Advice for Actors: Comparison and Success

In this month's advice column, film & TV industry Psychologist, Charlotte Armitage talks about comparisons and how to measure success as an actor.

As we come to the end of another awards season, the film and TV industry have celebrated and commiserated the winners and losers. From the likes of Joaquin Phoenix and Renee Zellweger sweeping the board with their sublime performances, to the feeling of lack of representation and acknowledgement for those from minority groups, the awards have been as much as a talking point as ever.

Awards can be a great opportunity to enjoy all the glitz and glamour that many associate with the industry. Whether voted for by industry peers or by the public, being nominated can be seen as an acknowledgement of your many years of hard work and talent finally paying off, especially if you go on to win the award.

However, it’s important to acknowledge there are only so many award events and categories to go around. There are plenty more talented actors, film directors, writers and producers who won’t win or be nominated for an accolade throughout their entire career and that does not lessen their achievements and accomplishments.

Comparing yourself to others who may be riding high on an award win, is natural but it’s important to put it in perspective. Success is not about how many awards you have on your mantlepiece. It’s far more beneficial and healthier to find enjoyment in the bigger picture and appreciate the successes in the everyday life of an actor. From acknowledging the positive feedback on a performance from colleagues or family and friends, to having a great acting class, or good feedback in a casting workshop, to securing an audition. In a highly competitive industry, it is important to celebrate every success, no matter how big or small.

If you are lucky enough be a recipient of an award, enjoy it. Take in the moment and understand you deserve this. Take the learnings, and skills from the experience and use them to enhance your craft further. On the flip side, you might experience jealousy from others or find yourself inundated with attention. These can be completely new experiences and it’s important you talk to those close to you or seek external support if you start to experience any negative feelings.

Charlotte Armitage is the Managing Director at Yorkshire Academy Of Film and Television Acting (YAFTA). She is also a psychologist and helps people in the film industry with mental health issues. Read our exclusive interview with Charlotte.