Here is a great GREAT article from Now Casting’s ‘Actors Ink’ (Volume 9, #4). Read it then send me your thank you cards.
“Countless actors pour into Hollywood and New York every day. All after the same dream. But what is it that everybody is chasing? Why do so many people want to act? First of all … It looks so easy.
When a small town boy or girl with stars in their eyes watches tv or movies, it is really easy to sit back and think “I can do that”. But what small town America (and all those with similar dreams around the world) are not shown is that with very few exceptions, most successful actors have been working at it for years. If not decades. Remember that the good ones make it look easy. That is part of the job.
Also, media shows only the fun and glitz and glamour.
It is easy to buy into the facade that actors spend most of their time shopping and at spas, at parties, and on red carpets, because, well… That is what is shown in the media. If someone only sees what is shown on entertainment shows, the life of an actor looks pretty darn easy. In fact, the only time any negativity is shown associated with actors is when it is so sensational that it makes headlines. A starlet shoplifts, or an angry star punches a photographer, a legend overdoses, etc…
An interesting question that actors should ask themselves is, WHY do I want to be an actor in the first place? If someone wants fame, one might suggest that there are a lot quicker ways to become famous. And if an individual wants fortune, statistics would show that acting as a profession is probably one of the very worst ways to achieve wealth.
Yet they still come.
An interesting phenomenon that is prevalent in the acting community is the belief among certain actors that just because they moved to Hollywood and bought some headshots, took some acting classes, and got an agent, they should suddenly have a professional acting career. Just imagine if it were that simple! Just put in a few hours of training and a couple hundred dollars and then in return receive fame and fortune! What a deal! This way of thinking may seem exaggerated to some, yet on many levels, it is actually quite commonplace.
Can you even imagine someone who wants to be a surgeon thinking that they could just practice with a scalpel for a few hours, buy a lab coat, and then just go out there ans operate? Or picture someone who wants to be a professional basketball player just shooting hoops for a few hours and buying some sneakers then sit back and wait for the millions in endorsement deals to pour in? No. Of course not. This only happens with actors.
This also can be one of the reasons that the majority of actors quit and go back home when the truth of the business starts to seep in. Like many things in Hollywood, a true career as a working actor is not what it appears. When actors get frustrated with their careers and “the biz” it is almost always because their career does not live up to their expectations. This is partially because their expectations were unrealistic to begin with.
Again… Getting a headshot, an acting class, an agent, (and any number of other steps in an acting career) does not mean one should automatically receive in return, the fame, fortune, fun, and artistic fulfillment so many desire.
This is not to say however, that there aren’t thousands upon thousands of brilliant, hardworking, talented, proactive and positive actors out there that HAVE paid their dues and have put in the time and effort. There are so many actors who are absolutely deserving of a great career. Some have gotten rewarded for their hard work. Many have not. Well at least not in the way they desire.
To the talented hard workers out there… DO NOT QUIT. Plain and simple. You never know what is right around the corner.
Since the competition may at times seem insurmountable, it is vitally important that actors take the time to really understand the game. Make peace with the game. And then actually PLAY the game 100%! And one last thing…. When you allow it to be, The Game can be quite FUN!