Saturday, July 6, 2013

Deja vu all over again

I mentioned last month that young people wanting to become actors keep making mistakes that will doom them to failure.  Here is another one:  the student who goes to college to study acting but also is a student athlete and has signed with an agency because they want to get started as an professional as soon as possible.  Now this person has so much going on that they cannot possibly do any of  them well.

My advice is to slow down.  It is a huge error for someone to be in too big a hurry to become a professional actor.  These are the ones that get scammed and lose thousands of dollars to the scam artists just waiting for them. But you have to slow down for other reasons as well.  You can't just leap into being an actor.  I know someone you heard of did it, but you have to realize that you are not that someone.  So you need to learn to be an actor and get a lot of experience acting before you try to be a pro.  It is a sad thing for you to watch TV and see all those actors your age.  Why didn't you do that? Simple. Your parents didn't make it happen for you.  If you had had the ability to be a teen TV actor, someone probably would have noticed and supported your dream. But you may have been (and you may still be) dreaming with no foundation for the dream to come true. 

The foundation is:  experience in lots of plays, training in lots of professional classes, training to be charming and personable, and developing an attractive look.  Remember attractive is only partly being good looking.  It is also being charismatic. Some where in this blog is my port on that subject. 

If you don't have  all the parts of the foundation, work on the ones that are missing and get the foundation as solid as you can.  This will take a number of years.  It may take more than your high school and college years.  It took me twenty years after college!  Now I have to insert here that I did not spend all my time trying to become an actor.  I had insured my failure to become a pro by not constantly working on it, by taking a job that gave me a fairly comfortable life style, and by getting married and having a family.  But since acting was connected to every aspect of my life, the opportunity finally care around, and I got an audition. Because I had a great foundation, I passed the audition and got cast as a wedding dancer in Duchess and The Dirt Water Fox. That led to another audition, and because my foundation was even better than before the wedding dancer audition, I passed this audition as well and got cast in the role of Krater in "How the West Was Won" TV series with James Arness.  I went on to be in several other films and TV series. I became a SAG actor (in those days SAG and AFTRA had not merged).  Now some twenty plus years from when I had to stop acting, I still get residual checks for my previous work.

OK. Got it?  Slow down and get a solid foundation. Then when opportunity knocks, you will be prepared.  Remember 'luck' is when preparation meets opportunity. God bless, Doc