Let’s face it, millions of people want to be in show business.
Whether you’re behind the camera, in front of the camera, in the wings, on the stage, on the road, in the dressing room, in the press room, everyone wants a slice of the cake.
But there’s not enough cake to go round.
So if you want a slice, you have to grab it.
Unless of course you have family who are already in the game and you’ve been eating the cake since you were born.
Why am I talking about cake? I digress.
Ultimately, competition in the entertainment industry is fierce. Just because you may be talented at acting or singing, does not mean you will become an actor or a singer. The road to success is long, or should I say short, as it is frustratingly often blocked by seemingly insurmountable factors: lack of money, constant rejection, age constraints.
How long can you go on waiting tables for whilst you wait for your agent to call?
How long can you pretend that you can portray a character within the 18-25 year age bracket?
How much more money will you lose going to classes, having your headshots taken, working for free?
Believe me, these are questions I have asked myself at some stage or other on my road to pursuing my media career.
Unfortunately, gone are the days where you could start out in theatre or writing for a local magazine/newspaper, gain a reputation, and then work your way up the ladder. Now it’s all about who you know, and whether you are in the right place at the right time. I know that, and you know that, no matter how much we try and pretend it isn’t true.
Some people say that going to full time drama school is the only way to get into the acting world nowadays.
Of course it helps, as do classes and workshops, but unlike such disciplines as law or medicine, where without formal training, you will never qualify, you do not need a degree in drama to be a successful actor.
Audrey Hepburn had no formal training. Neither did Johnny Depp. Nor Heath Ledger. Nor Oliver Reed. Nor Brad Pitt.
Personally, I think that real life experience makes you a good actor/writer/director/etc. If you can identify with a character through an interpretation of your own experiences, you’ve got it covered. No matter how much of your inhibitions you shed in a drama class, no-one can teach you how to feel a part or write about something that you’ve got no connection with. You have to become the character. And only you can do that.
So once I had established all of the above there was just one thing I needed to do: SELL SELL SELL!
Self-promotion is crucial to the success of any career.
We all need other ventures to keep us motivated and although a career in the entertainment/media industry is my main goal, I am not delusional enough to sit and wait by the phone thinking that I am going to become the next J.K Rowling or that Steven Spielberg is going to call…(well I was at one stage until I realised he doesn’t have my number – he didn’t have a pen to hand when I met him on the set of Warhorse).
So I’m afraid I am going to have to continue to ‘toot my own horn’ until someone hears me.
“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them” – Albert Einstein