Actors hear all the time how difficult our business is from people that aren’t in the business. They think they know something. They heard from someone once that this business is political and therefor unfair. They tell you they know it’s all a bunch of rejection. They say only 2% of actors ever truly “make it.” These uninformed voices, sadly, scare away some darn good actors. Don’t listen. Remind yourselves that you can do this. Remind yourselves that you have something unique and special. You do.
Thousands of actors every year pursue this business professionally and quite successfully. They don’t have your heart. They don’t have your drive. They don’t have the sensibilities you bring to the table because they haven’t lived your life. You have a place here. We need you. You simply need to get past all the BS (lots of it) both in your own brain and within the painfully uninformed. If ever one person did this successfully, I already know it’s possible and I can do it too. This is happening all over the world by people not as talented as you. Look at Casey Affleck!
I saw “The Old Man And The Gun” this weekend. It’s a perfectly good movie despite the fact that Casey Affleck has a major role in it. He is an honest actor. He’d be one of the better beginning level actors at Lifebook. Orientation. He can’t go anywhere. He won THE BEST ACTOR Academy Award last year for a flat performance! Take this as inspiration! He never should have been nominated. He can’t carry Denzel’s jock strap. Yes, here he is, with the best actor honors. Unreal. Let that motivate you. You can emote (he can’t). You can arch (he can’t). You can do more than pout / be moody. He’s not the worst I’ve seen…. but he’s certainly not the best. Take great pleasure knowing you can go beyond Casey (I have no idea how to spell his name, and don’t care to know, I guessed).
OK, I’ll admit, I’m offended that he took the award away from Denzel, and also from Gosling. Both of those guys acting circles around the mini Affleck. So, if I come off harsh, that’s why. Real actors were up for that award. I’m sure he’s a perfectly passable mediocre wife-beating actor. Oops. OK. Enough on the jackass. Let’s move on with the point that anything he can do, you can do. His true talent? Being Ben’s younger brother. Any connections he made through family lines you can make with good old fashioned persistence, tenacity, and hard work. You can make every single connection.
You can do this! You were born to do this, so do this you will. Don’t worry about professional bookings for the first few years. Worry about getting some much needed experience. Do a stage play. Do some showcases. ***If you aren’t producing these things don’t pay to be in them. These should always be free (or just your share of expenses, like the programs and refreshments if it’s put on by a group of actors). Get seen. Get signed. Stay you. Stay down to Earth. Stay approachable and super positive / optimistic. I love that phrase “know that you know.” It’s ok to know this thing is yours. It doesn’t come with a boastful energy. It’s simply the truth.
On the days where you question if you can truly do this: schedule a rehearsal for a scene you adore. On the days you feel confident you can do this: schedule a rehearsal for a scene you adore. Do more scenes you love! Communicating your passion will keep you going. You don’t need to be an alien, a tree, a lamp, a rock, or anything other than a person. Get out of BS acting communities that make you do a bunch of needless exercises or utilize way too much jargon or name dropping. Get into scenes. Run lines. Be challenged by big-hearted and talented partners. You need to rehearsal every day. As long as you are acting, you’ll improve. Along with improvement comes happiness and creative satisfaction. Improve your way all the way up to the top. Why? Because:
You can do this.
Onward and UP.