Although I imagine a healthy majority of people who have ever been to an air show have dreamed of it, only a very small number of people ever realize the dream of being a fighter pilot. Here's why:
This 8-part video series called Jetstream gives a nice look at all the work that goes into becoming a member of an incredibly select fraternity by following a group of Canadian fighter pilot students as they try to earn a coveted spot inside the cockpit of a CF-18 Hornet (the Canadian version of the F/A-18C).
Even before these guys are allowed to climb into a real cockpit they will have memorized and been tested on over 900 pages of flight manuals (where fail is scoring lower than an 85%, and most get above 95%), they will have had to pass a physically grueling centrifuge test, where they must remain conscious through extreme G forces, and things only get more demanding once they get into the cockpit.
Check out the above video, and you can find the other seven parts right here.