There is one thing I will say until I’m blue in the face: the acting industry is one of the toughest industries out there. In this crazy business where you often get little to no feedback, how are you supposed to know if you’re wasting your time? Here are 5 ways to check in with yourself to make sure you’re on the right path.
5. You aren’t wasting your time if you’re okay with being broke for a while
If you’re in this industry for the money, GET OUT! The old adage says that if you do what you love, money will follow. Unfortunately, money is moving at a glacial pace. If you’re okay with living paycheck to paycheck while making your dreams the reality, you’re doing the right thing.
4) You aren’t wasting your time if you’re willing to work REALLY, REALLY hard
Success in this industry – at any level – is probably not going to fall in your lap. While this career isn’t like others in that you don’t necessarily get back what you put in, you can only increase the odds by working like crazy. If you’re constantly on casting directors’ and agents’ radars, your name’s eventually going to stick! If you think you can just relax and wait for it to happen to you, you’re sorely mistaken. And you should probably get a new career.
3) You aren’t wasting your time if you can’t see yourself doing anything else
If you’ve been in this industry for any number of years, you’ve probably heard that if you would be happy doing anything else, do that other thing. If you could be just as happy doing something else that’s a sure thing and will provide you with a stable income, GO FOR IT. If you don’t have the drive for this business, it’s not the one for you. But if you can’t imagine choosing any other career, you’re on the right path.
2) You aren’t wasting your time if you have a thick skin, or are willing to pretend you do
Acting is never going to tuck you into bed and make you a cup of tea to make you feel better. Sometimes it’s going to slap you in the face or ignore you completely. If you can’t take rejection, this is not the business for you. Rejection is hard for anyone, but part of this industry is being able to take everything with a grain of salt. You at least need to be able to bounce back from the injuries and continue working hard. If every little upset is going to leave you in a puddle of tears, you should probably find another career.
1) You aren’t wasting your time if you believe yourself
When all is said and done, all that matters is an unfailing belief in yourself. If you know that you have something special to give as a performer – and know you can roll with the punches – then you’re doing it right. No one’s going to tell you you’re good enough, so you have to be able to get up every morning and know all the struggle is worth it.
Nina from “The Seagull” was a crazy broad, but she got it right when she said:
“The main thing isn’t being famous, it’s not the sound of applause, it’s not what I dreamed it was. All it is is the strength to keep going, no matter what happens. You have to keep on believing. I believe, and it helps. And now when I think about my vocation, I’m not afraid of life.”
You don’t really need anyone else to tell you you’re on the right path. You just have to know that, in your heart of hearts, this is all there is.