Actors – Working Hard vs. Working Right

Do you question whether you’re doing enough for your career?

Since so much in this business is self-motivated, I often find actors feeling bad about themselves for not doing enough to make their careers happen.

On the other hand, I see some actors always keeping busy, busy, busy doing what actors do… and going out on as many auditions as possible. They tell me that when they are doing that they are being productive, getting results, or at least feeling better about themselves.

Recently I overheard two actors in a restaurant discussing their careers. “I went on 12 auditions last week,” one actor told the other. The other one replied, “I only had two.” I noticed the first actor was feeling good about himself while the other looked sad. I turned to both of them and said, “That’s great, did you book?” Both replied no. “Any callbacks?” I asked. Nope.

Here’s my question to you: Are you simply working hard, or are you working right? And what does that look like?

An actor goes out on an audition in L.A. The other actors at the audition all look just like him (or her); they all hold the same two sheets of paper with the same few lines of dialogue to read; and they’re all trained, with varied levels of experience and different backgrounds.

Of the 100 actors that go into the audition, 80 are simply not that good, 10 are decent, and 10 are great. The 10 great ones will get a call back. Maybe 3 or 4 will get a second callback. The bottom line though, only one will get the job. That’s the business. Welcome to Hollywood.

Are you in that 10 percent? If so, then you have a one in ten chance of getting booked. Keep at it and you will book.

As you look at how hard you’re working at your career, ask yourself if you’re doing the right work at this time. You always want to be in that 10 percent. I know one actor who bragged that he had 15 auditions in one month, while another had only 5. The actor with 5 auditions got 2 callbacks and booked one job. The actor with 15 auditions didn’t book any.

Where are you in that statistic?

Do you keep track? Do you keep your eye on it? You can’t go on this journey blindly without some introspection and self-evaluation. Look closely and ask yourself, Am I doing the right work, correctly for me?

That work involves several variables, including pictures, resume, a reel, and representation, not to mention understanding your type, training, experience, and a solid marketing plan. Take a periodic look at all these things and see how you’re doing. Ask a friend, a coach, or a fellow actor to give you some perspective. It’s not easy to do this alone. Don’t just spin your wheels. Be your best. Put in the time and effort it takes to do so.

Have a great month.

Fran Montano
Author: Fran Montano

Fran Montano - is the owner and Artistic Director of The Actors Workout Studio, located in the NoHo Arts District for nearly 30 years. It is one of the longest running small, intimate theaters and Acting Schools in the Los Angeles area. AWS was created to being a “home” for aspiring and working actors were the work not only includes classes and training, but personal coaching, career planning, networking, showcasing, and regular performing. His students range from beginning actors, accomplished actors who work regularly in film, television, and stage, as well as numerous working directors and writers. His style is on an individual basis and in his small, intimate classes, it’s like working with a private coach. His reputation is in finding and breaking actors blocks Fran’s background as an actor, in producing, directing and theater makes him an excellent resource for actors in Los Angeles, in finding their way both in their talent, and promoting their career. Visit for more information and a schedule of classes and productions