I have been advising hundreds of 'aspiring actors' from all over the world for about three years now. I am the top contributor to Yahoo Answers Theatre and Acting forum and a frequent contributor to All Experts theatrea and acting forum. Of all those I have advised, of the scores to whom I have sent my free book on preparing for a professinal career, only about a dozen are doing anything much to further their desire to become an actor or actress. Most of them just disappear, especially the preteens and teens, and that is a good thing. We don't need any more teen actors. If you have watched Disney or Nick lately, you know we have more than we should have. Of those I advise who are actually preparing for professional acting and actuaIly doing some acting, I only hear from two or three regularly, and from about a dozen occassionally. I suppose this is also a good thing, as we have tens of thousands of aspring actors that we do not need. But those two or three are getting somewhere, and the dozen are trying.
I occasionally get a reply from a kid somewhere that I was discouraging. Some thank me for my honesty. Ocassionally, I am amused by some very egocentric brats who have even resorted to calling me an obscene name, usually not too creative a one. I think it disturbs the teens alot when they learn their parents have to make things happen for them and they can't do it alone. Many continue to try, and sadly for them and happily for the industry, they will fail. I say happily for the industry partly out of the fact that it takes a realistic view of things and a willingness to follow directions to succeed. Kids think that if their mom says, "yes, dear, if you find something, I will take you to it, pay for it,or something similar" that their parents are supporting their becoming professinals. Not so. Poor dears do not realize their parents are only patronizing their fantasies, and hoping like mad they will not find any thing. Too many find scams and they waste their parents' money on them. But that is why the scam exists. It feeds off of the overly eager, naive dreamer.
I cannot encourage anyone to attempt an acting career if he or she is not really doing something about it. And I don't mean writing for advice on Yahoo Answers as the most recent spoiled, self-centered brat was observed having done this morning asking the very question she had asked me. I was very amused. But to be an actor, on must act as often a possible in something, amateur theatre, as an extra, indie films, something. And they must follow a plan that really will help them, such as The Tao of Acting sets forth. And that includes teens who just won't believe what he truth about profssional acting is. Most who get my book, zip through it (it is a very easy read) and report to me that "it was very helpful", but they never have a questiona about what it says or if I asked them probably could not tell me how it was helpful.
Sometimes I wonder, "Who is discouraging whom?"