Advice and Tips for Actors Helpful thoughts on acting from someone who wasn't the least successful actor of all time.

July 17, 2007

How to be an Actor

Filed under: acting philosophy,eitan's writings — Eitan @ 1:18 pm

Hamlet Skull This is it. The ultimate technique to becoming an actor. Are you ready for it?

Always be pursing acting work.

That was really helpful, wasn’t it? That answered all of your questions, right? No? I’ll have to explain further.

First, let’s take a look at things that people may think make you an actor, but actually don’t:

You are not an actor if you sit around watching movies all day saying, “I could do it better.”

You are not an actor if you own a few books on acting.

You are not an actor if you take an acting class.

You are not an actor if you have lots of friends who are actors.

You are not an actor if you move to Hollywood or New York.

You are not an actor if you simply say, “I’m an actor.”

See a pattern here? All of these things (with the exception of the first one) are things you do if you want to be a professional actor. Yet, how do they not make you an actor much less a professional one?

Because not one of them is directly related to getting you work as an actor. An actor doesn’t just “act” an actor has to find work. There’s no one handing out guest star roles at Terminal One at LAX (believe me, I’ve looked dozens of times). A true professional actor knows that they’re never guaranteed another job so they spend most of their time looking for their next paycheck.

Now, you may not want to be a professional actor. That’s totally cool. But the same stuff still applies to you if you want to act for a hobby. No one’s going to be handing you parts just because you raised your hand and said, “I want to be an actor,” you still have to work to get them. You’ll work a heck of a lot less than a person who is trying to make a living, but you’ve still got to work.

So what kind of things do make you an actor?

Meeting people who can get you work (a.k.a. “networking”), honing and sending out your marketing materials and, of course, acting at every opportunity.

It’s very easy to do the stuff I listed first. Who doesn’t like to sit around and pick apart Brando as a “hack?” Doing the things that makes you an actor are a whole lot harder, but that’s the stuff that will ultimately make the difference in your career.

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