What? Your an aspiring actor and I’m telling you to forget about acting? Yes, you read that right.
Today’s blog is inspired by my days at drama school when all I ever spoke about (to anyone who’d listen) was acting. My friends were the same, we lived and breathed acting and we never ran out of things to talk about. Whether it was the process/the craft, the plays we were working on, how we were going to make it, what our acting tutors said in rehearsals, who we’d been cast as etc there was literally no room in our brains for very much else. We definitely couldn’t forget about acting if we tried because many others spoke about it too, it was a hot topic! We were in a lovely little acting bubble, which burst big time (for me anyway) when I graduated.
My acting bubble burst!
As soon as I stepped foot out of drama school and into the real world I realised my “normal” friends back home didn’t talk about acting. It was weird listening to everyday conversations about the things other people had going on. I realised there was more to life than acting and I’m not just an actor, I’m a person like everyone else. It was sooo refreshing. It was as though I’d forgotten about civilisation and the everyday joys and problems in my three years of training. Crazy I know.
I see the same thing in new actors ALL.THE.TIME and the topics of conversation are pretty much revolved around these pointers
- Not getting cast in a role
- Where will the next acting job come from?
- I can’t afford Spotlight/StarNow/CCP etc this year/this month
- When will I get on Spotlight?
- I wish it was easier
- When will I make it?
- I wish someone would give me a break
- So and so isn’t even that good and they’ve just got a top agent/TV role
- I’ve got a meeting with this agent on…
- I’m skint this month but if I get a ‘proper’ job I’ll not be able to go to auditions
- My agent hasn’t put me up for anything for weeks
- Show reel
- I applied for this role…
- Learning lines
- Moaning about the industry
- Updating social media with news of your new role/agent/training
- I told someone I was an actor and they said “So what have I seen you in?”….
I’m sure there are loads more acting topics you can add to the list. Please feel free to add them below.
Do I really need to forget about acting?
You don’t need to completely forget about acting but the point I’m making is that it is healthy, essential in fact, to switch off from acting and focus on other things every so often. Happiness comes from within you anyway, so if you’re looking to acting to bring you happiness you need to have a re-think. Yes you’re happy when you land a role, go on tour, land a new agent, have an amazing rehearsal/class etc etc but these things are one tiny aspect in the grand scheme of things. To find fulfillment you need to have a fulfilling life with other hobbies and interests and other things to talk about, acting being one of them, not the only one.
Do other actors forget about acting?
Yes, the actors at the top of their game they take a breather and forget about acting; Robert DeNiro owns a restaurant in which he is committed to keeping the memory of his Father’s artwork alive, Angelina Jolie is involved with the UN and her family, Leonardo DiCaprio is committed to raising money and awareness for/about the state of our environment. I highly encourage you to have other interests and passions too.
As my motto goes “to be an exceptional actor you must have life experience; be a sponge for life”. In doing so the harshness of the industry becomes a little easier to deal with because you have other things to focus on and you acquire life experience, essential for any actor to create a meaty role.
What can I do?
Go out and listen to the birdies tweeting, take a walk in the countryside and enjoy nature, read that book you’ve been meaning to read, have a coffee with a friend and enjoy their company, let your hair down and have a night out, do things you enjoy (other than acting) and be in the moment. Your acting career will happen when it’s ready to, life is happening everyday don’t let it fritter by.
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Here’s to your success!