Recently a friend of a friend has been thinking about getting into acting. He has taken a few acting workshops and read a few books about famous actors. He now believes that his plan to spend a year getting things together and then travelling to california for acting as he puts it will go off without a hitch. I spent a portion of my day explaining to him as a person who has been in theatre for 18 years and has a ton of friends and contacts who work in and around this business that his plan is flawed. He has no background, no film or theatre credits to his name, no agent, no headshot,s no education, no experience, and worst of all no clue that all of that is hard to get in a place like L.A. where you are going up against several thousand other people who have all that shit already.
But now in explaining this to him I am accused of being an asshole and of being pessimistic and unsupportive.
I am going to sail to Japan. In a boat I build myself. I have no background in carpentry. I have no idea how to make a seaworthy vessel. I have no background in sailing. I have however, read a few books on famous boatmakers and have been to a couple of small carpentry classes. I feel assured that with the knowledge I have I can build a boat on my own and sail across the pacific.
Now do you let me live in my fantasy realm, or do you tell me "hey dumbass! you are going to fucking drown!" ?
For some reason acting is the only profession that has this issue. Tons of people think they can run off to a major city and become famous actors with little to no work. You never hear people say that rather than go to school they will become a doctor by reading Grey's anatomy, watching Dr. House and then running over to their nearest hospital to try out.
Guess what dickholes...acting is work. It is always being out of work and always reinventing yourself. It requires thought, planning, and a ton of self discovery. It requires some general knowledge of the industry and how it works and it requires a tremendous amount of humility. As well as iron thick skin to deal with rejection on a massive scale.
But I am not allowed to say that. I suppose I should just let people fuck up on their own and learn for themselves. Which is something I have advocated my whole life. Let them learn it on their own that this was in need of more planning.
But this time I am tired. I am tired of seeing people play out this same cliched bullshit.the actor with a backpack and some money travelling to hollywood to make it big. Go fuck yourself. You are nothing new and you are nothing original. You have been seen and dismissed before you even get on the plane. It is not only insulting to expect that you are different, it is insulting to the legions of performers and actors and musicians who work their asses off for next to nothing not because they want to be famous but because there is something fundamentally wrong with them. They need this life. It is what keeps them breathing, keeps them sane. And to think you got it all figured out before you have even attempted an audition, spits in the face of all that they hold sacred. Fuck you little kid. Go to school and learn something and don't come back til you do.
But maybe I am wrong. What do you think? Let me know.
With deep and abiding affection,