Let’s face it we all start out with good intentions in the acting industry. We’re going to start at the bottom, work hard and climb the ladder to acting success… There are lots of things you could be doing to climb quicker, maybe you’re not doing them because you’re getting too bogged down with your day job to notice, maybe you’re stuck for ideas or just haven’t made time recently.
Then there are things you definitely should not do. Maybe you’re doing some of them and just haven’t realised. Don’t worry, we’re going to explore the 7 ways actors can fail quickly and miserably so you can stay well away.
7 ways actors can fail quickly
1. Make excuses
You haven’t applied for a casting in a while or didn’t put as much work into the role as you know you should, perhaps you’ve turned up to class/set late a few times, haven’t followed up that agent or have put off learning the lines. Whatever the excuse STOP.
How are you going to garner a good reputation if all you do is make excuses? Your career should be built on trust, honesty and commitment.
2. Think the world owes you a favour
You get pissed that you don’t have the best agent or that the person opposite you in the casting could have been a table they were that wooden – you deserved better than that! You should have the best agent, not start off at the bottom with someone who seems to do sod all and you shouldn’t have to do unpaid student films because you’ve trained and have spent a lot of money GODDAMNIT!!
The sooner you realise the world doesn’t owe you a favour the better. That way you will understand that you and only you are responsible for your career. You can choose to moan about all these things and your sense of entitlement or you can choose to be humble, take action and make things happen. Which would you prefer to be?
3. Be difficult to work with
Prima donna – a very tempremental person with an inflated view of their own talent or importance.
Making demands, turning up to set/rehearsals late, wanting things your own way, not taking direction, being argumentative, not accepting feedback/criticism, not sticking to deadlines, taking over, making others feel uncomfortable, believing you are always/mostly right, making excuses.
We’ve all had prima donna moments. Now is the time to take responsibility and become a team player. Work for the greater good of your own career and the production. Word spreads. Your reputation starts the day you decide to become an actor. What do you want to be remembered for?
4. Have no talent
Sound harsh? You have no idea how many people become lazy with their craft. I liken it to being a Nurse. Would you trust a Nurse with your ailment who had only done a terms learning or who had spent years trying to find a job but hadn’t freshened up on the new practices? Me neither, so why is it different for acting?
You can either cut corners by leaving your craft alone and putting all your focus on getting on the best agent’s books/finding work or you can put your focus on both; take every opportunity to improve so when you do land that amazing agent/dream role you’re not out of your depth. What will you do?
5. Be invisible
Letting fear paralyse you, waiting for the phone to ring, not networking, not applying for roles, not having a presence, predicting the future – that agent won’t take me on their books anyway.
How are you expected to build your profile if no-one knows you exist? I get it it’s risky putting yourself out there, you make yourself available for criticism. How about re-framing it to “I’ll never know how far I can get until I try” and seeing criticism not as a personal attack but as a way of growing?
Gossip about what this actor and that actor are up to, gossip about how that actor got that role, what that director eats for tea, why that casting director chose that actor, why that actor didn’t get that role.
Gossip is a major turn off. If you have to gossip you’re not focusing on building your own career, you’re just putting other people into the mind of the person you’re talking to. You can chose to do that or you can chose to keep yourself fresh in the mind of the director/producer by working hard, delivering the goods and being pleasant to be around. Do you prefer working on projects that have a good or bad energy?
7. Turn up late
To set, to rehearsals, to class, on the night of the show, to your audition, to a meeting, to your costume fitting. Lateness causes chaos. In my opinion it shows a lack of care for your work, a lack of enthusiasm and a lack of organisation.
Being late can’t always be helped but what do you want? A reputation for being reliable or reputation for delaying things?
Let’s chat, I’d love to hear whether you found this blog useful.If you did or have anything else to add, pop it in the comments box below. Share with your acting friends, this could be just the thing they need to read.
To your success!
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