One of the first and most important steps towards becoming an actor is being able to say out loud ‘I am an actor’ and believe it. If you haven’t been to a prestigious school, are not part of equity, don’t have professional acting film, theatre or television credits or have been out of work for a while, it is easy to feel undeserving of the title. Yet you live and breathe it.
When someone asks you ‘what is it you do?’ do you respond with an uncomfortable mumble of ‘I’m sort…,’ ‘I want to be…,’ “I’m sometimes…” “I used to be an actor.” Or are you proudly announce(a little louder than you should) “I’m an actor!” No matter what stage of your career you are at, you will know. If nothing comes close to that connection you feel when you breath as another person, when you speak their thoughts, when you cry someone else’s tears and you feel their pain. You are an actor and you need to give yourself permission to call yourself one. No matter what stage of your career are at. And no matter what hardships this career throws at you, no one can ever take this away from you.
So this is one for the newbies who have made no big commitments yet and are still undecided on their career path. Do not become an actor unless you absolutely have no choice. It is categorically one of the most difficult careers that there is. If you are looking for stability, a well paid job, a clear pathway and career progression, I strongly suggest that you choose a different career. Anything really! Just not a career in acting or entertainment. However, if you can handle rejection, uncertainty, insecurity and a spontaneous, unstructured lifestyle then this is the job for you. So if all of that sounds great then you have come to the right place. Ok. So it’s not all doom and gloom. You need to be incredibly resilient, and not too proud to have a side job to get you through the quiet times. If you have taken all of this into account and are still happy to proceed on this journey, then congratulations! Nice to meet you. You sound like you’re a little bit bad ass and right up my street. We both agree that there is absolutely no other possible path, that you would like to spend your life strutting down, and what an adventure it is. From the bottom of my heart I really hope that you are one of the fortune ones who lands dream job after dream job. For the other 85% or whatever the stats are, who spend most of their career “resting." The key is to stay busy.
Jades book ACTORPRENEUR- A Working Actors Guide is now available in paperback and ebook at Amazon, Etsy and Waterstones
To find out more information about how to be an actor, subscribe to Jade's Podcast ACTING WITH ASHA plenty of acting advice.