I had to learn many lessons the hard way.
Follow these simple guidelines and avoid making the same mistakes I did!
#1 – Auditioning before I was ready
You want to audition. I get that. But don’t start pounding the pavement until you are adequately trained. You only have one chance to make a first impression and you don’t want casting directors to look at you as an actor who isn’t GOOD when truly you just aren’t READY.
#2 – Not understanding my type
Know who you are and what you play before you start aggressively marketing yourself. If YOU aren’t clear on this, how can you expect casting directors to be?
#3 – Spreading myself too thin
Try to really zero in on what you are trying to accomplish and focus on just that. For example, you need to be in a class, make X amount of dollars to pay your bills, and enjoy X amount of hours of downtime a week. Stay focused and manage your time with great care. Are you spending too much time on things that aren’t going to lead to your ultimate goals?
#4 – Spending time with the wrong people
This is a no brainer. Surround yourself with people who are serious, talented and who inspire you. If you don’t have people like this in your life, go out and find them! An acting class is a good place to start.
#5 – Worrying about who could help me instead of helping myself
This is a mistake many of us make in the beginning of our career. “If only I could get a really good agent, THEN I would be successful! If only SOMEONE would put me in a movie!” This is the wrong kind of thinking in the beginning. Instead, focus your creative energy on “How can I CREATE something that will get attention? How can I make a short film, a web-series, or produce a play?”
#6 – Living too far from the action
Live in L.A. Period.
#7 – Being resentful of my day job
A day job is a beautiful thing. It puts cash in your pocket and it connects you to the world. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “I’m not a real actor if all my income isn’t from acting.” That is simply not true. Embrace the day job. It makes you less desperate and keeps you moving.
#8 – Not sticking with the right class
If you’re in the WRONG acting class (uninspiring, students not serious, etc.) by all means, get out of it. However, if you are in a great class and finding yourself not doing the work, MAN UP. Take advantage of everything that class has to offer. Get up on stage every week if you can. Ask questions. REHEARSE outside of the class so you are super prepared when the class meets.
#9 – Comparing myself to other people
“Be yourself because everyone else is already taken.” You are unique and beautiful and Hollywood is looking for authenticity so BRING IT.
#10 – Not being consistent
As hard as it is, try not to work in spurts. Set a goal for yourself (a half hour a day) to devote to your career and then stick to it. Plan out your month in advance and then STICK TO IT. It’s amazing what we can accomplish if we give it a little bit every single day.
YOU GOT THIS!