You’re putting in all the time and work, you’re auditioning and maybe even getting booked. So when you’re not working, it’s even more frustrating, and you find yourself doubting your goals and career choices.
Well, it’s at least important to know that you’re not alone. This happens to every performer. But it’s what you do with it that counts. At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we meet actors at all stages of their career. (no pun intended!) One thing that the seasoned actors would all agree in telling you is, that to succeed in this field is an active climb. Active. This means you have to keep moving.
How do you keep moving when your career is stuck in stop action?
Remember why you do it.
Learning how to act is hard work. It seems simple to the outsiders but the truth is, it takes practice, and consistent learning. Of course, there are some people born with tremendous acting talent, but the majority of actors spend years in classes and in training. This isn’t a bad thing. Taking classes and participating in workshops, or studying in full-time drama/theatre programs, can help you fine-tune your existing skills and pick up new ones. You’ll learn from instructors, directors, and other actors. It’s also good to take on as many roles as you can, so audition for student films and community theatre.
Take new classes.
Keep learning but keep it fresh. Try a different improv, comedy or silent acting group. Get out of your comfort zone. Hire a coach or a mentor. This is not a journey to travel alone. Choosing help is the difference between wishing and wanting to creating and getting. You know what's important to you! Set priorities to create the dream you envision.
Don’t lose your stubbornness.
This is a good time to slam your fist to the table and be stubborn. Most actors have to split their time between honing their craft, performing, working other jobs, and finding auditions. You won’t have a lot of time to be social. “To be in this business you really have to want it, commit to it, and work for it,” says actor Sarah Jean Hodkinson. “There’s going to be a lot of sacrifices.” Go to networking events, enroll in classes, hire a coach... do what it takes. Never stop learning.
Remember to live.
All work and no play will leave you forgetting that you love what you do. It's time to get out of your own head. It's time to meet new people and do new things. Hike. Read a novel. Eat out every Thursday at a new lunch spot. Take a drawing class. Garden. Experience everyday joy so your job doesn’t wear you down.