The History of the Amargosa Opera House (from Wiki):
Marta Becket rented the recreation hall in 1967, then known as Corkhill Hall, began repairs, created the sets, painted murals on the adobe walls and renamed it the Amargosa Opera House. In 1970, journalists from National Geographic discovered Becket doing a performance at the Amargosa Opera House without an audience. Their profile and another in Life led to an international interest in Becket and her theater. She began performing to visitors from around the world, including such notables as Ray Bradbury and Red Skelton. In 1983, the Opera House bought 120 theater seats from the Boulder City Theater in Boulder City, Nevada to replace the worn garden chairs needing retirement.
Think about it--'crazy' lady in the 60s hoofs it to Death Valley and not only builds an Opera House in the middle of nowhere, she performs in front of a bunch of empty seats. Sounds like a recipe for failure and misery on the surface. But the opposite happens. Woman follows and achieves her dreams despite that just the opposite should have happened. I have seen no better example on this trip of how to plan and realize an ultimate achievement. Imagine the thousands of women just like her who dreamed of performing in their own theaters, of hearing the applause at the end of the night, of the lines of spectators waiting to meet the legend....and imagine all of those people who, not having the means, died never having succeeded. I can hear them saying on their deathbed, 'hey, not everyone can be Angelina Jolie'. The tragedy is that's true. And in the small bit of truth there we get stuck. The other truth that is only slightly less obvious? We can all be our own version.
The genius of Marta and the Amargosa Opera House is she built the blueprint of her dream based on the tools and raw materials and skills she had available to her instead of living a regrettable life dreaming of what it could have been with perfect tools and materials. (An outstanding example of the proverbial frog without wings. Instead of pining away, dreaming of being a bird flying effortlessly, she flew as far as her legs would propel her--and jumped as often as she could.)
Side note--I've always hated the expression "follow your dreams," for two reasons: 1) the phrase is overused enough to have lost all meaning and 2) I can't think of a more passive way of expressing an otherwise outstanding idea. Don't fucking follow your dreams as if it was some balloon floating gently in the breeze. When did following lead to any kind of achievement? Slow meandering does not turn internal desire or vision into an external reality.
More goals would be realized if we thought of dreams as something requiring effort and risk and sacrifice, if instead of "follow your dreams" we declared: "Dreams are prey and should be hunted, stalked, decapitated and devoured. And when you've sucked the last bit of marrow from the bones, mount the head on a wall, enjoy it for a moment and begin planning your next hunt."
And if you're reading this now, thinking of some seemingly unattainable objective--let's just use, "I wanted to be Bon Jovi" as an example. First of all, no one except Bon Jovi wants to be Bon Jovi (and even that is questionable). What was really wanted? Break it down. If it was the megalomaniacal feeling of being on a stage in front of screaming fans, start a band and play at the local pizza parlor. You might not make millions, but you'll have an audience. Plus free pizza, beer, and a MILF blowjob from time to time doesn't sound bad, right?
I recently watched a film on Vimeo about an Isle of Man TT competitor who, after a pretty bad accident, can't race. Instead of pining away 'would-of-could-of-should-of' style, he's taken on a role of mentoring all the first time TT riders. Helping teach the future riders is not an insignificant way of participating in victory, right? And helping to save lives in the process can't feel bad, either. The point I'm belaboring (on purpose) is examine what SPECIFICALLY attracted you/attracts you to a particular goal. Identify that, then build a blueprint on how to achieve it using your current set of tools, materials and abilities.
Is there any greater torment than to grow old without having fulfilled (or forgotten) the dreams of our youth? Attack your dreams now or be attacked by them later.