I’m currently stuck in that awful acting limbo where I haven’t had a job for months. I’m not afraid to admit it and it definitely doesn’t make me a failure. However, it really is hard to stop yourself from questioning what on earth is going on. I have had auditions and I know I’ve absolutely smashed them, but I just don’t seem to be getting the jobs. It is so frustrating! I know I’m not the only one in this situation, nor will I be the last. A friend of mine was in the same boat and had been waiting months and months for a job to come along. She was smashing all of her auditions and not being offered a single thing and suddenly wham! – 2 job offers come in on the same day. It’s such a difficult industry and you just have to keep your chin up and stay positive and determined.
Seeing as I’m feeling like I’m stuck in purgatory right now, I thought I would share some facts about actors who took their time getting their big break. It really does shed some light on the situation and makes me feel a lot better knowing that even the big time stars didn’t just walk straight into a job. There are tonnes that I could choose from but I’ve picked some of my favourites. So here we go…
The late, great Alan Rickman. First of all, what an absolute legend. Definitely one of the actors that I thoroughly admire and look up to for multiple reasons. Alan didn’t even attend drama school (RADA to be precise) until he was pushing 30 years old. So he decided to start his training slightly later in life than most. He then went on to spend over 10 years acting on stage until he finally received his big break when he was cast as Hans Gruber alongside Bruce Willis in Die Hard at the age of 46. What an absolute career he has had! Amazing man, absolute legend and of course, my all time favourite Hogwarts teacher.
For most people if you asked them what they knew Bryan Cranston from before seeing him on the hit show Malcolm in the Middle I don’t think they would actually be able to say. Bryan did work tirelessly throughout the 80s and 90s and landed a role on the show Seinfeld. However, not many people remember that and his big break came from playing Hal in Malcolm in the Middle alongside child star Frankie Muniz. Bryan was 44 when he landed the role of Hal and his career absolutely sky-rocketed from then on. From Malcolm in the Middle to Breaking Bad – in my opinion he’s absolutely nailed it.
“I’m glad he’s single, because I’m going to climb that like a tree.” Melissa McCarthy is one of the funniest actresses on our screens right now and we all fell in love with her upon watching the absolute corker of a film – Bridesmaids. (Which is actually one of my all time favourites!) Melissa got into acting in the 90s and didn’t actually make it big until she was cast as Megan in Bridesmaids when she was 41 years old. It makes me wonder what small roles she was playing before this, but her career has definitely taken off for the better!
Ricky Gervais must be one of the most well known British Comedians out there. Not only is he known for his comedy acting and writing, but for his outspoken social media presence on Twitter. I personally, think he’s fantastic. Ricky’s first time in the limelight was when he created and started in his own show The Office which absolutely took off with success in the UK, sparking the creation of the very successful US version. Ricky was 40 when The Office became a success and he is now one of the most recognisable comedians in the country.
She stars in one of my favourite TV series, American Horror Story and she’s a very successful and versatile actress. She has been nominated for Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globe awards but it wasn’t until she was cast in the film Misery when she was 42 that really launched her career. She actually went on to win an Oscar for her role in this.
There are countless Actors that we know and love today who really took their time to get into the business and get their careers to the level they wanted them to be. A lot of them spent time in resting jobs waiting tables and working hard before their big breaks really came. Not all of us are lucky straight out of training. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get what you want in this industry and you just have to keep working hard and keep going. Just because you haven’t had that “big job” yet or you haven’t worked in a while doesn’t mean you’re untalented or a failure; It unfortunately, just isn’t your time.
Like the old saying goes “acting is not a sprint, it’s a marathon” and I couldn’t agree more. I am 27 years old (28 in November) and I’m not going to give up. I’m going to keep working hard and pushing on in order to get there. I know it will happen at some point, but in the mean time I’ve got to stay strong. Don’t ever give up.