In former decades, greed utterly dominated the movie industry and actors were treated as no more than valuable cattle. Sexual harassment and racial discrimination were both unbelievably common and blatant, studios routinely spied on their talent and actors had almost new control over their lives – even to the point of being forced to undergo abortions or plastic surgery.
Although there is still much behind the apparent glamor of the silver screen that is sleazy and disturbing, we’ve at least moved away from the worst abuses in the industry. These days, the path towards stardom is much more well-defined and based on merit – although this by no means implies that it is an easy one to walk. The vast majority of aspiring actors fail to make it, but there are certain things anyone can do to increase their chances.
Take Every Opportunity
The best advice from those who have spent time in the movie industry is to take every acting class you can, not neglect your voice and physical exercises, get involved in community theatre and audition for every role you might conceivably land. While there are a few examples of unknown actors being “discovered” while just going about their daily business, almost every actor who can now demand millions of dollars for a performance spent many tough, frustrating years working themselves up and developing a reputation.
A related recommendation is to start young and keep at it. An actor’s looks are one of their greatest assets and won’t last forever, so gaining experience from as early on as possible can give you a massive leg up. Even an uncredited role or an appearance as an extra (or as they are also called, “props that eat”) gives you an advantage over somebody with no dramatic background at all. If no better opportunities present themselves, film curling wand reviews for a Youtube channel.
This also means developing a very thick skin and learning to handle rejection without giving up. You will always be turned down for more roles than you succeed at, just like everybody else. Be ready for directors shouting at you and working incredibly long hours for little pay or recognition. If acting is truly your dream, you will have to make this kind of sacrifice.
Become Famous in Some Other Field
Especially in modern times, several athletes, models and musicians have successfully made the transition to a film career: O.J. Simpson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Lopez and even Paris Hilton (although it’s not clear what exactly she is famous for in the first place).
In some cases, these individuals have gone on to demonstrate real talent as well the confidence that comes from already being a public figure. More commonly, though, their acting skills have proven to be mediocre. This doesn’t really matter, though: their main function is to put a famous face on a poster and get more tickets sold.
Hollywood is still a business and box office receipts count for far more than awards or critical acclaim. Famous actors may not make a movie great, but it is as much a component of a film’s commercial success as being based on a well-known book or having a previously successful director on board. If you have another skill besides acting, consider focusing on both.
Practice Being Lucky
One way of improving your luck is to become Irish. Another is to make sure that you’re in the right places at the right times as frequently as possible.
Networking is one of the most important steps you can take to increase your exposure among those who can advance your career. Be friendly, involved and willing to help as often as you can, even if this isn’t in an acting capacity. Getting an agent will be essential once your career becomes a job rather than a hobby, but making friends – and keeping in touch – opens just as many doors.