Ellen has been afraid she's turning this into an interior design blog, so here I am to turn it into an acting blog. Almost everyone from outside of LA that I meet asks me the type of questions about the business of acting that let me know they don't have a clue what's it's like to be an actor here. And why should they know? It's a totally different world here and the entertainment industry is particularly enigmatic. I had to learn all of this stuff for myself when we moved here (I'm still learning it), and I did a lot of that learning through reading articles by agents or casting directors explaining their take on the business of acting. Here's a few of the misconceptions I hear often and some articles that might shed a little light for those of you who are curious about what it's really like to try to make a career in acting in Los Angeles.
Why Don't You Just Get On A TV Show? That Would Be A Smart Career Move.
I've lived in LA for two years, and for those two years I've worked incredibly hard at building a career. While explaining this to people, someone will inevitably ask me why I don't just call up Mad Men and get a small role on there. If there was a red phone somewhere that linked directly to the casting gods, then all 50,000 actors just like me would start a giant gang brawl to get to the phone first. It takes years of building relationships, consistent branding, and training to make sure that when you get in the audition room you are absolutely ready to not blow it. After 2 years of living in LA, I can look back and see a clear path that I've cut out moving in the right direction. I can also clearly see that the path will be a slow one - but it is moving in the right direction.
Acting Is An Impossible Endeavor And A Pipe Dream.
Well, I can't argue that thousands of 20-something white guys just like me want to be an actor, and that acting is arguably one of the most difficult industries in which to break through the catch-22s and carve out a career. But it's not impossible. Read this amazing, encouraging article from casting director Bonnie Gillespie about how if you live in LA and are actively pursuing your career, you're already playing in the Super Bowl.
How Do You Get An Audition?
I truly didn't understand this at all until I moved to LA and experienced it for myself. In fact, it's almost too difficult to describe. Or maybe it's that no one really knows. Of course there's the whole agent thing, but I think relationships are more important. See what Bonnie Gillespie has to say about that here.
How Much Time Will You Give Acting Until You Decide To Quit?
A legitimate question, especially when it comes to thinking about providing for a family, etc. Something that Ellen and I both understand and have discussed is the fact that to build an acting career takes years. And not 2 years, but more like 5. Or 10. Or 15. Jenna Fischer, maybe better known as Pam from The Office was in LA for 2 years before she got on TV, and that wasn't a speaking role. It was 5 years until she actually said a line on television. It wasn't until closer to 10 years that she booked her role on The Office. She wrote an amazing article about her career journey. Also check this out. Another goldmine from Bonnie Gillespie. The bottom line is, dreams can change. What you've been striving for could change. We change as people as we grow. So until I stop having fun here, or until I feel called to something else, here I am.
Want to help me out? Go to my website. Click on my IMDb page. Say a prayer.