Video posted on April 12, 2016 at 6:00 am CST

Robert Johnson Jr. trained to be an actor but he’s got a gift for customer service. If he could just get a car, it could change everything. To Robert the American dream starts by staying above water, paying the bills, but then there’s the pursuit of happiness that he’s sure will come when he gets that big break as an actor.

Robert’s father was an educator who told his son to follow his passion. Robert succeeded in school, graduating from a renowned performing arts high school and enrolling at the University of Michigan to study theatre. His father’s untimely death as he started college was a setback. Now Robert is 31, trying to work off his college debt, excelling at his appliance sales job despite the obstacle of a soul-killing commute. The commissions are low but he’s got an opportunity to move up into management. Now his life could change, but his dream of performing as an actor might be lost in the pursuit of his American dream.

“The American dream is the pursuit of happiness. No matter what you have to go through, you’ve got to find a little piece of happiness even in something that can be so dark or grim, you have to still have that inner light that pulls you through it,” Robert said.