Acting FACTS and Just the Facts

Acting as a Career

What does it mean to make a career of something? It means to do something really well, consistently and for a LONG time, end of story. It doesn’t mean becoming famous overnight or getting that steady TV job 6 months after coming to Los Angeles. Yes, some people do, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

Getting an acting career has 5 key components:

  1. Do you know what you’re doing? Meaning, what will you do when you finally get that audition? Will you be able to be as well or better than all the other actors the producers are seeing for that part?
  2. Persistence. How long are you going to hang in there before you give up? How long before you HAVE TO get a real job, a mortgage, and a washer and dryer?
  3. Determination. How hard are you going to work training as an actor? Or for that matter, at the business of show business? For example, are you ready to call everyone you’ve ever known since the 5th grade and ask these friends, family members and casual acquaintances for help in meeting anyone they know who can help you in Hollywood? Would you do that? Be honest with yourself.
  4. The Way You Look. Let’s face it. It was easier for Brad Pitt to have a career than it was for Danny DeVito. Not to say that it was EASY for Brad Pitt, but it was easier. Truth is we don’t all look like Mr. Pitt or Angelina Jolie, and certainly not every part calls for someone who looks that way, but in terms of getting started, things move a little faster when you have THE LOOK. And yes, it does take longer to get an acting career if you’re going to play roles that are more about acting ability than a certain look.
  5. Luck. You can hang around Hollywood for 20 years and get a little work and wonder what happened to your youth. Or you can come here and find an agent immediately and start working. All of the above considered, luck plays an important part. For example, how can you predict that when you get here you’ll meet someone who knows someone who happens to be a talent manager who knows about a part that’s being cast right now for someone of your type – a part you would be perfect for? It happens and it happens more than you think, though much like most things in life, you can’t plan for it, you just have to show up.

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Acting As A CRAFT

Most people honestly believe that if they can talk they can act. It’s that simple. If they have the ability to mouth words, they will be able to do this thing called acting. Oh, and if you’re also expressive and somewhat emotional, you have it made. Since that’s what we see on screen, why can’t they just stick us in front of the camera and let us be ourselves?

Our opinion on this at The Acting Corps is this: If you can do what your favorite actor does in front of a camera, often surrounded by 20-50 crew members, a director, producer(s), studio executives and other professional actors, you should go ahead and do it. And some actors have done it just that way, they just walked into the job, at least that’s what their public relations people would have you believe.

On Camera Acting

But if you suspect it may not be that easy, or if you’ve tried the above and you either couldn’t get a part, or an agent, or even a meeting in Hollywood, chances are you need some training. Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger probably had very little acting training, but do you look like Arnold? Were you Mr. Universe for a few years running? But I digress.

The acting facts are these: you need daily training, serious training, much like a professional athlete. And even then it won’t be easy. Because EVERYONE trains, and there are dozens of MFA programs like Yale, Rutgers, Harvard, etc. that spit out thousands of graduates over the years who are all trained to the teeth and are looking to eat your show business lunch, so to speak.

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