I just know this one's gonna catch a lot of flack...
Secret Agent Man
Back Stage Columnist
Great article! And not as negative as I expected actually.
Been a fan of Louis CK for years, from his short films and comedy. Glad he has broken through at 44 (or actually 42 or 43 when he made the show...).
Louis is quite amazing. I thought the Lincoln parody of his show with him on SNL was pretty clever--favorite scene was with the wife and the theater tickets.
I also like the Charles Grodin quote.
signed, a person living a happy useful life.
I'll admit...i didn't like where that article seemed to be going at first. :-)
I've noticed a lot of older actors that are happy doing costars....happy being background!...I think it's up to the individual's definition of success/progress.
(sure..those folks are usually the ones in retirement...but you get my point).
I don't think the point was if you're still happy doing co-stars/background work when you're older. It's if you can provide for your family while still doing co-stars/background work...
I love acting, I'll do it for a long time. But I am working for a few other passions of mine at the same time, because like SAM said, you never know what will happen. Might get married and have kids in two years. Might need a better source of income. Hehe.
Great BenC. My impression is that SAM was saying if you do a 5yr look-back and aren't making the progress...getting bigger better roles...then you should consider giving up acting.
I also see what you're saying....you're saying he means if you are looking to have your acting provide security for your family...yet you aren't making the progress, then you should rethink it.
I believe we're both right BenC.
I think the important thing to realize, for actors of any age, is that if you're not in it because you love doing it, you're very likely to be disappointed. Some people have become actors AFTER years in more "practical" professions - because they loved it. Because struggling day to day with moments of doing what you really love can outweigh working securely at a stultifying job.
All this changes of course if you have a family to support. Supposedly when Robert Frost's wife was dying, long after he was successful, he begged her to forgive him for all the years of struggle his being a poet had brought them.
But whether you should give up in one sense depends on a question to ask at any age: are you doing this because you love it or because you want the things (fame, money, etc.) you sometimes see come with it?
If it's the latter, odds are you're wasting your time anyway.
author of "Acting In Hollywood: A Newcomer's Guide"
Glen, that was AWESOME.
Of course, Merrick, I didn't mean any disrespect. This is very subjective and dependent on the person. What I said was just my own opinion of my own situation.
The Grodin quote is awesome.
I read the topic. My answer is when I die... I can't give up my first love passion. I give up everything to keep doing it!
I really started my acting and really getting serious when I turn 40. I am dead serious I am going to do everything in my power to move forward. If I have to do three part time jobs and pay MY own health insurance and live check by check when I become 65 years old go after my acting... I will and nothing will stop me unless I am hospitalized...Still I got my brain and lungs and I will do whatever I can do, With a will, faith, belief that I can do it. I can do it.
I really love this column because it gives clear, practical advice. We've had so many discussions about this topic on the board, and it's always been purely about the emotional aspect - following your dream vs. wanting to have financial security or a family etc.
This column adds a really helpful bit of advice about evaluating every five years where you are and whether your career is progressing. It makes so much sense, because five years is enough time to see if you're making ANY progress. And if you do that twice, that's 10 years. It doesn't mean you expect to be a big star in 10 years, but if you're making NO headway whatsoever in 10 years, still doing nothing but student films and not having an agent etc., it might be time to re-evaluate your career.
And it doesn't mean you HAVE to quit either! It's always going to be a very personal decision that's different from person to person. But it's one useful gauge.
And conversely, for the actor who's been working at it for a long time and getting discouraged - not wanting to give up, but starting to wonder if it's worth it - I think it could be really energizing to look back at the last five years and see the progress that HAS been made, step by step.
It's just a really good reality check, I think - a useful tool to add to the usual "But how do you FEEL about it?"
Really enjoyed the new column.
|Powered by Social Strata|