Making it as a young actor in Hollywood
On the face of it young actors have it all; from the roles that they play to the circles that they move in it’s not difficult, or uncommon to be jealous of Hollywood’s rising stars. No one can blame you for being attracted to a career in Hollywood. After all, its lifestyle is a wholly vibrant, diverse, and exciting one, and no two days or projects are ever the same. As a young actor, it’s only natural to be attracted to such chaos. We’d like to show you the way.
Perfecting a craft
You know, there’s plenty of advice out there for budding young actors; the trick is distinguishing the helpful from the obstructive and learning where you fit in the system. There are numerous hurdles that you’re likely to need to navigate to get anywhere in Hollywood, including vast amounts competition, stereotyping, self-consciousness, and rejection. Like most hurdles, though, these barriers are only as daunting as you make them.
Be prepared to start from the bottom
If you’re to make it as a young actor in Hollywood, you must be prepared to accept unpaid work, small parts, and non-speaking roles. Well, how else do you expect to get that foot in the door, if it’s not by starting as an extra? Every appearance, every line, and each second of screen time will contribute to your show reel, and open another window of opportunity.
Tread the boards
Okay, so you’d like to work in movies? If you’re serious about your acting career, then it really will pay to tread the boards, as well as fighting for parts on the small and silver screen. Acting in the theater will prove you know your craft, and help you to establish a reputation as a versatile, well-rounded professional. Besides, all of the huge names have done it.
Never stop learning
There’s no such thing as perfection in Hollywood, although you’d be fooled into thinking that some actors simply nailed it the first time. Believe us when we say that you never stop learning. Indeed, it’s essential to hone your craft and skills and to make time for classes, workshops, and improv sessions. One day you’ll stumble upon your niche, and find a way to make your skills work for you. Until that day, be open to any and all avenues of acting.
Never give up
Above all, don’t be disheartened, and attend each audition with the same enthusiasm and positivity. Hollywood will be able to tell when you’re getting ready to give up. Maintain your portfolio and show-reel, and be persistent when it comes to casting calls. Take a moment each day to further your career, be that making phone calls, sending emails, or networking with industry leaders. Your initiative will work wonders when it comes to bagging roles.
Oh, and above all remember to seize every opportunity; the likes of Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, and Jack Nicholson didn’t get where they are today by being picky during the earliest days of their careers.
The pitfalls of Hollywood
Despite its glitz, glamor, seemingly endless parties, and constant media attention the life of a young actor isn’t without its pitfalls. In fact, those very same celebrity events, magazine shoots, and paparazzi opportunities often add up to a lot of pressure, both to look good and act a certain way for almost every moment that you’re awake; the limelight can be a lonely place if you allow it to be. It would be very easy to fall in with the wrong crowd or to rely on alcohol, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll to simply make each day bearable. Many young actors have fallen foul of the pitfalls associated with the spotlight. You see, while each acting job will come as a reward for all of your hard work and determination, the stress that piles on with every magazine spread, gossip column, or Instagram post – not to mention the workload – might make you question why you’ve chosen such a career in the first place.
Please, don’t feel disheartened it is possible to enjoy life in Hollywood if you’ll only take a few moments each day to look after yourself, and your wellbeing. That paparazzo will wait, after all. Keeping your head above water could be as simple as taking a weekly yoga class, indulging in a little meditation, or finding time to relax and enjoy the simple things in life. You might even pick up a new hobby, such as cookery, or seek advice from a professional regarding the management of stress, anxiety, or substance reliance; wherever you turn, ensure you’re taking time out for you, every now and again.
Social media is an excellent source of information should you need it; indeed, the Newport Academy’s Twitter feed is the perfect place to start if you’re feeling lost, alone, or somewhat chaotic. Well-versed in tackling the kinds of crises that young people face, the Academy might become an important point of contact if you’re trying to break Hollywood, one late night and early morning after another. Remember that you’re never alone in Hollywood – and that’s often a good thing.
For every scandal, forgotten evening out, or anxiety-ridden morning there are some magical opportunities to be found in Hollywood; make the most of your career ascent, and remember to remain open-minded. It’s also a good idea to be kind to those you meet on the way up, as they’ll be your support network and biggest fans when you finally make it.
Finally, look after yourself because the life of a young actor is an exhausting one, and you’ll need that energy for your next audition. Get to grips with the organizations and individuals that you can rely upon for help when you need it, and make sure you’re forthcoming in asking for that assistance. Hollywood is so much more than a place; it’s a way of life for those who exist and work there. Remember that, and there’s no reason why you can’t succeed.