Will I make it as an actor? Countless individuals have asked this question. And yes, they include actors. Some, even famous ones. Ultimately, the answer to this question lies in you. You are the only one who can truly answer this question. While it’s convenient to just have a crystal ball to predict your future, your fate truly lies in your own two hands. So what you need to do is to ask a better question. What you really need to know is what are the things you need to become an actor.
It’s okay to be afraid
So you are afraid. That’s okay. Actually, it’s good to be afraid. That means you are human. And you need your qualities of being human if you want to become an actor. Everyone is afraid to start something. It is scarier if it involves something that involves chasing a dream. What if I fail? What if I don’t have what it takes? What if I am just going to waste a big part of my life on a useless endeavor? You’ve probably asked yourself at least one of these questions. But the truth is – in life – nothing is certain. And the only way you can find out the answer to the questions above is to go ahead and start.
So if you want to be an actor, then go ahead and join that audition. Go ahead and take that acting class. Go ahead and contact that actor to ask for guidance and mentorship. But you need to be ready to the possible things that can happen. There’s a good chance that you will not get accepted to that audition. There’s a good chance that that acting class is going to be a total waste of time and money. There’s a good chance that that actor will reject you, or worse, ignore you. All of these things can happen. And you have to be ready for it. But the true test of your determination is what you will do when things do not go your way.
If you really want to be an actor then you will setbacks should not stop you. If you really want to be an actor then you will join every audition that you can until you get accepted. If you really want to be an actor then you will take every class you can until you find the right one. If you really want to be an actor then you will contact more than just one actor to seek guidance. So deal with that fear. You either let that fear stop you or use it as fuel. The choice is yours.
You are not entitled to anything
You probably want to be an actor because you feel you have talent. Well, guess what, so are the millions of other people who want to start an acting career. Maybe because of your God-given talents you feel you should be a shoo-in to a particular role or play. Maybe you feel like the acting industry or even the world owes you just for being you. If you want to be an actor, and become successful in the industry then the first thing that you need to do is to throw away your feeling of entitlement in the garbage bin. The sooner you do it, the better. This may sound cynical but it is better for you to hear the truth hear than from some producer or director.
If you will keep in mind that you are not entitled to anything, then you just might have a chance to make it as an actor. The point is, you shouldn’t expect opportunities to simply fall on your lap because you are good. If you want something, you need to ask or even fight for it. You need to prove to others that you deserve what you are yearning for. No one will give you anything on a silver platter in this industry.
You should also stop making excuses. So what if you don’t have an agent. That should not be an excuse for you to binge on Netflix all day while waiting for the right call. You currently don’t have a project? Then use the time to hone your skills or explore other aspects of the industry like writing and producing. This advice does not only apply to aspiring actors. Even after you have reached some level of success, you still can’t feel entitled. Once you feel entitled in this industry you are done for.
Never stop learning
This advice may sound cliche but it is probably the most important tip in this article. If you want to make it as an actor then you need to be very good at acting. And the only way that will happen is if you continue honing your skills and talents no matter how good you think you already are. Many aspiring actors out there are more concerned about their brand or image. So they spend a lot of time trying to get the best agent or invest a lot of time in social media so they will get noticed. But to borrow Steve Martin’s words, “be so good that they can’t ignore you.”
One of the greatest misconceptions in life is that talent is fixed. That it is either you are born with it or you’re not. While it is true that some people are born more talented than others, it doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to improve your talent or that it will not diminish. So someone who has little to no talent in acting can become very good at it. And someone who has talent can actually lose it if he or she doesn’t use it well.
Many of the successful actors today and in the past didn’t start with a crazy amount of talent. Some of them even completely sucked at the start of their careers. What they did is that they worked for it. And they worked hard. And they didn’t stop once they became being good. They continued working on their craft. Acting is a never-ending quest for better. It’s a continuous exploration of yourself and what you can do. You should never reach a point where you feel lie there’s nothing new to learn and that you can’t improve further. If you think you have arrived, then you are dead wrong.
You have to love acting
Maybe you want to start acting because you feel that it is the only thing that you can do well. Or maybe you want to act because you are hoping that it will give you financial success one day. No matter what your goal for being an actor is, you need to love it. You need to love what you are doing. You must love it to the point that you are willing to do it for free. It is your love for acting that will get you through the tough times. If you really love acting, then you wouldn’t mind the rejections, the tiring schedule, the time waiting for the right project to come.
You need to love the process of acting. You need to love spending countless hours spent in a dingy theater trying to perfect a scene. You need to love not getting enough sleep because you need to shoot a scene over and over again. You need to love being shout at by some tyrannical director because you can’t seem to get it right. Yes, you need to be a little bit of a masochist to make it as an actor. It does not mean that it is all going to be heartaches and frustrations.
Acting is not all pain and suffering. There will be many rewarding moments. But actors, the true ones, the successful ones, don’t live for these moments. They don’t do it for the adoration and admiration of fans. They don’t do it for the awards. They don’t do it for financial gain. They act because they love to act and being on the stage is reward enough for them.
Acting is like being in a relationship. If you want to make a relationship work, then you need to love your partner. But you need to work on that love. You need to nurture it for it to grow. So you need to spend time with your partner. Of course, there will be days when acting is the last thing that you want to do and it’s okay. Take a break. Go for a walk. Take a vacation if you have to. But don’t quit just because you had your heart broken once or twice. Always remember the feeling of falling in love with acting. Try to remember that time when you decided that you are going to be an actor. Try to remember that feeling, especially during times when you are filled with frustration.
Will I make it as an actor? The better question is, do you want to make it?
Challenge yourself. Its the only path which leads to growth.Morgan Freeman
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