ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED on on the Stars in the Eyes – Actress Blog
“Oh, you’re moving to LA to become an actor? Aren’t there like ten thousand other actors out there? Good luck!” I’ve heard this many times. My old university even published an article about me mentioning I would move to LA to pursue my acting dreams “just like all those thousands of others.” Thanks University of Amsterdam! But really, when it comes down to it your competition doesn’t consist of those ten thousand other actors. Not by far. Here’s why…
1. A Lot of Actors Leave Within Two Years
I’ve only been in LA for about a year and a half in total, but I’ve seen many people come and go. The college graduates not ready for an unsteady life that go back to their hometown to take a job in finance. The prom kings and queens expecting quick success that leave to become big fish in little ponds again. Most of these people leave within a year. The general rule is if you’ve survived two years in LA, you’re in it for the long haul.
2. Not Everyone is Serious About Acting
LA also has a whole bunch of aspiring actors that are aspiring actors because they happen to be in LA. They self submit here and there, perhaps do a student film every now and then, but it’s really not their passion or raison d’être. And then there are the people that come here only for fame and fortune. They usually mostly focus on partying at the cool clubs and might end up doing reality shows.
3. Not Everyone Works Hard
Although some successful actors have just been lucky and don’t necessarily posses a great work ethic, I truly believe that in order to get a career – not just a job – you have to be willing to work hard. So sure, some famous actors got lucky, but actors that have been around for years and actually have careers work hard. Or their agents do 😉
4. You Only Compete With Your Type
Even if there are ten thousand of hard working, serious actors in LA, you don’t compete with all of them. If you’re a girl-next-door type you won’t go in for the Asian femme fatale. If you’re the overweight funny guy you won’t compete with the Ken doll model type. And sure, every single one of those types has thousands of people auditioning, but still: not everyone!
5. You are You
Now this sounds incredibly cheesy but ultimately what gets you your first job or even your career is what’s so very you. It maybe a special talent you have or language you speak, but it can also just be the way you carry yourself or smile. No matter how much you look like someone else, you bring your life’s worth of a unique combination of experiences to the table. Or at least you should, and proudly.
So does that mean it’s all easy, breezy to become an actor here? Absolutely not, it’s hard work and uncertainty and alternating between desperation and feeling like you own the world. But do you compete with ten thousands of others in the end? No. Just the hard working, determined others that are in it for the long haul.