# One – It’s called show business, not show art… I truly believe that art can heal the world… somewhere… with enough stage makeup. Maybe if we artists increase the number of other artist sharing their gifts of empathy, love, and communication on a daily basis all over the world we can heal some of it… a small part of it… a very small part of it… the truth is, I implore you to embrace the biz side of showbiz.
# Two – You’re an entrepreneur. That’s right! You’re the CEO of your own small wonderful company called you!. brilliant, right? OK, maybe it’s a little daunting to think about at first. But like it or not, you are a small business owner. I promise you… it will serve you beautifully to start thinking like a business owner, an entrepreneur… a, I need to get up in the morning, and kick myself in the ass and start thinking how do I get myself work as an actor, kind of business!
# Three – It’s probably going to be a few years before this actoring thing takes off, this career pays for itself. So don’t get rid of that “real” job just yet. As a matter of fact, you might want to look into a some great training that can keep you employed in between those early acting jobs. Because you need to eat, take more acting classes, need headshots, a car, gas, more food, more classes, and then there’s paying rent?
I’ve never met anyone who was able to make their entire living solely from acting work sooner than four years after just starting. And that’s the fastest. Is it possible to do it sooner? Sure. But if your plan—you do have a plan, right?—is solely reliant upon booking a series in your first month, or a huge movie part, or a Broadway play (see: Las Vegas odds) you’re in for a rough ride.
# Four – HUGE reality check here… it takes roughly 10 years to become an overnight success… and many don’t even see that.
Most make between $25,000 to $75,000. It becomes a regular job. Others less and even other much less. What we see on the screens is the top 1% to 10%. You could be one of them.
Step 1: Move to the big city.
Step 2: Get an agent.
Step 3: Fame.
All in six months, right? Wrong. I don’t know where in the hell this idea came from, but start looking up your favorite big actors on the web and looking at how many years there are between their first credit and the that credit you recognize, that show that made them a star! I’m guessing there’s a 10-year gap for most of them. Sure, every once in a while someone get the big break, they get casted and sky rocket to fame and fortune!
# Five – It doesn’t matter how great of an actor you are if no one knows you exist… you are just another person in the crowd. If no director, producer, nor casting director has ever heard of you, how are you going to book a role in their project?
Part of being a professional actor is marketing and networking. Being a brilliant actor is of course necessary, it helps, but your next step as an actorpreneur, yes a new word to learn… ACTORPRENEUR, is to ensure that the buyers; these directors, producers, casting directors… know what you’re selling. That your are out there in the show biz market.
# Six – You want to get typecast. Yes you do, it’s a good thing! If you’re being typecast, the means you’re being cast. That’s a beautiful WIN!. I know we have been taught to think that typecasting means that it can limit us to only playing one type of role. What I’ve learned is that understanding your type is really about understanding your sellable self. From our physical appearance, to our true essence. How do people truly perceive us? What “worlds” do we most easily fit in? What stories am I best suited to tell? Typecasting isn’t about limitations, it’s about specifics… plus knowing where we best fit in for that casting director.
# Seven – There is no one true path to success. Unlike many other professions, there isn’t a single way to create the career (and life) of your dreams. Try it all… improv, voiceover, standup, musical theater—all can lead to a remarkable career. Follow your dream.
# Eight – Mindset really matters. By now I trust you’re getting the picture that there’s a difference between acting and being an actor. In order to have the long-term career you envision, it’s going to require courage, tenacity, vulnerability, and hustle. Developing a winner’s mindset is crucial. In fact, it’s the most important thing you have as an actor. And the best part? It’s all within your full control. We can’t always control whether we get a specific job, but we absolutely have everything within us to make our acting careers work.
The Fun of Acting!