Anjuli Sastry | WYPR

Anjuli Sastry

Jennifer Lopez has come close to quitting the entertainment industry. "You just get to those crossroads in your life," she tells NPR's Sam Sanders. The tabloids were full of stories about her, she says, and she wanted to regain control of her career. "Maybe I just shouldn't do this anymore," she remembers thinking. "Maybe I should just stop singing, and stop making movies, and do something else."

At Union Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles, a classroom of fifth grade students are buzzing during the last week of school.

The students are high-fiving, grabbing popcorn and forming a circle around a makeshift stage.

One of those students is Dylan Martinez — he's here to celebrate a movie he made.

"My film is about a scared plumber," Martinez says. "We pretty much put all the scripts together, all the screens together, went to the places where we filmed our scenes, and we edited, put music, looked for music, and that's it!"

Chrissy Metz is best known for her role as Kate on the hit NBC show This Is Us. But before she got herself on a screen, she was helping other people get there. Metz moved across the country from Florida to California in the early 2000s to work for an agent and try her hand at acting. She eventually became an agent herself, though she never stopped believing she could be an actor. She auditioned on the side for years before landing This Is Us.

Journalist Ann Curry's parents met in Japan after World War II. Her American father was stationed there, and her mother was Japanese. But when her father asked the military for permission to marry, the military refused — at the time, servicemen weren't allowed to marry Japanese women.

Her father was quickly reassigned, and two years went by before Curry's parents reunited. Even then things weren't easy — her grandmother disapproved of the match, her mother contracted tuberculosis. But the pair managed to defeat the odds and start a family in the U.S.