Great news: You can be a professional actor without much of an imagination. You can simply play things as they are in your life. You can play the reality. You can also do well if you have a great imagination. As long as you keep your imagination tethered to what is possible (as we fly off and become a cartoon we lose bookings to those creative types that have kept a degree of reality) in the world, you are welcome to enjoy your own imagination within your work.
Let’s take a look at book imagination and reality.
If you Google the definition of “imagination” the first definition to come back is “the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts, of external objects not present to the senses.”
This is a great definition. “New ideas, or images or concepts” can set you apart. Many of you guys have new and creative ideas. These ideas can bring you a career. “Pee Wee Herman” (skipping what Paul Reubens did in his personal life to destroy his career) was an original idea that Paul invented within his acting class. He work-shopped it in class until it was ready for print. What a breakout bit of creativity. He had almost nothing (in terms of career) before he began his creativity on Pee Wee. You can IMDB him and you’ll see that his career was made by that character. If you have this type of creativity (like “Austin Powers” by Mike Myers) begin creating your characters. Write and produce some works so that your creativity can be seen by industry pros. Just be sure to keep things possible. Pee Wee was way out there, but his market was for children. Know your market. Cater to their needs. Showtime television is very different from Disney.
Those with and without a great imagination can thrive in the acting business. ***You don’t need new ideas to be a professional actor. You can play the truth of life without creating a thing. People will need the dumb jock, the big-hearted romantic, the airheaded cheerleader, etc. You aren’t creating new roles. You are simply playing roles that have existed long before you did. Become observant and be able to play the truth. Don’t let your ideas get in the way of reality.
If you Google the definition of “reality” the first definition to come back is “the world or state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.” Once again, bravo to Google! If we look at “as they actually exist” this means we need to remove any emotional involvement or judgment. We simply must play the truth. So, can you remove any imagination and simply play people as they live and breathe in front of you? Most definitely you can. You simply need to be observant. If you are willing to learn and play the truth without regard to attempting to steal the spotlight, you can do just as well as those with a genius imagination.
What’s better? Reality or Imagination? That will be for you to decide. You can even have a career with a good balance of both.
Onward and UP.