Many of you may not know but I’m an actor. Yes, an actor. I’m proud to say it as I’ve never really admitted that I was an actor until now. When asked, I would often reply with “oh I dabble into a bit of acting”. These days, I have now come to terms with this. Why do I now stand tall and declare that I am indeed an actor. Actually it was only recently. I made the realisation that I as an actor was putting in so much work with scene preparation/study, character work/development, attending weekly classes, learning lines, working on short films, theatre productions and even recently behind the scenes as a production assistant on a short film. Let’s not forget searching and obtaining an agent and only last year I got my headshots done. On top of all that, I am constantly looking for unpaid and possibly paid work. Phew! Now, this decision may have been prompted through sheer frustration but I thought long and hard about it all. I was in fact working like a full-time actor.
Yes, I’m aware I’m not getting paid but I have been putting in the efforts, hours and mental capacity like an actor. I realised I was reaping the rewards that only actors would understand. Developing a character from nothing, making an impact; an impression during auditions and/or performances, finally learning the lines and then working on developing and fermenting moments. That in itself was what being an actor was about. Yes, it would be lovely to be paid and I’m sure many opportunities will come by soon but in the meantime I have this; a discovery that I’m in fact a “working” actor.
Now, let’s look at the term”full-time” actor. Am I a full-time actor? Yes, I am. I’m full time in terms of my perspective and attitude towards my work. Being full-time doesn’t constitute to solely hours spent. It has a lot to do with HOW your time is spent, not HOW MUCH. For instance, staring at your script and not really working on it for hours on end isn’t really working. Just because you’ve said you’ve spent 20 hours on acting relating stuff doesn’t necessary mean it was productively spent. You could get a lot done in far less time Let me elaborate.
I remember years ago I was working in full-time office job. Despite this I still went to weekly acting classes, had my yearly headshot done, had an agent and was I was looking for acting opportunities. How did I find the time? Well, many may say, “you don’t have kids, of course it was easier for you”. Yes, true to some degree , but I was also working casually as a massage therapist. And wrote when I had an hour or two to spare. But what I’m getting at is despite all of the above I still had a full-time positive and can-do attitude and perspective towards my acting. I was alert as I would and could allow it. And that in itself is full-time.
I was thinking of example of of what I mean about being “full-time” without really being the usual 9-5 full-time kinda job:
Day 1: spending an hour learning lines. Usually once learned you tend to get better at retaining once you start rehearsing with other cast members.
Day 2: Spending some time online searching for short film (usually unpaid) opportunities on great sites like Star Now. Applying for as many appealing roles as possible.
Day 3: Send an update to your agent on what you have been up to with gaining work. Or if you are looking for one, spend some time researching some potential agents to submit to.
Day 4: Update your showreel or work out what you want for your showreel. Find scenes and scene partners, find a space, organise a small crew to film and/or obtain footage from previous work you’ve completed.
Day 5: Character and scene work development.
Day 6: See a play or read a play.
Day 7: If you are writer, write a scene, short film, play etc. Play around with an idea you have been thinking of and see where your imagination takes you. Many artist these days are creating their own work to expand their own opportunities. Go for it!
I could go on and on. What I’ve suggested are only just that, suggestions. But I hope you understand what I mean by all of this.Try to list all of things you could possibly do. What are you creative skills and expand further. Set some time aside, even if it’s 30 mins. You may say, some tasks take a little longer. Then spill it over to the next day. Each seed you sow will somehow help you reap the benefits for you. You are a creative being that needs to be consistent and focused in order to succeed. What I’ve found with being in the creative industry is the more effort, heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears the more you will benefit on a personal level. The viewers will see that. You just have to be proud of your work and PROMOTE. To compare it to most typical 9-5, pay by the hour job, the time you put in you will still get paid a salary or by the hour. When you are an actor, the more effort you put in creating, learning (especially from mistakes) and promoting yourself and your work you will somehow be noticed and appreciated, maybe even eventually paid. Is there a set date to achieve ultimate success? No one can determine that. What helps me move forward and upward is to remember why you wanted to be an actor in the first place. It can be quite simple. My reason? Because I just LOVE it!
Thank you for reading. Check out below a few quotes I’ve picked up from Dame Judi Dench and Stella Adler. Also, we can’t forget a great little video snippet from Robert De Niro on acting. Less is more…
Written by Selma Danculovic
Actor and children’s author of The Papakittens Adventures: Reach for the Stars. Printed and E-book now available on Amazon.
“I think you should take your job seriously not yourself. That is the best combination.” Dame Judi Dench
“Your talent is your choice”. Stella Adler
Here’s a brief yet interesting insight on acting by the legendary Robert De Niro. Less is more…
#acting #inspirational #robertdeniro #judidench #stellaadler #passion #theatre #plays #writing #kittens #papakittens #love