Wednesday, September 17, 2008

You're lucky you have a real job

So acting is an odd profession and here's why.  Any other profession, if you are good at what you do and you want to do it, YOU CAN!  
Simple math equation.  Skill plus desire equals JOB!  S + D = JOB!!
In the acting world this is not so.  I can be a great actress who really wants a job and not get it.  In fact this happens more often than not.  More often than not I am told no.  People look at me day in and day out and say no.  No, you're not good enough. No, we don't want you.  No, too fat.  No, too old.  No, too pretty.  (I get that last one all the time).
And I keep doing it!  I have to!  Rejection is the biggest part of my job.  The more people that tell me no the closer I am to the yes.  
How many of you would still be doing what you're doing if someone didn't hire you?  Say you're a biologist (good for you!).  You got excellent grades, went graduate school, the works.  But no one will hire you.  Would you keep going out on interviews?  How many?  How many people would have to tell you no before you decided to do something else?  And what would you do, for that matter!? You've been for this for years and you're good at it.  And you love it!  Would you be willing to keep applying for jobs after a year of rejections?  Two years?  Ten years?  What if you were given a job (yea!) but you wouldn't get paid.  Still interested?  When do you stop trying?
Because if you stop then you'll always wonder what if.  And because every no is one no closer to the yes.  And that yes could be tomorrow!  So you never stop.  Well, I never stop.
It takes a certain type of person to make it in this business.  Well, two types of people.  Lucky sons of bitches who were in the right place at the right time and a career making job just fell into their laps and then there's me.  The talented young determined actress who slowly shuffles up the ladder towards success, her heart ever full of hope and her skin thickened to the insults.  Doesn't that sound like a great path to my destiny.  Yea thick skin!
And I've never wanted the easy road.  Well, maybe once or twice I've thought to myself "Why Natalie Portman and not me?" but who hasn't.  Mostly I'm happy to take the ladder rung by rung because I hope this will make the end result oh so much sweeter knowing how hard I've worked to get there.  And, really now, what's the rush?
What's the rush?!
Any other career and I could have completed my education and gotten hired.  And gotten paid.  And had health insurance.  And vacation time, maybe.  But no.  I have to be an actor.  And I mean that.  I HAVE to be an actor.  I can't do it any other way.  I could teach acting but only if it doesn't get in the way of ACTUALLY acting.  And it might be selfish because right now it's not very...fruitful to be an actor.  (Usually it's VERY FRUITful to be an actor).  And yes I could use the money and security that another means of living would provide.  And sure my friends and I would have more things in common if my career didn't require fishnets and Meisner techniques (I lost you again, didn't I ladies) but dang namit I am an actor.  And I'm not ashamed.  And I'm not worried (usually).  Because every no is one step closer to that yes.  And one yes?  Well, one yes can be the top rung on that ladder of success.  So I guess I should get back to work, friends.  Thanks for listening.