Starting your career as an actor can be difficult. There are many challenges that can come with this career path, and sometimes they can make you doubt any decision you’re going to make.
That includes every minimal thing you’re going to do, like if you should move to Los Angeles or if you need to give your hair a new haircut. And for the record, yes, there are more jobs in Los Angeles, but it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to move out to the city. And please, only cut your hair if you want to! With that in mind, here are some of the most common struggles beginner actors go through.
It might be a cliché, but this is still a struggle lots of actors face every day. Every actor needs to know their lines because otherwise, they will sound like robots, or — even worse — like someone who doesn’t know their lines. It will get easier the more you practice, since you’ll get more used to it. And besides, you’ll get to know yourself more. If it takes you one week to learn a page, you need to start practicing one week in advance! The more you practice, the sooner you will know which techniques work for you and which ones do not.
One of the best things you can do to try to get over a painful rejection for a role that you really wanted is to be practical and level-headed about it. After an audition, it’s important to not get desperate. One good thing is that they probably won’t call you to tell you you didn’t get the role. So, forget about that audition and let it be a pleasant surprise when they do ultimately call you. Besides, you can always get a better strategy next time: change your look, practice more, and watch more movies. That said, there is one thing you can’t do, and that’s to let it affect you. Young actors and actresses are especially vulnerable to anxiety and depression because of rejection. However, research has shown women are more likely to develop it at some point. If you add in some of the more common problems that actresses face in these settings, the percentage of women with symptoms related to mental health conditions gets worse. If you or someone you know is having a hard time, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is mental health assistance for women near Los Angeles, New York (or the city you have chosen to pursue your career!) that can help you with this.
It’s also hard to explain the art of being an actor. You have to be notably conscious of your body and your surroundings. However, it becomes a problem when the actor it’s too immersed in the role that it comes out stiff or robotic because they don’t relax enough. The best tip is to entirely focus on the partner or (if you’re alone, in your character) and not on yourself. Of course, this is easier saying it than doing it, but practice can give you all of this. The goal is to be completely aware of every movement you do (even your body language), so you can change it to however it suits best the character.
As an actor, the public has to believe you. The difficult part about this is that the harder you try, the worse it looks. So, the trick is to make it look like you’re not trying and be relaxed. (Again, easier saying it than done!) This point is heavily related to self-awareness, and it has to do a lot with practicing. And before you protest, yes, most of the troubles that actors face (at least if we talk about their development) can be solved with practice. If nothing seems to work, you can always turn to the most experienced ones for guidance and inspiration.
Fear can completely ruin your career before it takes off. Having doubt can make you hold back immensely, and that’s why you need to learn how to control it. Give it time, and you will learn how to accept them, and you will forget you were once scared. While you work this out, the best you can do is practice. And not only practice what you feel comfortable doing, but also practice everything. Pick new characters and demanding scripts. It will all pay off in the end. If you still think you’re too lost and scared, planning can always be your solution. Maybe you can feel better if you know what you’re going to do ahead of time.
Remember, practice can solve most of the problems that you will face as a beginner actor. Not only will it help you not only overcome your fears, but it will also allow you to step out of your comfort zone, too. If you haven’t today, take this as a daily reminder to practice your lines. And before you know it, you’ll land that key part that takes you from the small stage to finally getting that break that you worked so hard for — and obviously very much deserve!