A career in acting can be very rewarding with the right intention and passion, but if you really want to succeed and not get swept away by the discouragement, rejection and journey, you need to remember a few key points of wisdom. Why? Because an acting career isn’t an easy craft. It’s not all glitz and glamor; and you need to be really committed to go the distance.
I really want you to succeed, and that’s why I do what I do. So please take a few minutes and hear what I’ve got to say.
Remember your why.
Acting is hard work and you are going to experience rejection. You won’t always get the part. You’ll get yelled at. You’ll be tired. And when the going gets tough, you’ll need to remember why you’re doing it in the first place. Why did you start acting? Why do you love it? Your why’s going to keep you going.
Good things take consistent effort.
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.
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.”
Be wise with your earnings and investments.
We've already established that acting isn’t usually a lucrative career, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that balancing your books is on this list. Most acting jobs are in large (expensive) cities and if you don’t live in one already, the cost of living may be a shock. Do what you can to build a safety net: Get a loan, roommate, affordable apartment, part-time job—whatever you need to.
Enjoy the journey.
Like writing and other creative activities, acting benefits from having quality life experiences—for example, it’s easier to play a character that loses someone if you’ve been through something similar. This doesn’t mean that you should cause trouble just to feel what it’s like or have a story; it just means that you should try to embrace things when they happen and appreciate the lessons you're learning.
Of course, there is so much more to learn but that’s why it’s so important to hire a coach or take classes. So start now, and get registered for an acting class; you’ll gain new experiences and perspectives that you can apply to future roles. From all of us at The New York Acting School, we can’t wait to see you succeed!