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

September 4, 2007

Staying Positive

Filed under: acting philosophy,eitan's writings — Eitan @ 10:29 pm

positiveI’m going for two positive blogs in a row. I already have a topic for next week which is semi-positive. So I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine I’m pouring down on the internet. I must be an a good mood with showcase auditions coming up on Thursday and other fun audition stuff going down for me personally.

Last week we discussed what I love about being an actor. And it’s easy to love acting when you’re doing well and seeing your career move forward on a constant basis. But what do you do the other 300 days a year? Those days when your phone doesn’t ring and it feels like nothing is ever happening. Today I’ll talk about how I stay positive and keep going, even when it seems like nothing is happening.

If you call or stop by your agency after a month or two of no auditions they’ll always say the same thing, “it’s slow right now.” No, it’s not. There are “slow times” and there are “busy times” but there’s always something happening. If you have no auditions today go to 200 S. LaBrea (The Casting Studios) and see what’s going on. There’s an audition happening, isn’t there? Maybe it’s for people to play Indian chiefs and you’re a 5’2 blond girl, but you know someone’s auditioning. And in some room somewhere there’s a 5’2 blond girl auditioning.

How is that positive? It sounds depressing at first. If there’s an audition for a 6’1 goofy brown haired guy and I don’t get called I’m annoyed. Yet it happens every day. I know that tomorrow, that could be me auditioning. And if I keep getting my name out there, then there’s no reason I can’t be at the next audition for the 6’1 goofy guy with brown hair.  Because I know the work is out there for me.

I’ve mentioned this before, but in this industry things can change really quickly. Last week on Wednesday night I went to bed without a single audition on the horizon. For all I knew I could never audition again. Within 24 hours I had two auditions in the next few days. Boom, just like that. Let’s say I book a few jobs, the next week I could be auditioning for bigger things, just because something cool is on my resume. A year later I can be out there auditioning for HUGE parts. Or at least I hope so.  Things can move forward in leaps, not only in tiny steps.  And those leaps can be just around the corner.  You never know.

On the flip side it’s easy to stay positive because I know that almost every actor you know of had a career that built slowly most of the time. You’d better believe that Anthony Hopkins had slow days when he was starting out. But he built a career bit by bit and now he’s a legend.  So what if nothing happened today.  Tomorrow something small can happen.  And something else small can happen the day after that.  And the next thing you know something huge has happened because of all the small stuff that’s built up.

The biggest thing I do to keep positive is to keep moving forward.  If I’m feeling a lull in my career I put together a mailing, I figure out something to do for the showcase or even read the trades.  Those are all things that will pay off in the long run.  And also to keep positive.. wait, did you hear that?  Someone just quit acting.  Some actor/barista in North Hollywood was having a bad week/month/year and decided to call it quits.  Or maybe they didn’t quit, they just decided it wasn’t worth their effort to do something proactive today.  You just outlasted someone and moved up a tiny rung on the Hollywood ladder.

The best part of this job is that if you’re good, things move forward.  Sometimes they move slowly, sometimes they move fast and sometimes they only move because you busted your butt.  But they do move forward, if you’re good.  And I guess that’s the most positive thing I tell myself, “I’m really good at what I do.  It’s going to work out in the long run.”

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