Saturday, September 26, 2009

I have decided to tell the unvarnished truth

Well, I know I will not be able to stem the flood of youngsters who have a burning desire to be actors, but recent email assures me that the best course of action is to tell them the truth about having an acting career, even if it shatterns their dreams or breaks their hearts. If someone has not had a great deal of experience and training by the time they are 13 or 14 and at least one of their parents is not working hard to make a career for them, they just are not going to have a teen professional career. If someone has not been in a lot of plays and playing really good roles by the time they are 17, they probably are not going to be an adult professional. The past is prologue. It is a rare, very rare, instance when someone with absolutely no background in acting luckily tumbles into the profession. The aspiring actor who has a strong history of acting and training is more likely to 'be lucky.' Generally it takes extraordinary talent, wide experience and some training to be qualified for professional acting. It is unreasonable and unrealistic for anyone to assume they are talented without experience or to assume they can be an actor without experience and training. Experience in amateur theatre is a bellweather, telling us what we can expect from someone in the professional theatre. But one has to be born with the extraordinary talent to be an effective actor. Only one in a hundred aspiring actors even comes close. If you read my earlier posts, you will learn that acting is not like most professions. You cannot just decide you will be an actor and go learn how and do that. Not only is the native extraordinary ability required, but also there are so few jobs in relationship to how many actors want each job that it is very very difficult to ever get hired as a professional. When someone understands what the nature of professional acting is really like, they can better decide if they want to pursue it.

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