We all know that pursuing a career in acting is a bold decision. It’s certainly not the ‘safe’ career choice but for many, the potential rewards outweigh the risks. A career in acting can offer exciting and fulfilling opportunities, so how can you move towards your goals (with some security)?
The answer is commitment and versatility.
As with most creatives, you may need to balance your passions with ‘safer’ endeavours until the former occupies you full time. But don’t lose heart, committing to your passion, is what’s likely to make you successful.
Erin Cronican, a US actor and founder of the Actor’s Enterprise, provides advice on juggling a day job with performing. She encourages young actors to stick with it:
“Why doesn’t acting pay your bills?
Because you don’t demand that it does.”
In Australia, according to Job Outlook, only a small percentage of actors, dancers and other entertainers are working full-time in the field – only 30.8%. This isn’t stated to be discouraging. In addition to talent, great timing, unshakeable dedication, technical skills and passion, actors usually possess valuable psychological skills such as memory, social theorising, imagination and empathy. Psychology Today’s article, The Mind on Stage explores this beautifully. These attributes translate superbly to areas such as writing, marketing, teaching, coaching and public relations. So even when you’re not acting, it’s certainly possible to build a rich and satisfying career utilising all of your strengths.
You can either operate as a freelance actor or align yourself with talent agents and casting directors. For information on Freelance and Agents, see the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and for Casting, see Ozemag.
Whichever way you go, you will be required to provide photos and/or reels when going for jobs and these days even a blog or web page can be a valuable addition to showcase your portfolio. The ABC also provide some really valuable advice for aspiring Australian actors.