by Anastasia Roussel
I have often found when meeting young or inexperienced actors that they are seeking something outside of themselves to validate them. Consequently that results is getting caught up in the “business” of being an actor. Getting the best photographer, enrolling in the hot new class, taking casting director workshops, finding the guru- the teacher who’s going to give you the method or formula to ensure your success. But there is no magic pill, and there isn’t one person who can mold you into the consummate actor you wish to become. The responsibility of that my friend falls on you.
Ultimately you have to do the work. And the work is not just showing up to class or rehearsal, getting new headshots, or hiring someone to tell you to be pro-active about your career. The work is you digging deep, exploring, engaging in life, asking questions, discerning experiences, and constantly confronting yourself in order to grow. It doesn’t have to be hard, or a struggle, though life challenges us with hardships as well as brings us successes. The nature of life is cyclical, it’s best to embrace it and know that for every set back there will be a breakthrough just around the corner. Being committed to yourself is something no one can teach you, and you can’t buy. The person who knows you best is you. We all need guidance, support, and the humility to know that learning never stops. But looking to others for answers, direction, or purpose is a recipe for confusion and frustration.
Not only am I a professional actor, but I’m in the business of providing services to actors. I can say from experience that the clients that benefit most from what we offer are the ones that have a keen awareness of themselves, an open mind, and realistic expectations. Because of this they are able to recognize the hard work and dedication of others, what constitutes quality, and how those elements will benefit them in long run. It’s good business sense to recognize what services are an important investment in your career.
We’ve all been swept up by the desire to achieve success and the frustration when it doesn’t happen on our timetable. Just stay the course. Learn to trust yourself. Be open and willing to learn from every experience. Don’t give your power away to anyone, even if you admire them. No one can teach you more about yourself than you.
Getting to know yourself is the best investment you can make.