The building blocks to a career in entertainment may not be clearly lined out by our business-oriented society, but they are nontheless clear stair steps to reach your full potential, the same as you would build on your knowledge, training, and natural skills in the corporate office environment. Are you building a career or mistakenly spinning your wheels with a hobby?
A well-known Casting Director in New York recently confided that many actors she runs across treat acting as a hobby rather than as a career. Just to make sure you're not really treating acting as a hobby and not realizing it, take this little test. Write down succinct answers; be honest; no cheating. And no just looking over the blanks. You have to fill them in using pen or pencil, so print this out and get to work!
Are you always reachable within 30 minutes, if not immediately? _______________
Do you currently have representation? _______________
Are you known to show up on time? Do you always? ______________
Are your headshots professional? Do you regularly recieve compliments on them from industry people? _______________
Do you have a competitive nature? _______________
Are you knowledgeable about the industry, industry contacts, and current events? __________
Do you keep your skills honed and continuously growing? _______________
Can industry professionals expect you to go the extra mile? Are you considered low maintenance? (Hint: If you haven't been told directly by one of your industry contacts that you are "low maintenance," you cannot say yes to this question.) _____________
Have you ever given an excuse? _______________
Is your résumé growing, changing, and updated with your agent and online profiles? _______________
Do you have an attitude that makes people smile when they see you coming? _______________
Are you actively following up on your industry pursuits? _______________
How many hours each week are devoted to career? ______________
Now you know what to do. So make sure you do it, not just think it!
And who benefits? YOU DO!
And what benefits? YOUR career!
Hobby actors can benefit from knowing answers to these questions as well. The main idea in this blog is to send a wake up call to talent who are pursuing the industry as a career and dropping the ball in one or two of these places. However, when utilized properly, hobby actors can have great success in the industry without pursuing a career, too, of course!
So, do you have a hobby or a career?