To be paid to do something you love is one of the greatest rewards in life.
Anyone willing to jump through fire hoops and make sacrifices for this, has that right.
That being said, it is important to understand the struggle that comes along with becoming a working actor. New players have enough factors working against them, that they don't need to be hindered by bad-learned behaviors that might curb or harm their reputation. The first years of your career are most vital in order to establish what kind of employee you are as an actor or actress. Therefore here are a few tips to get on the good foot:
1. Try your hardest and be a good hire. I've seen too many actors who are plagued by very common habits that give casting directors, agents, managers, etc. a bad taste in their mouths. With the wrong steps, it will be a difficult task to start your career on the right foot.
2. EGO is a NO GO. Being proud of your own work is necessary. However, pride and expectation are two dangerous characteristics in the biz. While some actors struggle with insecurity, others have the (seemingly) opposite issue to address and that is the ego. Anywhere in the business, you will find the "ego-zillahs". Whether they are scowling in their dressing rooms, screaming at the crew, or expecting to be taxied around, these behaviors will not only make yourself look bad... but also those who represent you.
When you break down “EGO”, it often comes from the same place as insecurity. But while insecurity turns inward... ego explodes outward and affects everyone around you. Furthermore, if everyone around you is miserable because of your ego, they will remember that you are the one that made them that way. Remember this: there is always a better actor out there who wants your role and could do it better.. without any ego or bad attitude.
3. KNOW YOU BELONG BUT KNOW YOUR PLACE. Insecurity is a terrible thing and it strikes everyone and anyone who will let it chew away at their soul. Yet, finding strength in knowing that you also belong there, will set you in a place where people accept you.
4. DESPERATION IS A STINKY COLOGNE. If you want to be an actor more than anything in your life, then wow! Good for you! If you're prepared to jump through those fire hoops in a pink tutu to obtain a Zelda Key and save the princess to ultimately become a thriving player in this Jumanji board game called “tha acting industry” ... then boom you've got a foot int he door! BUT... if you want everyone you meet to know that you are ready to do anything and everything to be a famous actor… then you might also find yourself not getting a part. More often than not, actors can be found making it absolutely and yet desperately obvious that they just want to be seen by any means. While "Persistence pays" is a mantra that is fantastic to follow, it is best to balance this mantra. If indeed you are working on advancing your career, do not… and I repeat…DO NOT just send the same information over and over to everyone and anyone. Make sure that your application for work is personalized by doing your research about the people and information involved.
5. KEEP UP TO DATE. Constantly work on your portfolio so that it keeps evolving and expanding, but in the same light, work to enhance other elements outside of acting that inspire you. Not only will this help you grow as a person and as an actor, but you may even find new skills you may have developed over the years. After all, the new friend you met at the dog park, magic show, or chess tournament last month, could maybe... just possibly... lead you to that dream role of becoming the first disco dancing circus contortionist... on roller skates.
Ahem... While your idea of a dream role may not be in a similar taste as mine, the most important thing of all to remember in this case is:
Your love relationship with your journey to thrive in this business.. is simply what you make it.
Love yourself, enjoy the journey as it comes, stay positive and get to know the creatures and beings you meet along the way. It is a hard unpaved path, full of thorns, mountains and jagged edges and despite the fact you started on the road alone and barefoot.. it is the right mindset, attitude, and tools you will learn and obtain that will help you build the relationships and skills you need in order to create your own success along the way.