Throughout drama school my friend Tiffany Ash and I did absolutely everything together and I have her to thank for helping me with so much during that time. Tiffany was brilliant and I always knew thatch was more talented than I, in fact I think that many had more of an affinity for acting than I did. After a year or two of trying to break into the industry I decided to break the news to Tiffany that I would be trying something else, but I still love to catch her in the odd state show. There is much that people should understand about trying to make it as an actor, which I want to go into today.
You leave drama school on a high thinking that you are going to launch your career as a thespian, but shortly after wards you come down from the high and realize just how difficult it is to break through. This is why I would always refer to those first 2 years post-drama school as ‘the struggle’ because that is exactly what it is. If you have wealthy parents then great, if not, this is going to be tough as you will have to be close to the action geographically, but find somewhere which fits into your tiny budget.
Auditions are amazing for learning but you very rarely get feedback, you have to learn from your own errors. You are going to have to have some thick skin however if you want to make it in this game, because the level of knock-backs which you get and the brutal nature of some of the feedback will test your emotional strength. You have to stay strong and keep going back to the next audition, and then the next, your chance will come.
Something which I didn’t expect which became a real pain was constantly having to look for new jobs. You need the job in order to make money, but then you need flexibility to go to auditions or acting gigs, and most people aren’t giving their part time staff this type of flexibility. During the three years that I was trying to break through, I had 11 jobs, some I left because they wouldn’t give me time for an audition, and others I had to leave because I had a short-term acting gig.
You find that you start to get to know other people who are in your position and whilst at first you think that you can trust them, you very quickly realize how competitive this industry is, and that many people will happily bring you down if it means that they can get on top.
This is a necessary process if you wish to be an actor but it is important that you go into it with your eyes open. You need to expect the worst if you really want the best.