It takes a lot of umph to pursue a career where a large part (probably the largest) forces you to deal with rejection. Being rejected as an actor is an interesting type of dismissal because often times we are not privy as to why it is that we are not wanted. We are just expected to wipe our noses and keep pushing.
This, I believe is the reason why many people do not last long in this business. It is one thing to desire an acting career but actually dealing with the emotional side of acting is a completely different monster. Of course, I do not mean emotional in the sense of character developing. I am referring to the emotional well-being that we must constantly maintain for ourselves while hearing no, over and over and over again.
All of this talk of rejection is in no way meant to deter anyone from pursuing a career in acting. As a matter of fact-it is the contrary, my friend. I want to help you maintain your sanity, passion and drive for the craft! I have put together a list of 3 ways to maintain your sanity while pursuing your acting career. My hope is that you are able utilize a few (if not all) to enhance your awareness of self and keep you sane while on your journey to stardom.
IDENTIFY AND WRITE DOWN YOUR WHY
The why is truly where the passion starts and remains. It is the reason behind continuing to get up time and time again. The why is what will allow growth to continue despite the continuous rejection and judgement. The why is also what helps block out the voices of naysayers that love to kill dreams. If chosen correctly, the why should be stronger than the reason to quit. The why can’t be simple; it has to be the reason why quitting is not an option. “I want to be on TV” is not a why. Keep in mind, no one can create the why for you-this is personal. It is a driving force that the person who it benefits must decide upon. The why should be the number one go-to thought in times of discouragement and rejection. It should be the motivation for continuing.Note: Be careful not to confuse the why with the byproducts that come with being an actor- they are completely different. Byproducts will not motivate you when you haven’t booked a gig in a month.Lastly, if the why that is chosen is not enough reason to not give up then consider rethinking the why and/or the career path.
2. PRACTICE SELF-LOVE DAILY
This could honestly be a post all by itself. I’ll keep this as sweet and short as possible. In a business where being judged and picked apart seems to be the everyday narrative, it is important to be sure of the love of self. Knowing oneself requires spending time with oneself. Yep, that means being alone. Learning to be alone without being lonely is one of the best things I ever learned to do. This may not seem like it relates to being an actor, but it does. This is not the career for someone that is insecure and unloving of self. The people that the industry tends to chew up and spit out are those that are not sure enough of themselves to understand that the rejection faced has absolutely nothing to do with who you are as a person…unless of course you are a d-bag to casting directors and peers….then yep it probably is you. However, I know that doesn’t relate to any of my amazing readers.
Find out what it is that you love about yourself and nourish those things. Figure out what makes you feel beautiful and/or dope and repeat daily. If working out makes you feel wonderful then do it. Take time to recharge. Take yourself on a date. Buy something new. All of these are ways to practice self-love. The 21 Day Self-Love Challenge is a good place to start! Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!
Perhaps I will consider writing a self-love post in the future. For now, I’ll leave you with this-self love is key in anything that you do. When you truly love yourself you refuse to engage in behavior that is not good for your emotional well-being. Acting is a tough job. LOVE YOU, in the midst of all of the rejection.
3. CREATE! CREATE! CREATE!
You are going to go periods of time where a gig hasn’t been booked. That is okay and normal. We all have lulls. We have all felt like we smashed an audition only to never hear from the casting director. IT IS OKAY! It is in these situations where your why should kick in to keep you going.
In between gigs you have to continue exercising your acting muscle. What helps me is writing scripts in between working on gigs. Sometimes I even write my own monologues. Many actors are talented in other art forms as well. Do not neglect those art forms. Nourish them! Feed them! Keeping yourself busy creatively is what will keep you on your toes when you get your next audition and will also keep you dedicated to the love of art.
Some examples are creating skits, blogging, writing, journaling, creating your own short films/web-series, etc. If you do absolutely nothing to exercise your creative muscles in between auditioning and booking gigs then it will show when the time comes for you to audition again. Not to mention, being creative in between booking is like getting your creative fix in the meantime. My motto is “if people aren’t casting for the roles you want, then create them yourself. It is 2018. Get yourself out there so the world can see how creative you are. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to act/be creative. That power belongs to you!
I would love to know if any of the tips above are ones that you all currently practice or if you were able to gain any inspiration or insight. There are a ton of ways to stay sane while pursuing a career as an actor, and I have only listed 3. What ways do you all stay sane while on this crazy career path?