Being an Actor is Hard Work
I do believe the #2 most asked question any actor is asked (after "What have I seen you in?") is "How do I become an actor?" (Or voiceover actor or model or singer or pro clown or whatever type of performer you might be!) When total strangers hear they are talking with an actor of any level they often want to know more. Even if they themselves don't have any aspirations to be a performer, they have a cousin or brother or hairdresser's BFF's postman that is trying to break into the biz.
Most actors I know have a "form" type letter they can email out when this question is asked. Usually it is full of the basic "getting started" advice- what books and blogs to read, what to look for in a class, how not to get scammed, what the Casting Couch really is and isn't, etc.
I myself have 3 such letters- one for "Breaking into acting" one for "Breaking into voiceover" and one for "Getting my kid into show biz". The moment anyone asks the "How do I do what you do?" question, I hand them my card and say "Send me an email reminding me to send you my getting started email!". That way the ball is in their court- if they really want to know, they have to follow up.
And some do...
Maybe 75% of the time I offer the email, the folks respond within a week and ask for it. Of those 75% though, only about 5% ever do anything with the information.
I admit, I slam them with information! If you are getting basic info from a person 17 years ahead of you in the field you hope to go into, wouldn't you want as much of their free advice as they were willing to give?! I only wish I had had someone give me this email 17 years ago! Oh the blood, sweat, tears and money I would have saved! So I think many times the reader looks at all this and thinks "This looks like work!" and they put it in the back of their mind.
And they are right, it is work. The best kind of work ever.
If you knew back then, when you were first starting out, how much sheer WORK being a performer was, would you still do it?
I know I would.
(photo by Levy Moroshan)