Everyone has an angle. They simply do. Luckily a few (a very few) truly want to give. Most people 99.99% in LA do not have this angle. If you are at Lifebook the ratio is better, however you still have to screen everyone. Don’t let people take you. They are already on the case! Keep an eye on people for years. I want to be held up to this same test! You never know what I truly want, do you? The same goes for everyone with which you come into contact.
If being a successful actor means getting to act in projects that you love around people that you love, quitting the biz would absolutely mean failure. If you quit you no longer get to do the above. You’ll need to define success entirely and specifically to you, however the above remains true. We must avoid quitting at all costs. We keep marching up the hill and soon we get to help others get to the top as well as our own arrival. Even the people you help…. keep an eye on them!
I’m betting this article today sounds overly negative. The converse is true. I want you to protect yourselves and protect your dreams so that you last. I just saw pictures of a talented actor on Facebook. She studied at Lifebook. She ignored my wishes not to date others in class (I always tell people this is a huge mistake…. don’t do it! But some people like to pay me and not take my advice). The relationship didn’t last. Her beau stayed in class. She quit. Then he also quit (typical) as he missed her and tied the memory of her in with our studio. This is typically the result of dating someone in class… but I digress. The sad part here is I just saw a picture of her, living in another state, far from here. She’s given up acting all together. What the hell is she going to do?
In her pictures she appears to be happy, but if you look just a little closer, you can see that in every smile, there is a hole… she’s already dead and she’s not even 30. It’s so sad when for any reason at all you give up on your dreams. How is life still worth a damn? You aren’t pursuing your destiny. Also, if your dream evolves or you realize acting isn’t your dream RUN away! RUN to whatever truly makes you happy. Don’t, however, cop out. Don’t quit after convincing yourselves that it isn’t your dream just because you aren’t patient enough to see this thing through. And, in her case, the person she should have looked at with strong skepticism was the boy-man she dated in class. He killed her artistic life. He took from her what he wanted. Hey. Who cares? He’s still acting. He still lives his dream. Isn’t that ok? NOPE. I’m not ok with either scenario.
Both of these actors knew what would happen, and like true addicts, they did this anyway. She’s so sad now. She misses all of this. She won’t confess that. On Twitter she simply pretends she’s super happy in her new life as a “regular civilian.” I wish she’d have seen it coming. I wish during their scenes in class she realized…. hey, why are we hanging out after rehearsals? Didn’t we get together for our acting careers? Be a healthy skeptic.
I adore and love all of the students I allow to come into class, but I have to look at them with skepticism. Who will be a contributor to the community? Who will take too much? Will I have to remove them from class or are they open to change. You’d be surprised how many people aren’t open to change, even when they PAY you for it. I’ve had students come up and beg me to lend them money. Can’t do it, gang! Neither a lender nor a borrower be. I’ve had students ask if they can sleep in the theatre. I wish I could allow it, but if a fire ripped through and you were there, I’d never be able to live with that. I don’t like it when someone puts me in the position of saying, “No. You can’t stay here.” Don’t let it be you, and keep an eye on everyone.
Agents and managers, many times these people appear to be beautiful giving souls. Do I really need to write on? Industry people more than anyone (the bigger they are, the more we must look) need to be watched. Don’t let them fuck you (in any way!). They will still try, oh yes. Even in the #metoo era. Don’t stay out with them after midnight. Seems obvious. Too many of you think your careers will benefit if you take them up on their invite to hang out at Adam Sandler’s house. Spoiler: It sounds amazing…. it’s a trap. Seen it. Actor wouldn’t listen to me. Actor hung up on me on the phone when I told them to leave. Actor quit acting after abuse ensued. Adam Sandler wasn’t the abuser. The industry “pro” that invited her fucked her…. and good…. and right out of the arts.
So, let’s utilize a healthy skepticism. Even first day beginners, you should know, people will try to fuck you. I use the word fuck as a part of a sobering wake up call. There are good people here…. sadly most of us aren’t. Watch us all like a hawk.
Onward and UP.