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Not very optimistic on my future career

MrBond007

MrBond007

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
86
Location
England
First of all, at the start of every thread I always like to mention that I have Asperger's syndrome as well as anxiety and depression (have currently been on antidepressants for the last year and a half). I currently study performing arts (drama) at college. I have been doing it for well over 2 years now, and I really do aspire to become a relatively successful actor. Most specifically a film actor within the action/drama genre, though I am more than willing to give every genre from every platform a go. I like to think I'm a relatively decent actor myself and I don't really knock my own skills in that regard. Though I absolutely abhor seeing myself, considering the fact I am very self conscious on the way I look, whether that being my body, hair, neck, face, etc. So I find it very hard to watch back video's of myself acting. And considering the fact that I'm constantly body shamed and implied to be unattractive both from my family (which they jokingly do though it still hurts me) and people at college (my friends even, but again it still hurts). And also considering the fact I put a good amount of weight on since lockdown, to the point where I have developed more of a double chin as well as, stretch marks on my waist and in between my thighs. I have been trying to get a haircut and go back to the gym and lose some of my flab, the issue is, is that they're all closed which makes everything else ultimately harder for me. I am also very short sighted to the point where I always have to wear glasses, which again has been ruining my confidence since I personally think I look a lot better without them, and how am I suppose to get a role in anything if I can't even see what I'm doing? I'm also adamant of keeping my hair the way I like (the length that I like) rather than having to shave it off or grow it out for a specific role, though I have been thinking about it if the opportunity was present. I wouldn't mind styling it though, just cutting or growing it a considerable length.

Anyways I have been feeling pretty bad about myself recently and I'll explain why. A few of my friends have been apart of some form of program/performance/acting school/etc. Where as with me, I haven't been in or done nothing of the sort. The only acting experience I have is from in college. For starters I have never really been knowledgeable on where to go for castings or auditions because I always thought you need a certain degree to do so in order to be accepted for good roles. So I have never really actually looked for any (mostly because I have close to no idea on how actors get accepted). I am also from a working class family so I've never been financially able to go to any acting school outside of college. Which is a shame because I really genuinely do want to make myself known and show people what I can do. I'm not at all worried about constructive criticism. I mean our tutors in college are quite knowledgeable of acting and in the industry themselves. One of our tutors is a west-end actor who has been in/directed his fair share of performances himself, and he is always giving constructive criticism. And I am always willing to listen to what he has to say, and then take a note on it and perhaps improve on it in the long run. My point is, is that the people that are currently in the performing arts course have experience/experiences on what it is like to perform outside of college. One of my friends (it's actually a girl I have a crush on), has been in many popular BBC TV productions in the past as an extra/small role and was even a stand in for a major part. The other day my friend had asked her how much money she had made from her recent part and she said around £3000. And she was doing all this before she even came to the performing arts course. Her father is also a relatively well known writer as well (I honestly couldn't say if that would've played a role in her getting auditions because she is indeed a very good actor herself). Overall she has essentially been brought up in that type of environment. And she is indeed quite a posh, polite, sweet young lady (she is only 1 1/2 years younger than me though) I don't mean to be judgmental but she seems like someone who has been brought up in a very good environment.

Where as with me, virtually none of my family have been in that type of performing environment with the exception of one of my uncles who is pretty well financed anyway. I mean her father is quite a well known writer for a popular range of audiobooks. My father on the other hand is a bipolar alcoholic who just always feels the need to shout at me whenever possible. Virtually all of my family are working class, doing jobs that require little to no qualification and a good majority of them don't even work. My mother nor my father even have any GCSEs. So I feel like I'm probably one of the first of my families generations in a long time to have actually graduated with passing my GCSEs (I also received the Maths Award For The Class Of 2017) and moving on to college (and soonly enough university). Considering we're all friends in my course and we're friends with her, I would absolutely hate to use the term jealously. But I am definitely feeling some form of envy within myself. And considering the fact I turn 20 next week and have still not got any performance experiences outside of college, is really making me doubt my future career as an actor. I had a brief chat with her about where she would go to audition for these types of roles and she told me to look for casting agencies on twitter, facebook, instagram, etc (I only use twitter anyways). I still felt bad for myself though at the fact I may have missed so many good opportunities for myself. I hate to say it but I also feel too old to professionally start acting now. I just feel that there was so much more I could've done and could've gained, but I never actually did it. In college, we are currently planning and organizing stuff for our show reel that we are going to make. Our show reel will essentially be a 10 minute video previewing us in many performances, recordings, plays, etc to show off our acting skills. We are also planning on writing a 2000 word essay on how we believe we would be a valid able candidate for this fake performance company. My friend (and other friends) is going to have many upon many different sources from the stuff she has been in, whether that being the BBC, college, some other production companies, etc to put into these pieces of work. Where as with me, the only sources of acting I have of me is from college (and maybe some self recorded auditions if I do some).

Generally, when it comes to acting I think I'm pretty alright at it. When I am at home, I would love looking up scripts from plays, movies, video games, etc and acting them out. I find that to be very interesting to explore different character's personifications. A while ago I had rehearsed a big chunk of Mercutio's Queen Mab speech from Romeo & Juliet and performed it for a mock audition in college. Overall I got some pretty good feedback from my tutor (the west-end actor). As of recently I have rehearsed and learned another monologue from the 2019 film The Lighthouse (starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattison), in the scene where Willem Dafoe's character starts off by saying "Let Neptune strike ye dead Winslow". I learned that entire monologue within 3-4 days and had it imprinted in my brain. I did it in front of camera today (recorded by my tutor) using that type of sailor accent and afterwards he went on to tell me he was very proud of me for doing it. He said that I had a powerful voice and that I have a lot of potential which made me very happy of myself. Though I still felt bad at the end of the day because of how I felt about my future. My tutor has also told me a few times that I would be a very good James Bond, to which I was very surprised and happy to hear because I'd absolutely love to be James Bond. Though there is a part of me wondering if he is just saying that because he truly means it, or saying that because he knows it will make me feel happy about myself. I honestly don't know
 
A

always thirsty

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
125
Location
colorado
i guess i could post a little here. not sure how to give you any encouragement but i did grow up with a mom who was an actor and a sister who was an actor that started out with a lot of modelling as well, also i've lived 20 years in hollywood and dabbled a bit behind and in front of the camera but not much more than that. still i guess i could provide a little insight and getting into the scene at your age would be great imo.

so let me start with a little insight into my sister's experience. she started doing the modelling mostly at first but always was acting at school plays and in commercials when she was lucky enough to land one. it was a good thing she was as hard working as she was bc my dad had left when i was young and she would take a train to nyc 3 days a week usually to audition and do modelling work starting around when she was a sophomore, which in america is around 14 years old. the modelling is pretty much straightforward, they see your portfolio and if you have the look they want they book you. the acting, which for her was mostly commercials in the beginning outside of school stuff, you auditioned for unless you are well known. commercials pay big $$$ but you get like 1 in every 100 auditions give or take. at least she did. so when you hear about someone making $50k for a commercial, you will think oh wow $50k for a days work but that's not really true. it's more like $50k for 100 days work cause of all the rejections. i'm just using random amount, they used to pay a lot more than they do now anyway. now it's mostly buyouts with no residuals. before it was around $150 every time it aired plus your initial pay. the unions set the rates and minimums, although there is plenty of non-union work as well. lets see...i'll write a bit more about her experience, she gets to hollywood and essentially pays the bills with commercials still for a decade mixed in with modelling and for a while cocktail waitressing. this afforded her the opportunity to take acting classes and altogether it's a flexible way to do it. in the end she enjoyed her life doing that until she got married and had kids almost 10 years ago. i do remember her saying to me once "man...maybe i should have just hit the casting couch" jokingly, but the couch is real - and it is a shortcut to fame. she was one of relative minority that never slept with producers or other types that would get her in the spotlight, or at least date someone who could advance her career. i remember being on set one day and this guy pointed out an extra that had apparently just given a low level production assistant a bj simply to get a union voucher for the day so she could be a little closer to getting into the (SAG) union. so yeah there was a LOT of that going on and even for tiny stuff like that or a simple one line in a movie. a good amount of famous stars you know in movies got their way in like that. anyway i'm glad my sister didn't sell her soul for that, and she did quite well actually.

so yeah to some up the main point in there, if you wanna be an actor get ready for rejection and have a somewhat flexible job. you will not get picked for the part usually, there will be plenty of people at every audition. now bc of covid it's an unusual time. but barring that there is plenty out there for you to do. i'm sure you already know some sites that list work in london from looking it up yourself or having drama school friends tell you. we had a weekly in LA before the internet blew up the early mid 2000s that had plenty of jobs. and then after the internet there were plenty more from online, don't forget craigslist either. as far as getting an agent or manager, it's pretty simple - get one that sends you out for lots of auditions. better to be a big fish in a small pond than the other way around. even if the agency is prestigious if they aren't sending you out bc they got more important people you wont get much work. look up getting some work as an extra. that's a fun way to get to see everything happen, and network a bit. but yeah these days, barring covid times, there is SO much out there. free stuff like student films or low budget work to decent non-union and then of course good paying union work. you can get plenty of auditions yourself, getting an agent/manager is definitely optional in the beginning while your building your "reel"

i am a movie fanatic and here what i personally like in an actor is someone who uses every second of screen time as best they can. sounds basic i guess but when it boils down to it yeah....i think they have that way of kinda slowing down time in the same way professional athletes do. anyway stay away from the scumbags, they aren't just looking to couch the women decent amount of gay ones that are looking to take advantage of young men as well. all you can do is hit as many auditions as possible. i would personally suggest taking a class or seminar in preparing for commercial auditions. as i mentioned they do pay well, and are good for your reel.

anyway i been rambling and this is a long post now. gl cheers!
 
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