Staying the Acting Course

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Acting is one of those things that a lot of people would like to do.
It looks easy, it makes you famous, and who wouldn't want to get paid to talk to someone in front of a camera and have millions of adoring fans.
So you're going to meet a lot of people who are going to 'give it a shot'.
They set a time frame and if they don't achieve success within that time frame, they pack up the VW/kids/couch/whatever and head back to wherever it is they came from or get into some entertainment-related job like casting or being a production assistant or personal assistant (which keeps them close to the biz) or a new-agey career like teaching Yoga, personal improvement, etc.
which enables them to stay in LA and watch the biz from a distance while counseling the spirits of those who aren't yet as downtrodden as they are.
Whichever way they go, the point is, they gave themselves a time limit.
If you are giving yourself a time limit, I would say, "don't even bother".
It takes a lot longer than what you think for most people to achieve any type of success in acting in particular.
Many of the series regulars on television have been doing it for 10-20 years before they 'pop'.
It took me about five years between my first acting lesson and my first union TV booking.
I was thoroughly convinced that I just didn't have what it took to be on TV.
It was my looks, my acting, whatever.
I beat myself up terribly after every audition that didn't go perfectly.
I never really gave myself a time frame, but the urge to quit or the devil inside appeared on a regular basis.
When I finally booked a job (on ER), I was over the moon.
I almost didn't believe it.
It was a mix of joy with sheer terror (now I had to act with a bunch of seasoned pros including John Leguizamo on my first job!).
I also thought to myself, "I almost gave up this whole crazy dream a million times.
Thank god I didn't or I would have never know this feeling.
" The lesson here is to set goals and set time periods for your goals, but goals are only targets.
It doesn't matter if you achieve them or not, only that you try to achieve them.
Set them high as well, maybe higher than you really think you can do.
I took a master class with one acting teacher and i was kind of bitter because it was a lot more expensive than her normal class, but the one thing I loved about it was that we had to have a weekly goal and talk about it in front of the class every week.
The idea of going up there and saying I had done nothing for myself was enough to drive me.
I set what I thought was a very high goal of appearing on television five times that year.
I thought how ridiculous but aim high.
I was on TV 13 times that year! Did I watch "The Secret" and practice the 'law of attraction'? No...
but what I do see as parallel to a simplistic idea like 'the law of attraction', is the fact that if you put a very specific idea of what you want in your head and list all the things you will do to get to it and check in with yourself on a weekly basis, you will probably be way more organized and focused than 90% of the people out there and it does look as though what you are 'attracted' to will also be attracted to you! Point is to know what you want and go after it until your last breath.
If you really want it, you will do the things it takes to get it.
Just make sure you really want it, because there's no stop watch and your turn could be tomorrow or 10 years from now, but it's out there waiting for you!
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