Transcript: My Millennial Life: Panel Discussion with Nam Kiwan | Jun 01, 2016

A clip shows the outside of a theatre.

[applause]

A title on screen reads "TVO Documentary Premiere, 'My millennial life.'"

Several people in their twenties sit on a stage facing a crowd.
Nam Kiwanuka stands on the stage holding a microphone. She's in her late thirties, with curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a checkered orange shirt.

She says HI, MY NAME IS
NAM KIWANUKA.
PLEASE HELP ME IN
WELCOMING TO THE STAGE
THE STARS OF
MY
MILLENNIAL LIFE.
FIRST QUESTION I
WANTED TO ASK,
AND MAYBE THE
QUESTION A LOT OF YOU
MIGHT WANT TO ASK.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE
TO SEE YOURSELF
ON THE BIG SCREEN?
I THINK I'LL
START WITH HOPE.
DID YOU HAVE ANY MOMENTS
WHERE YOU WERE, LIKE,
DID I SAY THAT?

A blond woman in her twenties says PROBABLY THE MOST
EMBARRASSING FOR ME
WAS THE SEX SCENE WHEN
I WAS TALKING ABOUT IT
IN THE ROOM
WITH BRETT.

Nam says AND MERON?

Meron has long straight black hair.

She says I ENJOYED IT.
I WAS SCARED THAT I
MIGHT NOT LOOK
THE BEST ON SCREEN.
AND I MIGHT COME OFF A
LITTLE DESPERATE.

Nam says WHY WOULD YOU
THINK THAT?

Meron says I DON'T KNOW.
IT WAS JUST A REALLY
HARD TIME IN MY LIFE
THAT I'VE KIND OF
GOTTEN OVER NOW.

Nam AND JAMES?

James, with short blond hair, says I ACTUALLY HAD A BIT OF A PRE-SCREEN
LIKE EVERYONE
ELSE DID.
AND I REALIZED
WATCHING IT TONIGHT
WAS A LOT MORE EMOTIONAL
THAN WATCHING IT
BY OURSELVES WITH
MAUREEN AT HER PLACE.
AND I THINK THERE'S
SOMETHING EMOTIONAL
IN CONNECTING ABOUT
SHARING YOUR STORY
WITH A ROOM FULL
OF PEOPLE.
AND I THINK WE PROBABLY ALL
EXPERIENCED THAT TONIGHT.
AND I NOTICED ONE
THING ABOUT THE FILM,
I LOOK ACTUALLY
RELATIVELY HAPPY IN IT.

Nam says AND EMILY WHAT
DID YOU THINK?

Emily, with short wavy blond hair, says I THOUGHT THAT I LOOKED
JUST AS SAD AS I FELT,
FIRST OF ALL.
AND SECOND OF ALL, I
WAS LIKE, OH, BOY,
EVERYONE'S GOING TO KNOW
ALL THESE PAINFUL
THINGS ABOUT ME AND THEN
I WAS A BIT WORRIED.

Nam says WHY WERE YOU
WORRIED ABOUT THAT?

Emily says JUST STUFF LIKE
LOSING OUR HOUSE.
A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T
KNOW THAT ABOUT ME.
I'VE BEEN SENSITIVE
ABOUT THAT.
BUT I WAS LIKE,
YOU KNOW WHAT,
IT'S JUST A PART
OF MY LIFE
THAT I THINK I MIGHT
AS WELL SHARE.
AND I THINK IT IS A PART
OF THIS MILLENNIAL AGE.
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE
HAVE LOST EVERYTHING.
IT MOTIVATES ME VERY MUCH
SO, BECAUSE I KNOW
HOW BAD IT CAN BE IF
YOU DON'T MAKE IT
AND YOU DON'T HAVE A JOB
AND YOU DON'T EARN
ENOUGH TO SUPPORT
YOURSELF.

Nam says WHAT DID YOU LEARN
ABOUT YOURSELF
AFTER WATCHING THE
DOCUMENTARY?

Emily says UM, I DON'T REALLY
THINK I LEARNED
ANYTHING ABOUT
MYSELF, REALLY.
AFTER U OF T, I WENT
TO THE CAREER CENTRE,
AND I SAID, SO HOW DO
I START APPLYING
FOR THE JOBS THAT I
HAVE A DEGREE FOR?
AND THEY SAID, YOU CAN
TAKE A CLASS ON THAT
FOR SUCH AND
SUCH AMOUNT OF MONEY.
AND I WAS LIKE, UH, OKAY,
WELL, THANKS FOR THAT.
SEE YOU LATER.

[laughter]

Nam says SO YOU DECIDED TO
DO IT YOURSELF.

Emily says YEAH.

Nam says I WANTED TO POSE THAT
QUESTION TO THE REST OF YOU.
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING
ABOUT YOURSELF
AFTER WATCHING
THE DOCUMENTARY?
MERON, I'LL START
WITH YOU.

Meron says I GUESS I COULD SEE
IT WITH ALL OF US,
WE WERE ALL GOING
THROUGH A HARD TIME,
WE ALL SEEMED PRETTY
POSITIVE, HAPPY PEOPLE.

Nam says YOU WERE VERY
POSITIVE.
YOU WERE VERY
OPTIMISTIC.

Meron says YEAH.

Nam says YOU HAD THE SAYINGS
ON THE WALL.
HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO
STAY SO OPTIMISTIC?

Meron says YOU DON'T HAVE ANY OTHER
CHOICE, ESPECIALLY WHEN
YOU CAN'T REALLY SEE
WHAT YOUR FUTURE IS.
BUT YOU KNOW YOU HAVE THE
POTENTIAL AND THE ABILITY
TO DO REALLY WELL.
SO YOU JUST HAVE TO
STAY MOTIVATED.

Nam says AND HOPE?

Hope, the woman with long blond hair, says I FEEL LIKE I WAS KIND OF
NEGATIVE IN THE FILM.
I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD HAVE
HAD MORE CONFIDENCE,
WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY WHAT
I SAID AT THE END.

Nam says SO MAYBE YOU LEARNED
THAT ABOUT YOURSELF.

Hope says I GUESS, YEAH, TO HAVE MORE
CONFIDENCE IN MYSELF.
BUT NOT LET BRETT GO ON
THE INTERVIEWS WITH ME.

[laughter, applause]

Nam says AND JAMES, HOW
ABOUT YOU?

James says IT WAS PRETTY
APPARENT THAT I READ
THE STEVE JOBS
BIOGRAPHY THAT SUMMER.

[laughter]

Nam says ALL THE WALKING
ON THE TRAIL.

James says I CAN QUOTE
OTHER PEOPLE.

A woman in her forties also on stage says I QUOTED
OTHER PEOPLE.
I COULDN'T
RESIST, OKAY.

James says I ACTUALLY, WHEN
I WATCHED IT,
I SEEMED KIND OF
SCATTERBRAINED.
IF YOU REMEMBER THAT
IN THE BEGINNING,
THE OPENING SCENE OF
MYSELF AT THE UNIVERSITY,
AND I THINK IT'S
PROBABLY TRUE.
I HAD SO MUCH THINGS
GOING ON AT THE TIME,
I WAS SPREAD THIN, JUST
NOT REALLY FOCUSED.
AND THERE WAS A LOT OF
INTROSPECTION THERE
BEING ABLE TO WATCH
MYSELF GO THROUGH THAT.

Nam says AND WHAT DO YOU
ALL FEEL ABOUT
BEING CALLED A
MILLENNIAL?
EMILY, CAN I
START WITH YOU.

Emily says I THINK IT'S FINE.
I DON'T TAKE IT AS A
DIS OR ANYTHING.
FIRST OF ALL, OLDER
GENERATIONS ALWAYS
LOOK DOWN ON YOUNGER
GENERATIONS.

Nam says IT'S WHAT WE DO.

Emily says YEAH, SO I THINK THERE'S
A BIT OF THAT GOING ON.
BUT I ALSO THINK
MILLENNIALS
ARE INTERESTING BECAUSE
WE BRIDGE THE GAP
FROM NOT HAVING
THE INTERNET
TO HAVING THE
INTERNET.
SO WE SEE OPINIONS AND
COMMENTARY DIFFERENT
THAN OTHER GENERATIONS.
IN THAT I THINK WE'RE MUCH
MORE LIKELY TO SAY
SOMETHING OR BRING UP
A DIFFERENT VIEW
THAN GENERATIONS
BEFORE US.

Nam says YOU JUST SAID SOMETHING
THAT I FIND INTERESTING.
YOU SAID, YOU WERE
JOKING ABOUT IT,
THAT OLDER
GENERATIONS LOOK DOWN
ON THE NEXT
GENERATION.
DO YOU THINK THAT
MILLENNIALS
ARE LOOKED
DOWN ON?

Emily says I'VE NOTICED A FEW
PEOPLE MY PARENTS' AGE,
HAVE SAID THAT WITH HAVING
THE DEBT FROM UNIVERSITY
ND THEN MOVING ON TO GET A
JOB AND THEN PAYING OFF
THAT DEBT AND LIVING ON
THE MONEY FROM THAT JOB,
AND THEN THE
PRICES OF HOUSES,
ESPECIALLY IN TORONTO,
I DON'T KNOW HOW
SOMEONE CAN
MOVE FORWARD
WITH THAT DEBT
AND GET A HOUSE.
AND I THINK THAT'S A
VERY DIFFERENT THING
THAN PEOPLE FROM THE
GENERATION OF MY PARENTS.
WHERE THEY HAVE
HAD A HOUSE
AND THEY'VE HAD
THE CHILDREN.
AND THEN THE
CHILDREN ARE TRYING
TO GET UP TO
THEIR PARENTS
BUT THEY JUST CAN'T
SEEM TO LIKE...

Nam says BECAUSE NOW YOU HAVE
ALL THESE OBSTACLES
IN FRONT OF YOU.

Emily says MM-HMM.
NOT SAYING THAT
OTHER GENERATIONS
DIDN'T HAVE OBSTACLES,
I JUST THINK
THAT THE PRICES OF THINGS
ARE DIFFERENT NOW.

James says I ACTUALLY THINK THIS
IS THE FIRST GENERATION
THAT WAS EVER CRITICAL OF
THE PREVIOUS GENERATION.
I'VE NOTICED THAT A LOT
AMONG OUR AGE GROUP.
AND I DON'T NECESSARILY
AGREE WITH IT
OR CONCUR OR BELIEVE
THAT IT'S ACCURATE.
BUT THERE IS A
SENSE OF BLAME.

Nam says TO BABY BOOMERS?

James says TOWARDS THE ECONOMY
AND THE HOLE
THAT WE FIND
OURSELVES IN TODAY.
AND THIS HOPELESSNESS
THAT SEEMS TO EXIST
AMONGST OUR GENERATION.
AND I THINK THERE'S
A LOT OF BLAME
PUSHED UPWARDS TO THE
PREVIOUS GENERATION.
BUT, IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE
OUR PARENTS' GENERATION,
WORKED ONE CAREER.
WE'LL PROBABLY WORK
FOUR OR FIVE CAREERS.
AND I THINK OUR
CHILDREN WILL WORK
FOUR OR FIVE CAREERS
AT THE SAME TIME.

Nam says A LOT OF PRESSURE.
HOPE, I REMEMBER
YOU WERE NODDING?

Hope says I JUST FEEL LIKE
WE'RE LABELLED
AS SPOILED AND
PATHETIC AND STUFF.
BUT HOW CAN I BE PATHETIC,
ME, SPECIFICALLY,
I'VE HAD FIVE INTERNSHIPS
AND IT'S NOT ENOUGH.
SO I DON'T REALLY CONSIDER
THAT TO BE SPOILED.
AND THEY ALWAYS SAY
WE LIVE AT HOME
BECAUSE WE'RE
LAZY OR WHATEVER.
BUT IT'S JUST THAT WE
CAN'T REALLY FIND JOBS.
SO, I JUST COMPLETELY
DISAGREE WITH THAT.

James says I THOUGHT ONE OF THE
MOST APPALLING STORIES
WAS YOUR POSITION
WITH UNIVERSAL
THAT THEY
WOULDN'T PAY YOU.
I THOUGHT THAT
WAS INCREDIBLE
FOR AN ORGANIZATION
OF THAT SIZE
DOESN'T PAY
THEIR INTERNS.

Emily says PEOPLE AREN'T
BUYING CDs ANYMORE.
SO, ARTISTS MAKE
MONEY OFF CONCERTS
BUT THEY DON'T MAKE MONEY
OFF OF RECORD SALES.
SO THAT PROMOTION
OF AN ARTIST
IS ALL COMING
FROM UNIVERSAL.
AND ALL THE PROMOTION
HELPS THEM SELL TICKETS
TO A CONCERT,
BUT IT DOESN'T
HELP THEM
SELL RECORDS.
SO WHEN I GOT THERE, I
FIGURED OUT JUST TOWARDS
THE END OF MY INTERNSHIP,
I WAS INVITED
TO A MEETING AND I
WAS LIKE, HOLY SHIT,
THIS COMPANY'S
CHANGING.
AND IT'S JUST THE
WAY OF THE FUTURE.
IT'S NOT THAT THEY
HAVE THE MONEY
AND DON'T WANT
TO PAY ME.
PEOPLE WERE LEAVING MY
DEPARTMENT EVERY WEEK.

Nam says MERON, I WANT TO
FINISH WITH YOU.

Meron says I THINK MILLENNIALS ARE
A BIT MISUNDERSTOOD.
AND I THINK MILLENNIALS
ARE MORE CONCERNED
WITH BEING HAPPY THAN
NECESSARILY STABILITY.
LIKE, I KNOW A
LOT OF PEOPLE
WHO WOULD RATHER BE
WORKING A MINIMUM WAGE JOB
AND DOING WHAT THEY LOVE
THAN WORKING IN AN OFFICE
MAKING SIX
FIGURES A YEAR.
SO I THINK THAT'S ALSO
WHERE THERE MIGHT BE A-

Nam says LIKE A DIFFERENT SET OF
PRIORITIES, I GUESS?

Meron says YEAH, A LOT OF PARENTS,
MAYBE THEY'RE STABLE,
BUT THEY'RE NOT NECESSARILY
HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES.
AND I THINK THAT SCARES
A LOT OF PEOPLE.

Nam says I NEVER THOUGHT
ABOUT IT THAT WAY.

Emily says I KIND OF DISAGREE.
MONEY ISN'T A BIG
DEAL FOR ME, I GUESS.
JUST BEING STABLE.
I REALLY THOUGHT THAT
IF I FOLLOWED THE PATH
OF MY DAD, FOR INSTANCE,
WHO WENT TO U OF T.
WELL, HE DIDN'T HAVE A
STRAIGHT-ARROW PATH,
BUT I THOUGHT, I'M
GOING TO GO TO U OF T,
I'M GOING TO
GET MY DEGREE,
AND I'LL GET A GREAT JOB
BECAUSE I HAVE A DEGREE.
AND THEN I WAS LIKE,
SHIT, WHAT DO I DO?
I CAN'T FIND THAT
NEXT STEP.

Nam says SO YOU DID EVERYTHING
THAT YOU THOUGHT
YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO DO.

Emily says I THOUGHT IT WAS LIKE
A + B + C EQUALS,
AND IT'S JUST
NOT THE CASE.

James says THAT'S ACTUALLY THE REASON
I DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL.
I WAS NEVER AT SCHOOL
TO GET THAT PAPER.
I WANTED TO JUST BE THE
BEST PERSON I COULD BE.
WHEN I REALIZED I
WAS LEARNING MORE
OUTSIDE OF MY CLASSROOM
THAN I WAS LEARNING
INSIDE THE CLASSROOM,
I REALIZED
I WAS DOING A
DISSERVICE TO MYSELF
BY SPENDING MORE TIME
INSIDE THE CLASSROOM.

Nam says WHAT WOULD BE THE
ADVICE FOR SOMEBODY
WHO IS GRADUATING THEN?

Emily says I WOULDN'T GO
TO UNIVERSITY.

Nam says WOULD YOU GO
TO COLLEGE?

Emily says I WOULD GO
TO COLLEGE.

Nam says YOU WOULD GO TO
COLLEGE, WHY?

Emily says IT'S A CHEAPER,
QUICKER DEGREE,
AND YOU LEARN THINGS THAT
ARE MORE JOB ORIENTED.

James says SO, I'M ACTUALLY
IN THE PROCESS
OF TRYING TO LOOK
FOR SOMEBODY
LIKE A RECENT
GRADUATE RIGHT NOW.
WHEN I LOOK AT RESUMES
I COMPLETELY SKIP OVER
THE EDUCATION AND PAST
WORK EXPERIENCE.
AND I LOOK AT PROJECTS THAT
THIS PERSON HAS WORKED ON.
SO OUR GENERATION LIVES IN
AN ATTENTION ECONOMY.
AND YOU HAVE TO PROVE YOU'RE
GOOD AT GETTING ATTENTION.
YOU NOW HAVE TO BE
BETTER THAN EVER
AT TRYING TO GET
SOMEONE'S ATTENTION.

Nam says MAUREEN, I WANTED
TO ASK YOU,
WHY DID YOU NEED TO
MAKE THIS FILM?

Maureen, in her fifties, with wavy brown hair and glasses, says I HAVE CHILDREN THIS
AGE OF MY FRIENDS HERE.
BUT WHEN I THOUGHT
ABOUT THE LACK OF WORK
AND THE UNDEREMPLOYMENT
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY,
I JUST FELT THAT
THAT WAS A REAL TRAGEDY
AND WE NEED TO TALK IT OUT
AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
AND WE NEED TO ALSO
LET PEOPLE SEE
OTHER PEOPLE THEIR OWN AGE
SEE THAT THIS IS GOING ON.
EVERYONE KNOWS IT, BUT
IT'S NICE TO LAUGH
AND TO TALK ABOUT IT
AND TO SHARE STORIES.
AND I THINK THAT'S
REALLY IMPORTANT,
AND I ALSO THINK IT'S
IMPORTANT FOR EMPLOYERS
AND FOR OTHER PARENTS TO
SEE IT AND TALK ABOUT IT.
AND YOU FOLLOWED
THEM FOR A WHILE.

Nam says HOW LONG DID
YOU FOLLOW?

Maureen says YEAH, ABOUT A
YEAR, DEPENDING.
IT WAS SIX MONTHS
TO A YEAR.
PROBABLY MORE THAN SIX
MONTHS FOR EVERYBODY,
BUT YES.

Nam says WELL, THANK YOU, MAUREEN.
THANK YOU, HOPE, EMILY,
MERON, AND JAMES.
THANK YOU FOR COMING.

[applause, cheering]

An end slate shows the TVO logo.

Watch: My Millennial Life: Panel Discussion with Nam Kiwan