Listen Up: 3 Tips to Help You Tune Into Yourself & Find Acting Success

Working actress Sarah duRivage-Jacobs gives us tips on how to listen to our own inner voice and stay true to our dreams no matter what others say:

Here are 3 secrets that have helped move me forward in my career–and I put them into practice everyday:
1. Go where you are happy
2. Work hard at many things
3. Listen to yourself

One of the most important factors in acting is the ability to listen. And this goes for real life too. You need to listen to YOURSELF and choose what to block out. Show business is a very competitive industry and everyone likes to give his/her two cents. But at the end of the day, all you have are your convictions. Like I’ve said before – and I’ll say countless times again – everybody’s trajectories in this industry are unique. There are going to be people who think they know better than you, or people who have learned major lessons they think they must impart upon you. It’s not their place. Lessons are yours for the learning, and experiences are yours for the experiencing.

We all know that this is a tough industry: There is so much rejection and so many sacrifices to be made, all in the name of something that isn’t certain. I freak out about my future and my career all the time. Thankfully, I have family and friends who will build me up when I’m feeling down. Sometimes, however, the people around us will say or do things that don’t feel supportive. Maybe they disagree with your pursuits, or maybe they just don’t get it. They could have been chewed up and spit out by the industry themselves and don’t want to see you get hurt. It’s not that they don’t believe in you. Everyone is going to have differing opinions. The secret is to make sure you take everything with a grain of salt and truly listen to your gut at the end of the day.

No one is going to tell you that you’re definitely going to succeed, so YOU have to be the person to continue the hard work. Regardless of what happens, at least you will have given it a real go. I know that when I’m on my deathbed, I’d rather look back on my life and feel happy I went after my dreams, rather than feel regret. While you should never rest on your laurels and assume success is going to happen, you need to set the wheels in motion and believe in yourself if you want there to even be a chance. Do the things that make you happy! Always have your fingers in too many pots, so that the chances of succeeding in one endeavor are greater. Don’t spread yourself too thin, but also don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The balance is delicate, so find your own way. Life has a way of working itself out. Above all, go where you are happy, work hard, and listen to your core.


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.

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