I’m unpopular with people who they say they want to be actors. Actually, I’m precisely unpopular with those that say they want to be actors but…
In such a competitive market, you cannot wish to be an actor but… That ‘but’ will always prevent you from having the success that you want.
And it doesn’t really matter what that ‘but’ is.
But I can’t afford to go to drama school
But I can’t give up my day job
But I have too many responsibilities
But I can’t really commit to training three times a week
They’re just excuses. Anything after the word ‘but’ is likely to be an excuse. And excuses are little fictions that we create to prevent us from making a commitment. If we never truly commit, we never truly fail.
The marketplace is flooded with actors. They actually don’t need you. You are sadly surplus to requirement. So, if you would rather play FIFA, hang out with your dog, watch Netflix, spend more time with your family
Success in a field as competitive as acting, as competitive as dance, singing, sports etc - requires a mindset that does not conjure excuses NOT to do something. The successful will find reasons TO do something.
The mindset of the acting student who constantly asks what time the class will finish today is indicative of their overall mindset.
I would love for you to become a successful working actor.
I would love for you to spend more time with your friends.
I would love for you to get into drama school, or the dance academy.
I’m stoked if you want to play video games professionally.
I love the fact that you need to walk your dog three times a day.
I admire the fact that you have a full time job and that you go there every day.
BUT any time you use those things as an excuse, imagine this is what you are saying:
Yes, I understand that all those that came before me were obsessed with this. Yes, I understand that they sacrificed so much. Yes I understand that become successful often includes a serious amount of sacrifice, very very long hours, missing out on social time, putting in the work, doing more than the next person would, preparing more than the next person would, giving up Sunday morning lie-ins and going out to train after a long day in a full time job, or giving up a full time job to take part in this glorious but fickle and extremely difficult to enter profession but…
I want to see my boyfriend
I want to play FIFA
I have to work full time to afford my car
Those things are probably true. But why do you think everyone else has to sacrifice and you don’t.
I work thirteen to fifteen hours a day. That means at times, I see very little of my wife. I have endless admiration for her ability to put up with my absence and still love me. But I understand the type of sacrifice that’s needed to keep Acting Coach Scotland on the map.
You want to be an actor but…
You don’t want it bad enough.
Mark Westbrook is the Senior Acting Coach at Acting Coach Scotland