Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Actors, you must learn to juggle!

Life as an actor is mostly a juggling act. For all those thinking about a career in showbusiness be warned it is not easy! But if it truly is your passion don't let my warnings hinder you. When I first told my family about my plans to become a professional actor as a teenager I was bombarded with statements. "Oh that is a HARD career." "Really? Maybe you should reconsider." "There is so much competition in that field." The wave of unsupporting comments was topped of with my grandmother's undying words: "I'd love you to become a doctor!" If you met my grandma you would understand she is not a woman you want to disagree with. At the time I didn't take these comments well and saw it as a comment on my abilities. Nowadays I see the truth in their words. You need determination, perseverance and undieing passion. If you attend drama school all this will be repeated to you countless times. The reality doesn't hit you until you graduate and step into the life as a professional actor. Being a professional actor for most means being out of work more than in work in your chosen field. Unless you are one of the very lucky ones to get a big role straight out of drama school. Damn you Orlando Bloom!
               My life is a constant juggling act between making ends meet and trying to progress in my acting career. Before you make a name for yourself you will be offered a lot of low paid or unpaid work. These have the opportunity to get you valuable contacts but doesn't pay the rent. After I graduated I was surprised to find that flexible part time work is really hard to find. Auditions have a tendency to pop up with little or no notice. I was lucky to find work in a recruitment agency that is very flexible but enough shifts to pay the rent are never guaranteed. It is important you have an employer who understands this. This is why I ventured into nail technology. I am currently negotiating a position in a local nail spa and have told the spa owner this so many times I'm blue in the face. I want to avoid unpleasant situations or accusations of not following a contract at all costs. I still haven't decided whether to accept the job or not. Acting always comes first and I need to keep reminding others and myself of this contstantly. Any actors out there I would love to hear your experiences and methods of keeping your head above water. Good bye for now. I have an audition tomorrow. Break a leg!

For acting and audition tips you might find this e-book useful.

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