I’ve gone to a number of talks around Los Angeles and I always love attending the ones where you leave feeling like you are on the right path. This was one of those talks.
I’d say that the number one most difficult thing about being an actor in Los Angeles is pushing through the intensely hard times when jobs come too far apart and money is extremely tight. It’s in these moments that a lot of people either really stick their feet in the broken up Los Angeles pavement and declare that they are going to conquer this city, or they make the very hard decision of hopping on a plane back home to live a more “traditional life.”
What is always encouraging to hear is that “it takes about 10 years to make an actor in LA.” That’s basically the consensus. Jenna Fischer talked about it in her blog, Kevin Alejandro discussed it in his interview with me, and even though Krysten had been booking smaller supporting parts for a number of years, she mentioned that it’d taken 10 years to book the lead on Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23. I’m not sure how people feel at the end of that 10 years if they still haven’t “gotten arrested” aka) “made it,” and I still have quite of number of years to go until I reach that 10 year mark, but overall “over night success” doesn’t really exist. Knowing that has always been comforting and helped me push forward.
She also mentioned the lifestyle sacrifices that many people in the “real world” might not necessarily understand, like the fact that as a writer she would stay in writing on the weekends while all of her friends went out. It seems like a minor thing, but it can be difficult to explain to people with 9-5 jobs that your schedule is the complete opposite of theirs or that you aren’t able to commit to a trip or a family gathering because you are waiting to hear about a job you won’t know about until last minute.
A lot of my friends are also in the entertainment industry so they understand when I say I can’t meet up with them because I’m prepping for an audition or in pre-production on a project. They’ll even understand when I’m not able to see them for months at a time because our schedules just don’t match up. But as actors, writers, anyone in the entertainment industry we definitely march to the beat of a different drum.
She also spoke about being at the top of your game as an actor and making sure that you stay sharp, this way when opportunities come you can seize them. This is something that I’m really focusing in on right now. While I’ve always felt “ready,” I’m taking this preparedness to a whole different level lately. I’m getting rid of anything that doesn’t currently serve me and focusing only on the things that aid my growth as an actor.
All in all for both Risdon and me, seeing Krysten speak was incredibly encouraging. It was a great reminder that I’m doing things the right way and to just keep walking forward.
Thank you Krysten Ritter for taking the time out to share your experiences. I hope to cross paths with you on the LA pavement one day soon.
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MAY 13, 2012 at http://helennasblog.tumblr.com