The best advice...

  • Alex Oyston

    Actor

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to share my recent experiences with you in the hope that it might motivate or encourage someone/anyone (even if it's one person) to go after what they really want. Life's no dress rehearsal after all!

    So I'd been in a dead end job for 3 years. I mean really, really bad. Going nowhere, no motivation, no incentive, no nothing = Bad times.

    Then I stumbled across this acting thing in 2010 and was hooked. I did it in my spare time, whenever/wherever I could fit it around my crappy job, family etc, trying to build up as much experience as I possibly could. I had no formal qualifications/education so experience was to be my way in.

    I worked for nothing but the sheer enjoyment of it, as most of you no doubt do, with the eventual aim of making a full time career out of doing something that I really enjoy (who doesn't want that, right?) It was all about the CV... build the CV! And networking. Lot's and lots of networking. I'd say 70% of the work I've had has been from knowing a guy who knows a guy. (or a girl!)

    Where was I?... Ah yeah. So I worked at it, anything and everything that came along, weekends, evenings, booking days off where I could. Not always under the best conditions, and a lot of the time, (particularly where students were concerned) never even getting to see the end product, although you do come to expect this and be wary. All part of the learning curve! Though saying that, the best filming experience I've had so far was with a bunch of students! ("The Mind's Wood" screening at the Leeds International Film Festival this year).

    So I kept at it, eventually getting some paid work here and there. I got myself on Spotlight in the last few weeks through this.

    While all this was going on, I was still stuck in my crumby job, but saving hard. Every penny that I could hold on to was being put away every month. My aim was to save enough, that I could jack in my job and... act.

    This is something I have done in the last week... I quit my job.

    Even though I hated it, even though I detested every moment I was there, it was still a very hard decision to let go of a secure job that brought in a guaranteed monthly income. I ummed and ahhed for weeks and eventually just thought... sod it. I've got one life, one chance to have a proper crack at it.

    I had saved enough to live comfortably for say, 6 months or so, without any kind of work, acting or otherwise, taking into account my usual monthly outgoings, and just get stuck in! If in that time, I was getting nowhere with my "acting career" I could always start looking for work to keep me going.

    Since handing my notice in on Friday, I have paid acting work booked in this Sunday, and two auditions for panto, both touring the UK.

    Who knows, I may well fall flat on my face, and never get any work, but at least I'll have tried. I mean really tried.

    Obviously everyone's circumstances are different, don't just go and quit your job... that'd be crazy! ;) I did my sums and planning first and know how far I can go on what I've got.

    So the best advice I can give is... go for it!! One life. Enjoy it. Eat, sleep, act and be merry. Plan ahead! Whether it be in acting, as I presume it is for anyone reading this, or anything else in your life.

    Peace,

    Xander

    • 12th Oct 2012
    • 2627
    • 21
  • Emily Jane Kerr

    Actor

    Good for you!

    • 1st Oct 2012
    • 1
  • Alex Oyston

    Actor

    Thanks Emily :D

    Now I'm on the hunt for a great agent!!!

    • 1st Oct 2012
    • 2
  • Suzanna Hughes

    Actor

    What a lovely, inspiring post. Bloody well done, and bloody good luck to you! Hope your dreams come true. Mine did. :)

    • 2nd Oct 2012
    • 3
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    well done mate thats my attitude!! life is short (at times) lol... good good post gud luck with everything!! great attitude!! keep hold of that........

    scott

    • 2nd Oct 2012
    • 4
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Well done for running with your what your heart really wants. I wish you all the best.

    • 3rd Oct 2012
    • 5
  • Hannibal Latuff

    Actor

    Well done indeed. Very brave but I am sure you will do great. The fact that you took the trouble to share your experience in the hope that it will (and I am sure it will) help others going through the same dilemma, shows you are a good person and deserve to make it.

    • 3rd Oct 2012
    • 6
  • Sonja Wirwohl

    Actor

    Brave decision, Xander, well done for following your passion. So much better to take the plunge than plague yourself with 'What Ifs' for the rest of your life. I wish you all the best!

    • 3rd Oct 2012
    • 7
  • Alex Oyston

    Actor

    Thanks for the support everyone!!

    It's great just not having to get up at half 6 every morning to head to the office. Currently stress levels are a lot lower, but we'll soon see about that.

    I could be mistaken on this, but I heard that Gerard Butler quit his job as a solicitor and moved to London off the cuff to try and make it as an actor. And look at him now. If I could have a 100th of his success I'd consider myself to have "made it."

    • 3rd Oct 2012
    • 8
  • Leila Kotori

    Actor

    Xander

    That is amazing what you have done and achieved in such a short length of time and I hope you have given inspiration to others.

    I have been pursuing acting professionally for four years and you have your ups and downs, this year is a massive up, I have gotten ten extra credits to my CV, an agent and 3 feature films under my belt. I almost gave up last year to take a well paid office job, but I stopped and followed my instinct, thankfully!

    I like living on the edge and not knowing what is going to happen, I also like to fight hard for what I want and I know I will get there in the end.

    To all who read this dont give up, sometimes you have highs and sometimes lows but that is life. If you love acting and have the skills then go for it!

    Leila

    • 4th Oct 2012
    • 9
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Well done Xander! Don't look back. All the best!

    • 4th Oct 2012
    • 10
  • Alex Oyston

    Actor

    Wow well done Leila!! Sounds like an epic year!!

    What's the point living if you don't feel alive, eh?

    First audition tomorrow!!!

    • 4th Oct 2012
    • 11
  • David Vaughan Knight

    Actor

    Go well Xander, all the best.

    Just one bit of advice.

    Make sure you don't piss your budget up the wall, when cast in a production.

    • 4th Oct 2012
    • 12
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Good luck with the audition.

    • 5th Oct 2012
    • 13
  • Carly Halse

    Actor

    So lovely to hear some positivity and good news from people! I'm in a bit of a 'down' at the minute, so it is very inspiring to hear that good things DO happen. All the best and good luck!

    • 7th Oct 2012
    • 14
  • Alex Oyston

    Actor

    Ha thanks for the advice David, I know what you mean!!

    And cheers Toni, it went well. Got two more auditions tomorrow and Wed, fingers crossed something will come off.

    Carly - Do what it takes to get yourself on an "up" then!! :D

    • 8th Oct 2012
    • 15
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Well done on the auditions and here's to many, many more.

    • 8th Oct 2012
    • 16
  • Alex Oyston

    Actor

    I got the part!! :D

    Scarecrow in a UK tour of The Wizard of Oz!!

    Very happy right now!

    • 11th Oct 2012
    • 17
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Excellent. x

    • 11th Oct 2012
    • 18
  • Dominic Ryan

    Actor

    I think that's part of the battle, if you let go of the negative aspect, in your case, the dead end job, you have nothing to stop you.

    If these 6 months go by and no more paid acting work comes, then, there will be another bridge to cross, but until then, good luck, fantastic courage you have.

    I am working part time in jobs that useed to be a little more flexible.

    Ive always said fear is the best toxin we can experience, you got the fear and based on your CCP profile, you seem to be doing quite well.

    Take it from me, don't wait for jobs to come to you, make your own work happen if you can, you've been doing this for a couple of years now, so you've probably met a lot of great people, some of which you would love to work with again, so do your best to make it happen.

    What you have, is a great attitude. Having a positive attitude is one of the key things about being a working actor in my opinion, and you seem to have that.

    Good luck with everything

    • 11th Oct 2012
    • 19