It’s time to dispel some myths!
Acting is easy
It’s hard work, and it’s extremely competitive. If you are easily discouraged: this is not the field for you. If you can’t take criticism: you should explore another career. If you are self-conscious about your appearance: this is definitely not the path you should take. Actors not only need to be able to work hard, but they also need to be able to work well with people of varying backgrounds and personalities. Taking harsh criticism and experiencing rejection is an everyday occurrence for an actor. You need to have a thick skin, and be able to listen.
Acting is a calling
There is nothing special or divine about being an actor. It’s a job just like any other. Treating acting like a calling is just an excuse for lazy actors to keep calling themselves actors even when it’s been years since their last acting job.
The best actors are all “naturals” and don’t need any training
The handful of talented and successful untrained actors is the exception that proves the rule. The greatest actors from Olivier to Ralph Fiennes to Marilyn Monroe and Angela Bassett all received extensive training and continued to train throughout their careers. Training enhances your talent and gives an actor the tools to be able to sustain a career on stage and screen.
Actors must be thin and beautiful
Look, it definitely helps to be stunningly beautiful, but you can carve out a successful career even if you don’t look like a supermodel. It’s important to know and understand your type (something we’ll discuss in detail later) A film or play or television show is a snap shot of the world and the world contains people of all shapes, sizes and colors.
So now that we’ve dispelled a few myths, it’s time for a quiz! The quizzes are designed to help you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses and help you define the next steps in your career.
Do you want to be an actor or movie star?
So many people go into the business for the wrong reasons or they think that success as an actor is all about the accumulation of wealth. The fact is that most actors are far from wealthy, and it is important to define how you measure success.
1. Which is more important to you?
a. taking on challenging roles
b. having a role (of any size) in a big budget feature film
c. walking the red carpet at major Hollywood events
d. proving your haters wrong when you become successful
2. Which actor’s career is most like the one you wish to have?
a. Will Smith
b. Jackie Chan
c. Anthony Mackie
d. Wilmer Valderrama
3. Besides acting, what other job would like to take on?
a. Something creative
b. Medicine or maybe the law
c. A job that is very hands on
d. A cushy desk job
e. I couldn’t do anything else except acting
Responses: Give yourself points for the answers as follows.
1. a. 1 b. 2 c. 3 d. 4
2. a. 3 b. 4 c. 1 d. 2
3. a. 1 b. 1 c. 1 d. 2 e. e. 4
A score of 9-12 means that you are probably more interested in the fame and fortune or you are not realistic about the day-to-day struggles of an acting career. I suggest finding a different path, or if you really want to act and you are able to see your career realistically, maybe you should take a step back for now and develop some interests. Read, see the world, learn to cook, and then take another step into the acting world.
A score of 5- 8 means that you have some of the right mindset, but you still need to develop a little before you will be ready to start a successful acting career. I suggest you look at your definition of success and see if you can broaden it to include goals outside of your career. What makes you happy besides acting? If you can’t think of anything then you should find something, your happiness should not be tied exclusively to your work.
A score of 4 or lower means that you are on the right path. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders and even though you have big goals, you understand that success and fulfillment do not necessarily lie in your next acting job.