What’s the Swahili for ‘Bungalow’? Can you water-ski while flossing your teeth? You need as many strings to your bow as possible in the acting game, which you already know, yet you remain undeterred.
That’s the spirit. As far as you’re concerned the world needs to see your name in lights, and ‘lights, camera, action’ are the only three words that are gonna get you out of bed in the future because you know that this aspiration won’t always be in your dreams.
You really are determined, aren’t you?
Eternally driven, there’s also a masochistic, attention-seeker inside every actor - as well as a terrific honesty in wearing these not-so favourable traits (that we all of us have) on their sleeves for the world to see and continually punch holes in.
We’re not trying to put you off or anything because we know that you want this more than the taxi driver with Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet all in the back of his cab wishes he had an eject button.
All we’re doing is preparing you for the slings and arrows that’ll inevitably come your way. There’s also bravery and nobility in pursuing such a notoriously insecure career that can lift you up to the gods one minute and then drop you into the cheap seats the next. Once you have a qualification under your belt is when you really start learning how to act. All the world’s a stage and that world’s your oyster.
Lady Luck likes the cut of your jib.
Who you know and being in the right place at the right time have their parts to play in the story of your road to success that will eventually become a musical in its own right that’ll run and run in London’s west end and Broadway.
And the ability to bounce back from stinging rejections when less talented/deserving candidates get the gig as you cry into your chips on the bus on the way home is also required. Or chips and bus fare might even be too much of a stretch for a penniless wannabe.
That’s why a financial cushion helps, or a job that pays you enough to have enough spare time to focus on honing your craft and adding all those strings to your bow. Audition after audition is a costly exercise.
Acting’s not just about standing up and reciting a load of other people’s words. University courses can help you get to grips with Stanislavski, Brecht and all those other expert machinists, but you can also help yourself by mastering the art of research because being an actor and an auditioning actor are two different things.
You need to know how to nail an audition and how to read the auditioning panel. Most of this comes down to researching the role as well as researching the director you’re hopefully going to be working with: it always helps to know a bit about their previous triumphs etc.
Your name’s your fortune
Your name can make or break you too. The actors’ union, Equity, rules that no two actors can have the same name, which is one reason some actors insert a middle initial or go for a completely new identity, and the name you choose could be your passport to fame or obscurity.
So choose wisely.
Break a leg.
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