectable. And when you get out of college, there just are not all these opportunities banging down your door like, I suppose, when you’re a college kid you, you dream that there will be. And the truth is that with time that you’re 5)thrust out into the world and you figure out how to make your own life. But those first few weeks, months and years out of college…college does not prepare you for real life, so you don’t know what the hell to do with yourself.