1. No one owes you this! - Harsh fact but true. We speak time and time again to people starting out in the industry and the vast majority are simply amazing. They learn from us and we learn from them….but...Occasionally we cross paths with certain actors that seem almost ready to quit at the first hurdle. There’s multiple reasons for this but one seems to be most common. They don’t feel they have achieved what they thought they would in their assumed success time
FACT BOMB – This profession, like any other, take years to perfect and there’s a lot, and I mean A LOT of us. It takes years to get to get comfortable with the craft. You can repeat the words on the page and make it look convincing….excellent. What’s next on the job list...here’s a few...How to audition, How to memorise huge chunks of script quickly, how to use voice better, can’t sing?-well I better learn to do it better than I can right now, diaphragm and breathing, building up my CV, Networking, gaining relevant experience... so on and so on… Now apply this to as many genres as possible. ( You see why talent doesn’t really mean diddly-squat in the grand scheme of things?)
“...become so good they simply can’t ignore you,” Steve Martin
2. Invest in your brand! Now we understand that most working actors aren’t opening a garage door to a Ferrari and whizzing off to work in the land of luxury, with money to burn….but….whether we like to address it or not, as an actor/actress, you are a brand.You’re a company and you are the face of it. The sooner you realize it the better. In order to make that jump from hobby performer to actor thatthe industry takes seriously, like any other business, you need to invest in your brand. Who are you?
This can be done in many ways including, location change, performance courses (stage combat, acting for TV courses etc) but by far the most effective and tried and tested way to get yourself seen is a show-reel (see link below for more information)
3. That “lifestyle” happens to so few people...and I love it! “So what have you been in that I’ll know?”...”Hold on Hollywood here she comes”...sound familiar? I know it does to me. In all seriousness though, there is a click point when working solidly in the industry that you realise that lifestyle and wealth people associate with acting happens to so few people, and that is a great great thing. The reason why it’s amazing is, it quickly seperates the “meh this aint for me,” form the“I will continuously work regardless, while the others flake away.” I remember stories of Caine barely able to pay rent, Gandolfini working as a bouncer before his break and many many more. We are in this game because we simply love it. The applause, the lights, the rehearsals, the connection with other performers. Those who are in it for the lifestyle will find their red carpet.
4.People will belittle and ridicule you….learn to like it! Jobbing actors also need day jobs. We gotz bills!! This means that you may be working a job surrounded by people not involved in the industry. Most will look on with intrigue and amazement. You never know you may even impress someone so much they may even take an extra liking to you…but alongside that you will also work with people who, to them, performing on stage or camera may just be about the most ridiculous thing they’ve ever heard. Some will see it as brave, some will be amazed and some, unfortunately, will do everything they can to drag you down. I used to hate it when I came in contact with these people. They seemed to just have it in for me every opportunity to make me feel like I was an idiot for having this dream of mine. One day though it clicked. I was pulling pints in one of the many beer dives I’ve worked in and I managed to stumble across some info through a mutual friend. This guy that’d been making my life hell for weeks...studied performing arts!!!! That’s when it all seemed to fall into place. They ridicule you because you dared to dream, and they didn’t!! Instead of letting it get me down, after that I saw it as a test. How much could they break me?...answer...Not even a bit. Few years later I run my own filming company with a feature film casting 2020. Eat my dust!!!