A Casting Director I once worked with told me you have to do three things a day to further your acting career. These three things can be as varied as submitting yourself for auditions, doing yoga, or working on your website. I think it’s always useful to watch current TV shows, movies, or plays to keep you on the pulse of things as well as inspired: Do anything that fulfills you creatively.
When you’re engaged in activities everyday to further your career, things will start to happen. You will feel less nervous about the future if you are doing little things every day to get work. And it’s also a matter of confidence: if you present a strong, confident self, that’s how people will see you. Feel like an actor all day, every day, and life will catch up to you.
When I was working in a cafe in the theatre district of NYC, I frequently came face to face with working actors. I wouldn’t always be forthcoming about my pursuits because I didn’t want them to think that I wasn’t on their level. That was a huge mistake. During the year I worked at the cafe, I got so wrapped up in my life as a non-actor that I didn’t make any headway in my life as an actor. I focused my life on my job and friends, and not on furthering my career. I was too nervous to quit or ask for time off for fear of upsetting my boss.
I knew I had to reevaluate if I ever wanted to be a working actor. I made the executive decision to stop worrying so much about pleasing other people and started doing 3 things a day to further my career: Slowly, I began to piece together a life that was conducive to that of an actor. I stopped working jobs that made me feel like I had to stifle my personality – as eccentric and bizarre as it may be – and that left me too tired to do anything else. I began to invest more time in cultivating Sarah-the-actor, which in turn made Sarah-the-much-happier-person.
I wish I hadn’t spent my first few years in New York focused on the wrong things, but all that matters now is that the shift has happened. So remember, do 3 things a day to get closer to the career of your dreams and create an environment for yourself that feeds your life as an artist.
By: Sarah duRivage-Jacobs
Sarah is a New York based actress who hails from a small hippie town right outside of DC. She received her undergraduate training at Towson University and continued her training at T. Schreiber Studio in New York City. She also studied improv at the People’s Improv Theatre. Favorite roles include Marcy in “Dog Sees God,” April in “Hot L Baltimore,” and Sunny in “Attempted Harmonies,” which is currently vying for the top spot at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s Winter One Act Festival.