Five for Fridays – Tips for the Working Actor
- Believe in Yourself – I know this seems basic but it is the cornerstone for working as an actor. Do everything you can to build strong self-worth as an artist. Suggested ways of strengthening your belief: affirmations, meditation, repetition, prayer, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, journaling, reading self-help books, positive self-talk. Find whatever makes you feel empowered as an actor, which includes working diligently on your craft, surrounding yourself with positive people, and taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally.
- Define Your Cast-ability – Defining who you are in the scheme of the industry is essential. That does not mean that you limit your scope as an actor, type-cast yourself or put yourself in a box. It just means that you assess where you fit in and where you are going to get the most work. Building IMDb credits is important at the beginning of your career. Find out what jobs you are right for and head out in that direction.
- Train – You can’t keep a great actor from working! Study the craft and get so good that they can’t not hire you. If you want to be a working actor, ACT. Any opportunity to act is a way to grow in your profession. Take class, do improv, play readings, plays, student films, graduate films, independent films, and hopefully some network TV and studio feature films. If you get the opportunity to act, act! And the more you act the more you cultivate confidence which only helps to augment your belief in yourself (see #1!).
- Align with Positive Working Actors – Seek out an artistic community of positive, pro-active actors. There is a definite mindset among working actors. They focus on opportunities. They are disciplined, hard-working and all about booking work. Do not hang out with actors that bitch and complain about the industry. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. It too is a mind-set. If you focus on what’s not working, you will get more of it!
- Define Your Direction – Put a pinpoint on the horizon. Decide where you are headed career-wise. Be specific. Do you eventually want to star in studio feature films? Do you want to be a series regular on a nighttime drama? A four camera sit-com? A commercial actor? Broadway? Have a vision. Your career is your decision and by your design. Find out where your talent and passion lie and head out in that direction. By making some career decisions, you can define a specific path and a place to start from.