WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME AN ACTOR???

  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    HI all,

    I was thinking ( I do this from time to time- dangerous) and wonder about the reasons people chose to go into this profession. I see it as a calling and vocation, and am intersted to know what made people want to be actors.

    I think if we remember the reasons why we chose it, it can help us through the tough times.

    • 20th May 2007
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    i think for me its the challange of being and doing something diffrent from the normal jobs we all have to do

    • 19th Feb 2007
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  • Anthony Harwood

    Actor

    Hmm.. interesting question. My answer will sound a little naff.

    Firstly, it is just something I have always wanted to do. As time went by if I found I wasn't acting/rehearsing, I get anxious and frustrated. But what I think I get out of it is the knowledge that someone (if only one person) is experiencing something they may never have before, that they are being entertained, are feeling something be it sad, happy or indifferent. Someone is being affected, not simply by me but by the production as a whole.

    And lastly, how often can you say you are a homicidal maniac, or a drunken knight or a high school student or whatever without actually being all of those things? It is an exciting life.

    • 19th Feb 2007
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  • Fiona Cuskelly

    Actor

    I think it was a moment of madness. I'll ask my psychiatrist!

    • 19th Feb 2007
    • 3
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    Going to sound up my own proverbial a bit. But I remember the first time I acted and it it feeling like home, like somehow I had arrived somewhere I was supposed to be. And it was to important and strong a feeling to ignore.

    Having said that, WHY I'm STILL doing it or TRYING to do it borders on madness, vanity, fear, stupidity, ego, misconception, self-awareness and bloody mindedness!!!

    • 19th Feb 2007
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  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    I don't think I ever decided. It was such a gradual thing, I honestly feel sometimes that no matter what I tried, I'd always have ended up as an actor!

    I feel the same about writing...

    • 19th Feb 2007
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  • Nathan Head

    Actor

    i recon .. it was . i dunno

    it just sort of fell into place. i enjoyed drama so much at school. and i love film and TV.

    its only recently i started acting again and its mainly confidence thats helped me. im partly glad i had a massive gap on my cv cos ive grown up a lot since i left college.

    • 19th Feb 2007
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  • Lucy Perkins

    Actor

    I come from an acting family so I suppose you could say 'it's in the blood'. However recently I've become far more cynical about the industry and am losing my passion a bit. I know we all feel like that from time to time, but I'm seriously considering investing my energies into something else. So maybe the expression 'in the blood' isn't as true or realistic as I'd once believed. Presumably if one really does have a true calling then one will never wane? Maybe I'm in the wrong job! Any suggestions ;)

    Lx

    • 20th Feb 2007
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    wrong job? wrong life?

    whos to say what is right or wrong?

    i admit at the moment i feel depressed

    reason all too quiet

    but i know that things will pick up

    again

    if not for me then for some of you

    these are dark times but as night follows day and all other things

    nothing stays the same

    maybe you do feel a jaded because you come from a long line of actors

    maybe you just need a hoilday

    i wish you well

    • 20th Feb 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    I think its easier to say that in every job and industry, we need support and encouragement. A calling will be hard and difficuot, but usually perseverance is the key, and being supported, uplifetd and built up by others helps.

    If its in your blood, then you need to consider how to keep on keeping on. From personal experience, I do not think you can easily abandon a calling as its part of your true self.

    i have always loved the profession, but left it at one point and strongly felt to come back- being a Christian, it was as if God was calling me back in. It IS hard but I know it what i am meant to do, and I have had some major hard times, where if others had not literally carried me and kep on supporting me emotionally and relationally, I do not know where I would be.

    My best friend even paid half my ticket to move to Londdon and I did pay him back, but I think I am beginning to see that we cannot succeed or accomplish anything without others.

    I think its a terribly hard business. Last year was the worst year in the industry for me in that I got ill, was exploited by an agent, coerced by another and fell into a serious depression because of all the stress. If it was not for others who believed in me, let me vent and cry at times, i would not be here right now.

    Although its hard, I think these times are there to grow us. I had a majpr falling out with an actress on tour. She was highly manipulative and controlling in a victim sort of way, but in retrospect, dealing with her, seflish and dishonest agents who I dropped eventually, and psychotic industry people has not only made me stronger but I think made me able to love and support others going through those things. In a weird way, I am NOW glad I went through it, although at the time my thoughts were VERY different.

    Sounds very overemotional, but i am saying that do not lose hope as it is hard but the courage to gte up every day, apply for a job, and keep on is part of what i admire about industry people because we put ourselves there every day- on the line. And its hard.

    • 20th Feb 2007
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    Thought I'd drop my own bit of thought into this. Hope you don't mind.

    I think the whole 'calling' issue is interesting and difficult and sometimes just a little bit of a red herring. Sure, if you have some kind of belief system that places your life in the hands of another to whatever degree its easier to feel a sense of 'calling'. However, the proof of this calling is often notoriously hard to come by. And its often the case that if you feel a sense of calling, a fair amount of your time is spent pursuing the proof rather than following the call.

    I think its good to use all manner of information to help discern if what you do is what is right for you at the moment. Be that friends, family, agents etc etc.

    This business can be pretty crap until success wends its merry into our lives. Its a profession that isn't dependent on how good we are at our job! Its often dependent on who we know and if we happen to be in the right place at the right time.

    For myself, even though I felt a sense of being at home its not always a house I especially want to live in. At the end of the day it doesn't matter how many people have seen me and expressed how talented I am. I still spend most of my time going to auditions that don't actually require much acting, they really require a form of clowning (commercials/corporate etc). And the hope is that at some point, somewhere along the line, someone will give me enough of a chance to shine and get something decent.

    Hope itself is a tricky little bugger! It can keep you persevering until success. Or it can have you chasing shadows that never materialise into anything. The key is not to have misplaced hope I suppose.

    The title of this thread is a good starting place I think. To think about why we got into this in the first place? To be as brutally honest as we can be with ourselves when answering that question. The resulting answer should tell us we are misguided or reaffirm us in what we are doing.

    Having said that, this profession maybe my house but I spend a lot of time working away from home. And honestly, if needs be, if I've gotta work away from home for the rest of my life? I'll find a way of enjoying it and eventually settle down somewhere else.

    But in the main I'm will not, most definitely won't, refuse to with all my strength - let the B!**!%*s drag me down!!!!

    • 21st Feb 2007
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  • Monty Burgess

    Actor

    What made me want to become an actor?

    Why, the job security, the reasonable hours, the comfort of a regular, steady income and the respect others give you from answering "I'm an actor" to the question "So what do you do for a living?". Of course. ;)

    I think I'm quite lucky in that I've known what I've wanted to do (ie. be an actor) from a young age. I've worked in a lot of diverse professions (as I'm sure we all have), and whilst some have been more 'socially worthwhile' and others have definitely earnt me more, this is the one thing that satisfies me more than anything else.

    I also believe that there is always a journey, always a discovery to be made, always something to keep striving for, something to be improved upon. (As opposed to meeting call targets in a call centre for instance).

    Just a few thoughts anyway.

    Monty.

    • 21st Feb 2007
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    Academically, I was useless at Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Maths and especially Craft Design Technology and indeed any technolgy at all, the only thing I was really any good at was acting. So there wasn't really any other option. I've never considered giving it up, despite the lack of jobs, because I can't actually do anything else, so I guess you could say I'm doomed.

    • 7th Mar 2007
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    Aha, an interesting topic. For me I have to say that it was just 'what I HAD to do' - I wish every day that I had wanted to do something else, something where I dont constantly have to prove my worth and something that will actually continually pay the rent; but acting is my life and I know I would never ever be remotly happy doing anything else. Im sure that is the same for many others and I am not alone in my reasoning.Lucia x

    • 7th Mar 2007
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  • Jonas Daniel Alexander

    Actor

    for me it was going to drama lessons when i was young to sort out a stutter i had - and my love of it grew from there and you know that it is the right profession for you because there is nothing else in the world that you could do that would give you that feeling like when you are on stage or whatever.

    • 12th Apr 2007
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    I enjoy the whole process of developing the necessary skills, building characters, devising, improv, etc, etc, every bit as much as actually being in stage or in front of camera. Being involved in creative processes with creative people makes me feel alive. Having a 'finished product' to aim for provides, more than anything, focus and urgency - I'm really not bothered about achieving fame or fortune, though it's very gratifying to be well received.

    If I was rich, I'd happily act for free - though I'd still take the money & do something useful with it. As it is, I aim to make a living in this field so I can stop doing other work. (Was it Anthony Hopkins who said 'I act for free - it's the hanging around I get paid for'?).

    I also write - I recently produced and directed my first play. I suspect I have a lot more chance of success as a writer than as an actor, but there's no doubt acting 'informs' my writing.

    • 17th May 2007
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  • Matthew Wade

    Actor

    Blimey Blake...cheer up me old mucker.....you back in the smoke yet? Since you left I've managed to steer clear of flyering......anyway on topic!

    I always find it interesting at interviews or the getting to know each other bit to see just how many people have 'always wanted to be an actor' or 'couldn't do anything else'. 'Cos I'm not really like that.

    I'll admit that being back in the office after a week or 2 being someone completely different is always a wierd experience, but not one I can completly remove myself from.

    For me, I always enjoyed drama lessons at school, but wasn't from a theatre or cinema going world, so it always seemed like a different world populated by very different people. University Drama Society changed all that, and after having bottled my first 2 auditions I started getting decent parts. After that it was a gradual thing evolving from workshops after the office job, to am dram, to a part time 2 year cours, until it became clear that going to drama school was a possibility.

    Like so many things, the deeper you get involved the more satisfaction you get from something, and for me Acting is the only job to date where I enjoy the process as much (and sometimes more) than the end result, which is key.

    I can still see myself turning my hand to other things at other points in my life, but of course the great thing about acting is that your skills don't become obselete overnight.

    And has been said before, partly because of all the uncertainty, it is a more exciting life, which is worth remembering when you aren't working!

    M

    • 17th May 2007
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  • Matthew Wade

    Actor

    PS.....there's also nothing as envigorating as doing something that you aren't sure if you can do...which is a large part of our chosen path.

    • 17th May 2007
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  • Fiona Cuskelly

    Actor

    How lovely and positive Matthew. That's nice on an otherwise boring Thursday afternoon. :)

    • 17th May 2007
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    hmmm why did I want to be an actor..

    Thats a tough one, if I knew then what I know now (minus the romantistic-is that a word-babble) I know I would choose the same career again, and THATS why I know I want to be an actor. I cant see myself doing anything else, WANTING to do anything else.

    Yes money, security and *sigh* a normal day are never going to be part of my life.

    I am so thankful that it isnt. Its a great big adventure...

    Everyday is different, I have just finished a tour travelling round Italy and being a chicken,dog monkey,crocodile and a whole bunch of other things, and I loved it.

    Why sit in an office and dream when you can dream and choose what you want to do this week, next week and never know the crapness of having the same mundane task everyday?

    Why dream about doing instead of getting out there and getting it done...

    • 17th May 2007
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