Thursday, March 11, 2010

Will my race make it more difficult for me to become and actor?

I just got an email from an Asian student who asked if he would have a hard time becoming an actor because he was Asian and he didn't see many Asian actors in films..This is my reply. US theatre and cinema have, since the early part of the past century, been way, way ahead of society in promoting racial equality. The only reason that someone does not become a successful actor is that they are not good enough, not because they are of some ethnic background or other. A black student actually told me the other day the exact same story about blacks as you are telling about Asians in this email! I always remember this story that Fred O'Neal, the late, black president of Actors Equity told me when I was a student of his in the mid 1960's: He said that when he told his father he wanted to be an actor, his father told him, "OK, but remember: if you fail, it will not be because you are black, it will be because you are not good enough." That principle still holds. Anyone who is good enough has a chance to succeed, regardless of any other factor. We have had blind actors and we have had deaf actors and we have had actors of all shapes, sizes and colors. So don't play the race card. That is just an admission that you are looking for a reason why you are not going to make it when the truth is that you are not good enough. Acting is the most difficult of all careers to succeed in; it takes extraordinary talent and personality plus experience, training, knowledge of the industry and luck to make it.

No comments:

Post a Comment