How to NOT have an acting career

#1 Don’t Be a Jerk

There is no better way to end your career than by resigning. Acting requires that you work with many people. This category includes being difficult to work alongside, bullying, and acting like you and your role is more important than anyone else. You may ask, “But what about this Oscar-winning actor? He doesn’t speak to anyone and everyone must call him sir.'” Sure. Yes. Many actors have achieved great success and earned a bad reputation for their inflated egos. We can all agree that a great direction to follow is one where we have a successful career and are kind to others.

#2 Don’t Be Late

If you’re looking to make everyone hate you, this is another great tactic. In this industry, time is often money. Even if you have to be there at the appointed time, you must arrive on time. The director and producers will set a specific arrival time for a good reason. There may be complicated costumes and make-up elements that need to be taken care of. Maybe there are some last-minute changes that the director needs to go through before shooting. You never know.

#3 Do not do the work!

Mathew McConaughey recounts a career when he was starting to gain momentum but felt that he had lost his edge. He remembered a time in his past acting training when he would show up to set and not know his lines. This allowed him to improvise and allow for spontaneity. He felt a loss of his edge and decided to try this approach again for his next role. He was excited and nervous when he arrived at the set. He didn’t know what the scene was nor what he wanted to say. He just wanted to “listen and reply, man”. He is called on set by the script supervisor, who hands him his sides (on-set printed text) so that he can make a final check before the cameras roll. Mathew thought, “Oh, why not? I’ll have to check just in case.” Mathew looked at the second page of his script and saw a massive monologue with his character’s name attached. The monologue was also written in S Spanish, a language that he had only learned for one year in High School. Whoops.

#4 Stop Learning!

Beware! You might feel like you know it all. I was trying to imitate Dracula’s voice. It’s a beginner’s mindset that I have said before. You can learn more about new ideas and how to cultivate an open mind. It is dangerous to limit your approach to one thing or to get to a point where you think you know more than the rest. This could lead to you losing momentum in your career.

It is important to stay connected to learning environments such as acting classes and independent projects. These environments can inspire you to do your best work. You may also meet like-minded people who can help you find more opportunities. Always learn. This keeps you engaged, which makes it more interesting.

#5 Wait for the phone to ring!

It’s easy to think, “Don’t they know that I’m waiting for them to ask me to audition?” This is a great way of ensuring nothing happens. Your career is yours. It’s your responsibility, no one else’s. You can pick up the phone to make the call, or you can keep busy learning, communicating, and engaging in activities to improve your chances of getting the job. This is closely connected to the next point.

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