I hope everyone has enjoyed the sun over this glorious bank holiday weekend! Unfortunately, seeing as I am part of the self employed world, I was working the entire weekend (of course!). I made sure that I spent as much time on my breaks outside as possible without getting burned like a little tomato! It’s safe to say I avoided the sunburn, so at least that’s a good thing!
So let’s get to the main point of this blog post – The Waiting Game.
Now, when it comes to the acting world it’s never and easy ride. I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say that the waiting game between acting jobs can be a very frustrating experience. You never know how quickly you are going to go from job to job and sometimes the time seems to drag on forever. It may not be through any fault of your own, or your agents, but just because you haven’t fit the bill or been the chosen one for anything that’s come up within that period of time. Frustrating, I know.
I must admit, I haven’t done a job for a good while now and it’s slowly breaking me down and I’m absolutely itching to perform. I feel like I am floating in a complete and utter limbo. I am very grateful for the resting jobs that I have currently, however, my resting jobs aren’t my career and when you’re just so passionate about something it’s difficult when you’re not actually doing it. Like I said, I am so grateful for my resting jobs because without them, I would have no money and we all know how awful that is! But, I can’t be stuck doing them forever, because it’s just not my path.
There is a time for every actor that is difficult and makes them feel deflated by their lack of work. Everyone goes through it and it’s really, really hard. You do feel utterly rubbish when people ask you if anything is in the pipeline and your answer has to be “No, not currently, but something will come up!” The likelihood is, that yes, a new job will crop up, but you can’t ever pinpoint when. However, it’s not just you. You are not the only one in this position. There are so many actors and performers playing this game too.
It’s so easy to slip into a negative mindset and question whether you’re good enough or question why you’re not getting any jobs. There must be a reason right? There probably is a very valid reason – the jobs that have come up are just not meant for you. It’s not a reflection on your abilities and talent as an actor. If you, your family, your friends, and especially your agent, believe in you, then surely you’re doing something right. You have talent and you are more than capable of getting jobs.
You never ever want to let the waiting game let you slip into such a negative mindset that you don’t believe in yourself anymore. You need to keep your chin up and stay positive – as hard as it sometimes can be. Surround yourself with like-minded people and keep pushing and working towards your goals.
Here’s some ideas to fill the time during the waiting game:
- Refresh your showreel. Get together with actor friends or find actors who are wanting to get together to create new material. Find a day off all together and get some new footage filmed.
- Expand your rep. If that’s songs, monologues, whatever, you can always spend time honing your craft and practicing old material or adding new material to your repertoire.
- Go to the theatre. Get yourself out there and watch some shows. Introduce yourself to people working at the theatre because you never know who they could be or who their connections are.
- Network. Surround yourself with people in the business and get your name out there so people begin to know who you are. It can be actor friends, parties or any open events.
- Talk to your agent. Express your concerns, worries and thoughts because at the end of the day your agent is there to help you. They want you to do well and they will endeavor to help you to reach your goals.
- Go to a class. It’s still possible to find classes that aren’t going to cost you an arm, leg and a few fingers. Get looking and get going.
A fast growing trend that is happening within the industry is actors putting on their own plays, cabarets or scratch nights in order to produce new material, perform and get themselves back out there. I think it’s a great idea as it gives so many people opportunities. You can invite as any industry professionals to your performance as you’d like and keep your fingers crossed that at least one of them will come. The more chances you have to get casting directors to remember your name and face, the better, right?
The only downside to putting on your own performance is (you guessed it – the bane of all evil) money. You do need money to hire a venue, get costumes together and the necessary props. It is completely possible to do this on the cheap, however knowing the right people and places is always a good start, so make sure you ask around.
Not everyone feels the need to put on their own show, because you never know, you might think up a great idea and the next day you’re called to an audition and boom you’ve got the job. If it sounds like something right up your street then get together with friends and get the ball rolling. Just remember to balance your time well so you can still make money at the same time. The industry is a tiring and testing place and you’ve just got to keep going. You’ll get there.
Whatever you do, don’t lose heart. You knew you wanted to go into this industry and you knew that it was never going to be an easy ride. Your passion and determination to succeed will drive you through. You can do it, don’t let anyone make you think otherwise. The waiting game will come to an end.