Success is different for everyone, whether it be winning an Oscar, working consistently enough to pay the bills or something in between the two, only you know what success will feel like for you (ooo that rhymed!). So WHAT makes a successful actor?
All successful people, no matter what industry they are in have these four vital components in place, because they are the lifeblood of their career. Take one away and you are starving your career of the nutrients it needs to grow.
Use this as your checklist to make sure you aren’t missing anything, so your acting career can be in optimum health.
What makes a successful actor?
- It goes without saying you must be talented. Nobody would employ a clumsy brain surgeon who risked injuring their patients by guessing at what they were doing.
- You must continue to develop your talent and you must always be aware of your strengths and weaknesses – maybe you can create authentic emotion on cue but can you execute the physicality required of each character? Acting is not just about emotions, it is made up of many different exercises and techniques.
- It’s not enough to say you trained at drama school for 3 years, 10 years ago. The most successful people in life continue to nurture their talent on a daily basis, it is a lifelong process. You must always be growing.
- This is paramount for success, take your eye off your goal for one second and someone else will have jumped in and got what you wanted.
- When placed in the perfect position to the sun with exactly the right amount of concentrated energy, a magnifying glass can burn paper. You must act as the magnifying glass. Are you 100% focused and using the right amount of energy to find the success you desire?
- You musn’t fall into the trap of using rejection or criticism as an excuse to quit. Every successful person no matter what industry, will face these at some point and some more than others. You only have to go on social media to see this. You can’t please all of the people all of the time and you simply won’t be the perfect fit for every production, but you can please yourself by staying on track and filtering out any negativity.
- You must build relationships with people within the industry by not putting others on a pedestal and not being scared to show your authentic self. I was once told at drama school by one of my favourite directors that I could act very well, but sat as quiet as a Dormouse in rehearsals meaning I’d never be remembered. HUGE wake up call.
- The industry is built upon the know, like and trust factor so make sure the people who are able to employ you will remember you for the right reasons
- Be a dream, not a nightmare to work with.
- this is a life long process. Learning never ends, and as an actor means learning much more than acting (although you must continually learn about acting and the history of acting too).
- You must work on yourself every.single.day. Learn who you really are so you can effectively learn who other people (the characters) are and place yourself in their circumstances
- You must learn the art of business. Being creative is great, but can you effectively market and sell yourself? There are a lot of things to understand about business, and those actors who give up probably didn’t know enough.
- You must learn from your inspirations/mentors. What have they done to find success and can you mirror this?
Think of these as the ingredients of your favourite meal, take one away and it just doesn’t taste the same. To create a tasty dish you have to have exactly the right amount of each ingredient present and the same goes with your acting career.
Have you found this useful? My aim is to help you become more than just an actor – a talented, savvy, successful actor.
Let’s chat. Let me know what has struck a chord for you in the comments box below.
Here’s to your success!
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If you found these tips useful, you can grab yourself more tips completely FREE. Louise O’Leary is a professional actress, method acting coach and CEO 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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