Acting is for you if you love to do it. Acting is for you if it’s fun. If the actual exercise of acting doesn’t give you a rush, why not find something that will? If acting isn’t fun, I don’t know what is! The better you get at acting, the more fun it becomes and best yet: your work is fun for your fans. That’s an incredible reward beyond that of a paycheck. To have fans moved by your work is absolutely, in one work, fun!
Expressing joy and passion and taking part in activities that are fun is what life should be about at times. There are far too many times that we have to survive life (someone died, we were robbed, the car won’t start, you are overloaded at work, etc) that we also need to take part in things that are simply joyful. Acting can be that release. How fun is it to “be in jail” and feel the feelings of a character in jail, and then hear the word “Cut!” and now you are not only not in jail, you are visiting craft services for a quick snack before seeing make up for touch ups and going back in “jail.” What could be more fun? We get to play “make believe” as adults. Fun!
If you are sneering at this article and saying “I don’t act because it’s fun. That’s lame! I act because I have to.” OK, poser, no one has to act. Let’s wake up and fast. No one will hire you with your shitty attitude. We want to be around people that love to act. We want to hire people that make set life enjoyable for all around. We aren’t going to hire you and your fictitious energy because you have to act (the same way we “have to” hire you). That may have worked in small town USA, but it won’t play here. You don’t have to act nor do we have to hire you. You simply aren’t good enough for us to need you when we can find plenty of others as good (or even nearly as good) that we like. We like people that find acting to be fun.
Once again, you shouldn’t have to act that you love acting. Running lines is the best! Rehearsals are loaded with wonderful artistic discovery. Staying late into the night at a small theatre, feeling the magic of a room that fills with audience feedback, discovering moments that will tell our story, all of this is fun! Do I need to sell any of this to you?
If acting (not admin, but the acting itself) isn’t fun for you and you’ve been at this for a year or more, it’s time for you to find something that is joyful. Find a purpose that you love. I will always love acting and I adore actors (the real artists, not a fan of posers) and always will. Despite the fact that I’m an acting coach and I don’t wish to be cast in acting roles, I’ll always consider myself an actor. Any student of mine could offer me an amazing scene and we could be running lines within the hour! Yes this is an offer, although the scene has to ROCK. If it does and you are a fun person to be around, it’s on. No fees, just fun! Give it a try! If you can find a scene I adore and you are a breath of fresh air, we can rehearse and put the scene up in class. Why not? It’s too fun not to do it!
Act in scenes with people you love to be around. Select scene partners that improve your life. Always have acting scenes going that are simply fun. You’ll find varying degrees of fun and that the fun sometimes comes after the accomplishment. If you are playing a rape victim well, it’s not necessarily “fun” but it’s creatively satisfying. You found the truth! That’s fun. You expanded your range. That’s fun. You challenged yourselves and you won. Truly very fun!
I was a semi-professional athlete. I know what it is to work very hard (fun is irrelevant when preparing for a tournament) and win championships. I also know what it’s like to work very hard and lose. The losing wasn’t fun…. and that was my fault. When I look back at my career in sports all of it could have (and should have) been incredibly fun. My life wasn’t improved by being “serious.” Hard work is fine, but let what’s supposed to be fun be fun. I believe if I would have enjoyed the playing I would have been a superior athlete to what I was. Less broken rackets, less yelling at myself, more smiling, more celebrating (even with the competitor who beat me), more joy. Smiling is very good!
So, let this be fun. It truly is fun! You’ll go further, faster, and you’ll enjoy the journey.
Onward and UP.