14 Nov Get Used to Living without These 7 Things
What you’re after is a chance to explore the inner depths of your soul and create art for the masses. You even may get paid for it. The life and opportunities you are asking for are rewarding, but they won’t happen overnight and the success you’re looking for isn’t free.
For all that is given, much will be asked of you. As you put in the daily work it takes to make it as an actor, mentally preparing yourself for the rough, sometimes lonely days ahead is going to help you stay focused on your priority: acting.
Rainy Day Fund
Say goodbye to financial security. You think you know this already, and I want to believe you’ve heard it enough, but it cannot be said enough. The life of an actor is full of uncertainty and there will be many times when you have no idea when or where that next check is coming from.
The thought of any kind of job stability is laughable when it comes to the life of an actor. Projects come to an end and then you must look the next one. Unless you’re lucky enough to land a part of daytime TV soaps or a never-ending Broadway run, get used to changing jobs.
Late Nights with Friends
Whatever excuse you’ve got ready, get ready to use it. You have no choice. The “I can’t today, I have to rehearse.” is an oldie but goodie and works like a charm. Your social life is going to be pretty much over and the calls and text will come in much slower. That’s part of the job. Your friends and family will understand.
I have seen just how many auditions, shoots, etc. some actors have thrown to the side in a moment of weakness to have a last minute drink. If you’re serious about succeeding, you’re going to need a ton of discipline, commitment and perseverance.
Vacations and Holidays
Leaving the city just to have your agent call and tell you they have the perfect audition set up for you tomorrow is going to get old fast. To avoid this, get ready to give up vacations and holidays. You may be able to enjoy them while getting your career started, but after that you may want to stay put. No one wants to be the actor telling their agent “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to make the audition.”
Look, this is not an industry easy to be in. It’s one of the most competitive industries, so time to do nothing is going to be few and far between. You always have something to do. If you are not filming, rehearsing or lining up your next job, you should be learning monologues, practicing techniques, taking acting class lessons, working on your directorial debut, etc.
You understand right? Please don’t forget you should take the time to enjoy yourself and rest once in a while, but this should be the exception, not the norm.
As someone who loves sleep more than life, this one breaks my heart to tell you. You don’t have much time to do anything besides work. That includes sleep. There just isn’t much time. You may find yourself working on set upwards of 16 hours. The best job in the world is still going to take a toll on you. Your body and mind are going to be exhausted and the little time you have still doesn’t translate to sleep. There will be other things clawing for your attention: updating and sending headshots, replying to emails and working a part-time shift are just a few.
Creative Expression on Your Body
Also known as tattoos, hair colour changes and piercings. If you are used to changing your hair every day or week, stop now. You can also put that tattoo sleeve on hold while you’re at it. Though it does suck for those of us who love ink, both piercings and tattoos are known to drastically restrict the chance of you getting that callback for the perfect role you crushed in the audition. You can probably be happy playing the stereotypical biker dude or bum boyfriend for the rest of your career, but I doubt it. Also, looking like your headshot is a must.
If you are rethinking your choice of profession, good! That means you understand what you are giving up and you will think long and hard about whether or not to continue. I already know you’re going to give up this entire list because acting means too much to you. No one has to understand us. It’s our job to understand them.