No Excuses: How Your Acting Career Can Be In Your Control

23 May

No Excuses: How Your Acting Career Can Be In Your ControlFirst of all there are a SHIT TON of things NOT in your control. So let’s just get that out of the way right now. No use spending your time stressing about things like, did the casting director like my audition? Dude could’ve been having a bad day, the part could’ve already been cast but they need to see others for back up, the part ended up getting cut for budgetary reasons so your role doesn’t even exist anymore, etc. Not in your control.

But the good news is, there are things that are!

Last month I did a little experiment of diligently recording the number of auditions I submit for versus the number of auditions I get called in for to show how a lot of this really is a numbers game. Every day, multiple times a day, I scrolled thru the “notices fit for me” on LA Casting and Actors Access. This yielded a good handful of auditions, which led to me driving all across town (ok, fine, mainly Hollywood, but, still) taking an hour of my day for what usually is 2 to 3 minutes of actually auditioning. 4 weeks and 19 auditions later…. I haven’t submit for a single thing.

Why? Well, that’s a good question. I told myself a number of reasons: “It’s too much gas.” “It’s too exhausting.” “I’m not going to get anything from them anyway.” Basically, a lot of excuses. You might wonder, gee, if this girl starts complaining over a mere 4 weeks of submitting & auditioning (which is only a fraction of what pursuing this career is about anyway) then how the hell is she going to make it in this business?!? You’re absolutely right. These are all excuses. But, at least I know that is all they are. They are not legitimate reasons. And I do believe it is healthy and maybe even necessary to vent every once in a while. Because traipsing across town IS tiring. Gas IS expensive. And your “next gig” isn’t necessarily going to come from a blind submission, it can come from anywhere.

However, submitting and auditioning is one of the things that IS in your control. So easy. You click. You get called. You go. You kick ass. You’re done. And you never know where it can lead you.  You are at least doing one thing towards your career.

Another thing I’ll admit to have complained about- not having a theatrical agent. (“I don’t have enough credits” “My type is too hard to cast” “I’m not union”) Again, excuses. I should know better. I gotta switch gears and see what IS in my control:

– research smaller agencies who represent people who are doing the kind of work I would like to do

– find out if anyone in my circle has any sort of connection to any of these agencies

– reach out by sending a postcard, headshot, or phone call

– figure out how people see me, look at what type of roles in the past I usually get and see if there is a pattern, look up other actors similar to me and see what roles they usually get cast for

– save money to pay for my SAG card if that’s what I feel is holding me back (for the record, I don’t think it is right now– trying to hold on to my SAG -E for as long as I can)

This breakdown of steps can be done for a lot of  actor “problems” and then voila- you’ve got action items that are all bringing you one step closer to the acting career you want to have.

The beauty (or curse depending on how you look at it, but I like to keep things positive!) is that there is always something you can be doing for your acting career. There are no excuses about why you aren’t making it or how it is hard profession. Guess what? EVERY professional career is hard, really hard, at the beginning. You have to put in those extra hours, blood, sweat and tears to get the promotion, the raise, the business deal. Same goes with acting. Now is the time to be putting in all the leg work and eventually it will pay off. I truly believe that.