They take those same basic steps I did, of going to classes, scene study, headshots, getting an agent and submitting for projects…
And then sit back and wait for that nod of approval.
When it doesn’t come, they often feel not only disappointed, but also disapproved of.
Like they’re not good enough.
I felt the same thing, so many times.
As I realized the enormity of what I’d discovered, I struggled with the implications of what it meant for my career.
After the breakup I felt I’d hit rock bottom and, now that I was on my own, had to face the financial realities of “adulting” by myself.
I knew that if I couldn’t turn my acting career into a success, then I was going to have to go get a “real job” and make acting a passion project only.
I’d have to give up my dream.
In the depths of my despair at that time in my life… the late nights alone, unable to sleep… the idea of quitting to go find some level of “security” almost won the day.
I remember sitting in my apartment, alone, with the near-constant Vancouver rain pattering on the window, trying to accept the idea of giving up.
As I wrestled with my options, I began thinking back over my time as an aspiring actor.
From the time I was 5, back in Nova Scotia, where I grew up, acting in local plays at school, my kindergarten class put on a production of “Old MacDonald had a farm” and the teacher asked which boy wanted to be old MacDonald.
I shot my hand up and said, “Why does it have to be a boy? I want to be old MacDonald!”
I mean, that was clearly the lead role, so obviously it was the role I wanted to play.
And the role I got!
From then on I was hooked.
There was no film/tv industry in Nova Scotia, so I did 2-3 plays a year until I graduated and did the “right” thing by getting a 4 year theatre degree (and a conservatory acting diploma too).
After I graduated I did what most well trained actors do: waited for the phone to ring.
I did all the wrong things for 7 years before the, ahem, jerk, broke my heart and conversely made my life so much better.
As I recalled all those past experiences I felt the joy of acting swell inside me, the pride after a job well done.
And it was at that moment that I decided there was no way in hell I was giving up on myself.
I’d come too far, loved acting too much, to roll over and let my career die.
So I doubled and redoubled both my commitment AND my efforts.
From this new perspective of wanting to take the reins back and exert control over those aspects of my career that I was directly in control of, I started looking for new classes on how to be a successful actor.
Most of it was the same old doldrum of acting classes and scene study that had helped me become a great actor, but hadn’t resulted in a thriving career.
But there was this one new class that I’d never noticed before.
It was about the “actor’s business”.
So I signed up immediately and immersed myself over the course of 9 months, learning the ins and outs of the business side of our industry. Through that class I had another realization that hit me like a ton of bricks.