When to quit your acting dreams is one of the biggest worries for most actors, ignited by the fear of not being able to pay the bills, not being good enough, of wasting your time, of listening to the opinions of others, from countless rejections to seeing your friends settling down and buying nice houses and flash cars.
The actor’s rollercoaster
Being an actor is full of the highest highs and the lowest lows. One day you could be feeling on top of the world from that great audition you gave, or that amazing class you had and the next you’re back in the pits because you’ve realised that whilst your acting buds are riding high – maybe they’ve been in the latest series of Game of Thrones or are working on a project with Martin Scorsese – you’re not. And that can feel pretty shitty. But then you’re high again because you remind yourself of the countless struggles method actor Dustin Hoffman had or that Method Actor Bradley Cooper’s acting career really sky rocketed in his late 30’s. Bump back down to reality again, when the agent you’re with hasn’t spoken to you for six months, or ever since signing with them and you’re doing another soul destroying shift at the day job.
The acting industry is a roller coaster for sure. These trials and tribulations ARE NOT PERSONAL. Every actor experiences struggles, it’s part of the unwritten rules of pursuing an acting career.
Look at it logically, with 20,000 actors per year churned out of the UK drama schools it was never going to be plain sailing. You were never destined to hit the big time straight away, there was always going to be a graft involved and sacrifices made.
Asking yourself when to quit your acting dreams is usually a question we ask ourselves when we’re feeling frustrated or uncertain, it is an emotionally driven question, but when you’re feeling high that question is out of mind.
Is acting in your DNA?
Presuming you live for acting; that it’s the only thing that makes you feel alive, happy and passionate, presuming you geek out at delving into the human condition and moving other humans who relate on such a profound level to your art, then acting is in your DNA. Asking yourself when you should quit your acting dreams is crazy because it is part of you. Quitting would be like depriving yourself of sleep for the rest of your life; you wouldn’t be able to function.
If however acting is something you’re doing to prove a point, for validation, for fame and fortune then asking yourself when to quit your acting dreams may not be such a bad idea as you’ll spend most of your life unhappy – the validation you seek will never be given to you by the acting industry.
There’s always more…
I’m presuming you’ve got this far because acting is in your DNA. That established there is always more that can be done to propel your career, you just have to figure out what. Your acting career is never going to be predictable the way the tide is never predictable, the way the weather is never predictable and that’s part of the joy of it.
Acting keeps you on your toes, those wins are all the more delicious when you’ve worked your ass off for so long.
When to quit your acting dreams
If it’s in your DNA the answer is never. Even if you quit for a couple of years (like I did), you’ll find sooner or later you’ll be back, because no matter how much money is thrown at you in a steady job, that same steady job won’t satisfy you the way acting does.
Share with your acting friends, it could be just the thing they need to read or let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.. I love to connect with you.
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 achieve their acting dreams and become the best actor they can be. Join the hundreds of actors around the world who have downloaded her eBook “Respect your craft, discover my top 45 method acting secrets to launch your career“. Download here and be on your way to acting success today!
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