Have you ever heard the "You are trying to be a part of a business that doesn't want you" speech? You might know the one I'm talking about if you're an actor. At one point in my formal education years I was sat down with a group of my fellow actors and had this idea preached out to us. It was filled with percentages. 'Do you know the number of actors in the union? Now do you know the percentage of members who are actually working actors?' If I remember correctly, it ended with the ever popular 'If you can see yourself doing ANYTHING other than acting, do it.'
I gotta tell you...I bought into it. I recited it to people in conversation, probably told it to my parents a few times througout the years, and slowly it became a dangerous point of view for me. It was like a shield. I'm over here trying to be a part of a business that doesn't want me! That's hard! If I fail, it's not my fault. This business just didn't want me! I understand why people preach and teach this. I get it. You get told 'no' way more than yes, and prepping kids who have probably always gotten the yes in their lives, is probably a good idea. For me personally, it did more harm than good. I was driving recently and that speech from school popped into my head, and for the first time, I said "No. That's totally wrong." I think there is a better way to motivate us kids and I think how it's communicated is extremely important.
I have new teachers in my life now. (Never stop taking classes.) And for 3+ years I heard every week... Attitude is Everything. I nod furiously everytime it's said. I always have had a great attitude with my outside life. It has only been very recently that I have been able to apply this to my career. The more I work, and the more people I meet, the more I realize that what I was told in school simply isn't true.
This is what I believe now, and what I think is much closer to the truth. You are trying to be a part of a business that desperately wants you. Every single time you walk into an auditon room, the casting director wants nothing more than for you to be the one. Why wouldn't they? You think they want to be sitting in that room any longer than they have to? Go in the room, and take the part. They want you to take it. They want you to be great so fricking bad. They want to be the one who finds the 'next big thing'. Trust me. Show them. Show them your work. Do the work. Share it. If the work is good, you will get noticed no matter what. Surround yourself with people who think the same way as this, ha. They will help you! Others want you to succeed to! It's not every man for himself. In fact, help others more than they help you. It will help you even more! Also, if you can see yourself doing something other than acting, do that too! If you like fitness, workout! If you like accounting, do your friends' taxes for extra money! Actors aren't just one thing. People will be far more impressed by your many interests and adventures. Don't just be an actor.
I am not anywhere near where I want to be in my career, and I still have a lot to learn. Most of this blog is me actually talking to myself. Putting myself on the right path. Please don't take this for me saying I know more than you. I don't. A lot of this was told to me too. If I had the answers, I'd be a series regular already, and be blogging about something important like the environment. I do know this. Young actors will be much more likely to never fully pursue their dream or creative passion if they are constantly told their community doesn't want them, and it's hopeless. You are trying to be a part of a business and community that desperately wants you to be a part of it. So do it. Be a part of it.