Tuesday, November 13, 2012

That Point of No Return

It must be the election results or the coming of winter, but a few of these recent topics are less cheerful than most.  Lately I have received news from aspiring actors that they have given up on becoming a professional actor or that they have become so frustrated that they were thinking of giving up on it.

The first said, "Just to let you know that after two years I have given up on the acting phase.  I suppose I was not dedicated after all."  Well, yeah.  Two years?  You hardly gave it a chance.  Twenty years?  Well, OK.  If you tried your best for two decades and decided to quit. You at least gave it a chance. 

Acting is not a goal. It is a way of life.  The talented actor may never earn a living at it, but once in a while he will have the opportunity to ply his craft. And that is what dedicated actors live for--the opportunity to ply their craft.

Another aspirant of three years wrote that he was suffering actor's depression and was very fed up.   Well, now, which of us has a daily life so perfect that we do not sometimes become a bit depressed with the lack of progress and have begun to think that all this work we are doing is of no use at all? 

If acting makes you happy. Then act.  It doesn't have to be professional work.  Some amateur theatre or a semipro dinner theatre production can keep your hand in and keep you from being depressed.  If you are going to be an actor, then be an actor. Act all you can. Amateur and semi-pro theatre do not keep you from advancing in the TV and film world. 

Being an actor may not mean that you will be a star earning millions of dollars.  What it does mean is that you have committed yourself to live a life style that allows you to act as much as possible.. Maybe it is two or three plays or films a year, but because you are an actor, you have chosen to live this way.

Tens of thousands of students graduate acting schools and college theatre schools every year.  After five years maybe a few hundred are still actors.  Most will have given up.  Most have the wrong dream.  They dream they are movie stars with adoring fans.  But most are not qualified to become movie stars in the first place.  Fame and fortune are the wrong dreams for an actor. Happiness in applying his craft as he is able is SUCCESS.

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