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So I'm struggling with this ...

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by novelist_wannabe, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    My apologies. I know this is whiny. You don't want to read whiny, just stop right here. Click over to the movies thread. I just need to vent a little about this heart vs. head struggle, OK?

    So here the deal: The Little Novelista is three months from finishing her bachelor's degree in theatre arts. She's putting a lot of effort into starting her career - she wants to be an actor - and is getting nothing but rejection so far. Working auditions, grad school auditions, she's done a bunch of them. I applaud her guts, because she's gone and put herself out there at some really elite places. No-go every time. Got another one this morning. That makes about 0-for-15. By now, we are well-versed in the realities of the acting profession. We know there's a lot of rejection. You'd have to be an imbecile not to see that its part of the landscape, an inescapable part of the deal.

    That said, every time she tells me she's been told no, it hurts my heart, you know?

    I don't know what the average rejection percentage is for aspiring actors. Pretty high, I'm sure, and I'm guessing there will be much more. Still, is a positive nugget to much to ask for? I mean, playing the lottery - and this kind of feels like playing the lottery - every now and then you win a few dollars. Come on, Universe, (or Universal, or University), help a daddy out. It appears her heart can take it for the time being. Mine, though, is getting weary.
  2. Neutral Corner

    Neutral Corner Well-Known Member

    There is no easy answer to this. Aspiring actors wait a lot of tables, and the odds of "being discovered" are similar to a high school athlete making the pros. All she can do is keep grinding, hone her craft as she can in community theater or whatever else she can find. She has to stay almost senselessly optimistic, which is fine for her. I don't know that it will get any easier for you though, not until either she breaks through and gets some work or she accepts that the dream isn't her reality.

    It's out of your control. Just try to maintain an even strain and be supportive of her.

    Where does she live? Is she doing the NY/LA actor pilgrimage?
  3. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    Georgia, at least until she finishes school. After that we really have no idea. I halfway expect her to tell us she's moving to NYC, particularly if grad school somewhere else doesn't materialize.
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Tell her to write it up on Medium!

    Kidding. It sounds like the standard and all-too-common theme. If there's anything to help you out as you're watching, it's that she's undoubtedly happier taking all that rejection than she would be giving up entirely and moving on with her "real life," which will never feel real to her.

    I've always admired people who have that fire. I never felt like I did for anything. I mean, I liked what I was doing, but there was never a time where I would throw myself into it headlong and forget everything else in life because I was so passionate about making it. You hear it a lot these days, especially with high school kids and everyone telling them to "find their passion." Some people -- perhaps most people -- never have what you'd call a "passion." When someone does, it seems like the only way to go with that is to hope the person makes it or let the candle burn out on its own.
  5. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    If someday she goes to NYC and lives the aspiring actor life but never makes it big, at least she'll have gone to NYC and lived the aspiring actor life. That takes guts and hard work in itself, and it will pay off wherever it leads.

    She's a young adult hoping for a fun career. Dream big. Roll them dice, I say.
    I Should Coco and old_tony like this.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I've helped in college with production on a Shakespeare festival and have seen some real talent in community theater. So I have always been kind of shocked and amazed at how much acting talent is out there vs roles available.

    It's hard and it sucks to work your ass off for a coveted spot that pays scale wages in Podunk.

    But you never know what role might be right for you. Or who might be looking to fill a role that fits your daughter to a T.

    I think people who work hard at what they love will find success.

    Good luck, N_W.
  7. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    You just have to be supportive and she just has to keep grinding. No different than any other post-graduation job search.
    Has she tried being cast as an extra in anything? It's not glamorous, but it is an "in" to the business.
    My cousin lives in Albuquerque. He used to be an air traffic controller, but after he retired a couple of years ago he caught the acting bug. He got cast as an extra in a few shows, including Breaking Bad and Chicago Fire, and I guess he got on "the list" as a reliable performer. Last year he got a job as a stand-in on the new Independence Day movie. They used him to block out scenes and get the lighting right before they started filming. It was a behind the scenes role, but they liked his work and he ended up with a small speaking part.
    He's done all of this in less than five years.

    There's enough stuff filming in Georgia that she's got to be able to find something eventually. It just takes the right fit. In the meantime, look around for TV shows that need extras. Maybe she can be a zombie on The Walking Dead, or just a person on the street in a movie. Like any other business, any connection you can make helps.
  8. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    She's been busy enough in her college productions - this academic year she'll end up doing five plays - and coursework that she'd be hard-pressed to work in extra auditions at this point. I'm sure she'll be chasing those after graduation.
  9. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    I really appreciate the encouragement, by the way. Felt good to get it out.
  10. SFIND

    SFIND Well-Known Member

    I feel you her and I feel for you novelist watching her go through it. I'd tell her to carry on and keep working at it. Look at how hard actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and Brie Larson (to name two who have emerged recently) worked before they got to where they are.
  11. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Good post. I know probably a dozen or more aspiring actors who have never made it big, but who have never lost their passion. They wait tables and tend bars but they still stay involved. One guy I know became a stage manager, another worked for a long time with a decent role on a soap opera, but they had the best luck among the folks I know. Others stay involved through off-Broadway productions and community theater or teach classes. None of them have ever made very much money, but they also seem very happy and have a well-adjusted outlook.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
    Lugnuts and Riptide like this.
  12. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    I have no idea if this will help but as someone who has spent her adult life in the performing arts, rejection is a big part of the package. And then when you DO get a job, you're unemployed again 6 weeks later. I've had years that I've made a good living and years I've worked office or retail jobs. My father wasn't terribly supportive and saw this as me avoiding 'a real job' so your daughter is already ahead. :cool:

    I can tell you this ... I have never once regretted my decision.
    I Should Coco, Lugnuts and Ace like this.
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