ARE YOU READY ? TO THE ACTOR I DARE SAY.
I once met an up and coming actor who wasn’t that great at the time but spent Monday morning practicing his golf swing. He was far from being a slacker and certainly had not hit it big. As I discovered after meeting him at almost every audition I hustled my Hollywood-dream-chasing behind off to get he was a former world-class athlete whose agent helped get plum roles. But golf on Monday morning?. I later observed he scheduled his daily, weekly and monthly time quite effectively. While some of us partied and slept late.
Coming from an athletic background he was used to regiment. Fitness of the body and mind are great contributors to success. In fact some will say crucial ingredients to the soup of sustenance in an industry with a long gestation period before “uhuru”. Then again after getting those breaks you now have to maintain the momentum and still climb higher. There is always to new slice of life to explore for the true artist.
I can only imagine he had prior to his switch to acting led a life spent waking really early in the morning, hitting the tracks / gym, keeping a healthy watch on what goes in and sometimes what comes out. Training, biding his time, inching forward with slow but steady success. Leaning to take something positive out of every defeat while balancing the bills or as we now know sourcing for sponsors to get into a competition.
I can only imagine because I know it’s tough hearing the scathing no’s, the occasional maybe’s without a long awaited follow up call or that ‘I’ve been-checking my-spam-email’ and still pushing on regardless. Pushing on despite bills and home-front close behind snapping at your trying-to-focus-for-god-sake mind. Add on any other tough-luck challenge you can find out there and don’t spare the kitchen sink. Like rebid wolves working with the universe to ensure your life remains a sad and desperate race without a successful end. Tougher even building up hopes after a seemingly senseless rejection considering the options they went with.
It’s bloody out there, and I wonder sometimes,.. it does seem there is a tinge of the masochist in all who wish to succeed in this craft called acting.
Look around you, at the magazine racks , book shelves or swipe away at the list of the top 100 successful men and women in virtually all fields. One silver lining to bare in mind is that all who seek or have archived true success understand the benefit of a disciplined and determined mind. The benefit of regimented training, getting the body to respond daily to your command, one core requirement of a professional actor.
Following a ‘dream’ is hard. Any artist can connect with P.T Barnum’s journey in the greatest showman. The lyrics tell it all;
“I am not a stranger to the dark - Hide away, they say - Cause we don't want your broken parts
- I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars - Run away, they say - No one'll love you as you are”
So what gets you through the long-I’m tired-cant go-on-doing-this-to-myself-darkness? The answer is proper training and a disciplined mind focusing on a clear vision. Keeping body and mind in proper ready deliver balance. Networking surely makes a big difference but more on that another day.
Don’t run away! Train and horn your craft. Don’t be ashamed of the scars! We all got them. Count them like the marks on the “Killmonger” in Marvels Black Panther and someday you will learn to love yourself regardless. (Without wanting to kill or main all who said no of course) Then others will want to know what got you there. Then the stars will open up and welcome you into the light.