Becoming an actor is a dream that many people hold. There’s something exhilarating about the idea of stepping into someone else’s shoes and bringing a character to life. But do you have what it takes to become an actor? Why do people even become actors? What drives them to pursue this challenging and competitive career? (And when I say career, I actually mean career, not a side hustle like what Tom Hanks originally did.)
Look. We all know that many actors are passionate about storytelling. They love the power of a great narrative to move, inspire and entertain an audience. Acting allows them to be part of that process, to inhabit the world of a story and share it with others. Whether they’re performing in a play, a film, or a TV show, actors get to connect with their audience on a deep emotional level and make them feel something powerful.
But acting isn’t just about the joy of storytelling. It’s also deeply challenging and rewarding. Becoming an actor requires intense training and practice, as well as a willingness to take risks and push boundaries. It demands discipline, focus and perseverance in the face of rejection and criticism. But for those who are willing to put in the work, the rewards are immense.
In order to succeed in show business, you need chops. I’m not talking about acting chops. I’m talking about “independent” chops. We’ll discuss being independent in a future article, but for purposes of right now, you need to know that you can’t go home running to mommy every time you don’t get the part.
Rejection is a common part of an actor’s career, and handling it well is essential for maintaining a positive attitude and staying motivated. Here are some tips for how an actor can handle rejection:
Understand that rejection is a normal part of the industry: It’s important to remember that rejection is not a reflection of your talent or worth as a person. There are many factors that go into casting decisions, and often they have nothing to do with your ability.
Don’t take it personally: It’s easy to feel like the rejection is a personal attack, but it’s not. Casting directors are looking for specific things for each role, and sometimes an actor just isn’t the right fit.
Learn from the experience: Rejection can be an opportunity to learn and grow as an actor. Take the feedback you receive and use it to improve your audition skills. (If you’re not sure how to do this, ask your acting coach.)
Stay positive and keep moving forward: It’s important to stay positive and not let rejection bring you down. Keep pursuing your goals and stay focused. Remember that every audition is a chance to showcase your talent and potentially land a role – there has been numerous occasions where an actor went up for a part, didn’t get it, but was chosen for another part in the same or upcoming production.
Take care of yourself: Rejection can be emotionally draining, so it’s important to step back. Take time to do things you enjoy, spend time with friends and family and practice self-care to keep your mind and body healthy.
One of the biggest rewards of acting is the opportunity to collaborate with other creative professionals. Actors work closely with directors, writers, producers and fellow actors to bring a production to life. They contribute their own unique perspective and talent to a collective effort, and in doing so, they create something that’s greater than the sum of its parts (for all of you who think you don’t need to know math for the future, there you have it, I just used math as an analogy.) The sense of camaraderie and mutual support that develops between actors and their collaborators can be incredibly fulfilling and inspiring.
Collaboration is essential in producing projects, and actors can work with other creative people to bring their vision to life. Here are some ways actors can collaborate with other creative people to produce a great project:
Communicate: Communication is key in any collaboration. You should be clear about your vision. This can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.
Be open-minded: Collaboration is about sharing ideas and working together to create something great. You should be open to the ideas of other creatives and willing to try new things. This can help bring a fresh perspective to the project and lead to new and exciting ideas.
Build relationships: Building relationships with other people is essential in creating a successful project. You should take the time to get to know each other and build a rapport. This can help build trust and create a more collaborative environment.
Understand everyone’s role: Each person involved in the project has a specific role and responsibility. You should understand and respect the roles of everyone and work together to ensure that each role is fulfilled.
Be supportive: Collaboration can be challenging, and it’s important to be supportive of each other. You should also encourage each other and celebrate successes together.
Another great thing about acting is the variety it offers. No two roles are ever exactly the same, and no two productions are ever identical. Each project presents its own challenges and opportunities, and each role requires a different set of skills and approaches. For actors who love to learn and grow, there’s always something new and exciting to explore.
Ultimately, what inspires people to become actors is the chance to connect with others in a profound and meaningful way. Acting allows you to touch people’s hearts, challenge their perspectives and create shared experiences that stay with them long after the final curtain falls. It’s a calling that requires hard work and dedication, but for those who are drawn to it, the rewards are immeasurable. If you’re considering becoming an actor, remember that it’s not just a career — it’s a way of life that can bring you joy, fulfillment and endless creative possibilities.
There are several successful actors who initially didn’t think they had what it took to become an actor, but later proved themselves:
Emma Stone — she struggled with anxiety and self-doubt, but went on to win an Oscar for her role in La La Land.
Sandra Bullock — she studied acting in college but didn’t believe she had the talent to make it as an actor. She moved to New York City to pursue a career in broadcasting, but after taking some acting classes, she decided to give acting another try. Her breakout role came in the 1994 movie Speed, and she has since become one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — he was a professional wrestler before pursuing a career in acting. He initially struggled to find work as an actor and was even dropped by his talent agency early on in his career. However, he persisted and landed roles in movies such as The Scorpion King and Fast Five, which helped launch his career as a leading man.
As for having the independent chops to become an actor, while the road is difficult, with persistence, determination and a bit of luck, you can make your mark in the entertainment industry and bring your unique talents to the world.
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