It’s a well known fact that the acting industry has more actors than jobs and we all know it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to accomplish our acting goals. None of this is made any easier by the influx of wannabee stars infiltrating the industry, having seen the “overnight success” reality TV and the internet brings and wanting a piece of this fame and fortune. Knowing how to stand out from the competition is therefore extremely important for actors who are serious about achieving their dreams.
These wannabee stars make an actor’s job much more difficult, because the numbers of those desperate for their 15 minutes of fame, who have very little respect for the craft many actors work so hard at honing is growing everyday. It can be extremely frustrating seeing these people clog up the industry, but as hard as it may be you mustn’t let it get you down. Focusing on their success only takes you away from your own.
HOW TO STAND OUT FROM THE COMPETITION
Discipline – this means showing up on time to meetings and auditions, having a clear strategy for success rather than just following your impulses (or worse still winging it) and it also means putting routines in place to ensure you stick to your strategies.
Train, train, train – whenever you’re not working keep topping up your craft and your other skills. True artists will continue to develop away from the public eye to keep themselves in peak condition. Continue to learn on every project you do too; there is always room to grow and develop yourself as an artist. Nobody is the finished article.
Attitude – be sure not to be bitter about others success or bitter that you haven’t hit your big goals yet. Bitterness, according to research, is bad for your health, is bad for your well-being and (this is not according to research but common sense) is a seriously unattractive trait. Be pleasant to everyone, even if you don’t like them, you don’t need to make your journey in the industry any more difficult than it already is.
Take responsibility – You already know this, but nobody else is going to help you achieve your goals. You’re not anybody else’s priority so you better be your own. Rely on nobody but yourself.
Train your mind – The brain is wired to keep us safe and away from danger. The mind can perceive many things in the industry as danger, but particularly “rejection” (if you allow it to). Train your mind to see rejection as a positive step in your career so it doesn’t hold you back. Also train your mind to believe in yourself and your abilities. You mind is the most powerful thing you own.
Be humble – Big ego’s take up far too much room and are unpleasant for everyone. Even if you find the success you’re after, the industry gives no guarantees and can spit you out quicker than you arrived in it. Alongside being humble, don’t take anything for granted.
Keep your eye on the ball – You have to be alert and focused on finding the opportunities. See your journey as a treasure hunt. The treasure is there, you just have to stay on the hunt to find it.
Ambition – you have to wake up with the fire in your belly every morning no excuse. Your goals should challenge and stretch you. What does your heart really desire? What is going to make you jump out of bed in a morning come rain or shine?
Align with your goals – don’t see them as huge mountains, believe you can achieve them and get excitement about them. Visualise yourself as if you have already achieved your goals. Visualising gets your brain to accept your goals, making it easier to make a start on them and complete them.
Say no to negativity – there’s a lot of negativity in the industry and it’s sooo easy to get sucked into, but negativity brings people down. It’s so much harder to find motivation and clarity of your goals when drowning in negativity. You don’t have to get involved in negative conversations whether online or in person. What benefit does this have on your career?
Market yourself – create relevant content to market yourself (in the right places) and share your marketing regularly with the people who want to see it. Get out of the habit of marketing to other actors, unless they have a production company or are your best friend they are unlikely to be able to find you work.
NO, NO, NO – Learn to say no. Don’t do anything you don’t feel aligned to or that feels icky. You don’t have to be everywhere to get somewhere, do what lines up with your strategy and your heart. Remember your biggest asset is TIME. Don’t waste it on projects you’re not in love with.
Look after your health – your mental and physical health is so important.
Be reliable – if you book an audition go to it, if you book a role do it,if you get an email reply to it. Reliability = a good reputation.
Drop the ass kissing – I’ve worked on many productions where some actors have only been interested in the person who can “get them places” e.g the director, but the director’s wife/family don’t appreciate being ignored and they do talk about the ass kissing. Make time for everyone.
Know your WHY – What is your motivation for wanting to be an actor? Get clear on it, so clear that it makes you take action. Without a why your acting career will die.
These tips are not rocket science but will help you stand out from the competition IF you use them. New habits aren’t created overnight, they are created with commitment and consistent action. Start with one of these tips,commit to it for 7-10 days. When you’ve mastered that start on another for the following 7 – 10 days and when you’ve mastered those two start another (you get the idea). Eventually your productivity will be through the roof.
Has this helped?
Let me know in the comments box below, or share with an actor friend who could use this advice.
Here’s to your success!
Don’t give up, just keep learning.
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Louise O’Leary is a professional actress, method acting coach and Artistic Director of StandBy Method Acting Studio. Her mission is to help as many actors as she can launch their careers and become the best actor they can be.
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