Let’s face it, acting is a tough gig. Study after study reveals the difficulty of making it in the industry. But forget about ‘making it’. Even establishing yourself in a meaningful way in the industry, (by which is meant, making enough money to survive on a minimum wage!) is a dream for many would be actors.
In the acting industry, the path after graduation is a shaky one. This is also even the case for actors who have completed training at one of the top tier Drama Schools. Top tier Drama Schools offer graduates the opportunity to be represented by one of a few key talent agents in the industry. Yet even then, the likelihood of one gaining meaningful employment, let alone popular success remains small. Forward thinking schools, have created alternative support programs to help their students’ succeed in the industry. (Our own Film Acting and Film Production program
was created to provide our actors with the opportunity to star in short and feature film projects). But even then, the ability to earn a wage from your work as an actor, remains an elusive dream for many but a very few lucky ones.
For actors outside of training institutions, the chances of success are indeed very slim. Yet despite the dismal prospects, many young and new actors throw themselves into the industry, taking all requisite steps in the meantime, to ensure better chances of success.
One of the ways to improve your chances is simply, not to give up. While this is an oft quoted mantra that becomes the central thesis of many public speeches by renowned celebrities on the matter of success, many actors find it in fact very hard not
to give up, in the face of continuous disappointment and rejection.
It isn’t just rejection that actors and new graduates need to contend with today. The pandemic has led to massive closures across the industry and it would not be an exaggeration to say the performing arts have been (temporarily we hope) razed to the ground. Theatre, live venues and interactive performances have ground to a halt, taking away many of the already small opportunities open to the many actors and new graduates joining the industry every year.
So how can young actors and graduates keep going in the face of rejection and reduced opportunity? And for actors who are working in the industry, how can you remain positive and continue building on your career during what are often, long dry spells between gigs?