Did it have a big affect on your relationships with family? Friends? Partners?
Did you find it harder to maintain a relationship due to the financial issues?
Just wanted to ask this, as I was curious on your personal experiences.
Welcome to the boards.
For me, everyone who knew me in my social circle, knew it was only a matter of time. I had always been the creative type in school, sang in choir, joined art contests, organized parties, that kind of thing. Becoming an actor was part of my own process of self-discovery.
My mother was the surprise, she finally came around but only after years. The rest of the people are those who have expressed happiness or have expressed jealousy, because I am going after what I want, which is what they didn't have the courage to do. They (family and friends) believe I'm living the good life!
In a way, I am. I am more content, not staring at clocks the way I did when I sat in an office surrounded by unhappy fearful people.
Maintaining relationships is the same. If they can't handle your odd hours, then that's just moving on. It helps when one doesn't have kids and a spouse, because then it becomes more about them instead of yourself. Not a field for the unselfish.
Well, I don't know if this is what you're looking for but nothing changed between my family and close friends. Acquaintances are another story.
Now, acquaintances and people you may have known 20 years ago and distant family have turned out to be somewhat ridiculous. I've had some crazy people from my past asking for money and swag because they see you guest starring on a show or in a commercial. They tend to think you're rich and that you owe them something. God forbid you actually become rich...I can't imagine. But its funny. They have no idea how much working actors can struggle. They think if you're on TV you're a high roller.
What about romantic relationships? Are they a lot harder to maintain?
I want to get into the industry, so I just want to find out about people's experiences and if it affected their relationships in a negative way.
I never had a lot of naysayers except my mom. Everyone else seemed to kind of expect it once I got into it.
Mom had let me transfer to an arts magnet junior year in high school mainly because it was a better academic school than the regular public high school I had attended. She thought the acting thing would blow over and I'll never forget the day I told her I wanted to go to drama school ... "You're a straight A student, you blew the top off the SAT, you're President of your class and you want to do WHAT??? Get a degree in ... WAITRESSING??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!"
She immediately got on the phone with a friend who owned the local truck stop and got me a waitressing gig there that she made me take instead of the summer law office messenger gig I had planned. It was really kind of a favor since I made a lot more money, but it all went downhill from there for a few years. Now she just collects the law school recruiting brochures that show up at her house from time to time from me having humored her and taken the LSAT my final year in school. Of course she couldn't resist showing them to me when I went home to visit last Christmas ...
I knew I was going to do this from the time I was 15, so I can't really say how it's affected my relationships other than my 9th through 11th grade boyfriend took a liking to teasing me by calling me "Moovie Sta" in a retarded sounding voice. Since then, it's mainly been a life of serial monogamy although it would have probably been the same had I become the ambitious young lawyer as was expected. Hey, my last boyfriend was on the business side and that one lasted six months which is really doing pretty good as far as I'm concerned.
I don't think it really changes my relationships in any way. Except when I actually talk about details with people. Most people ask, "Ok so when are you going to stop doing this?" or do you really want to put that much money into it, or what if you run out of money and have to come home. My biggest frustration is when people try to talk to you out of acting! Saying "Oh maybe you should just stop acting" or oh you're still doing that thats top bad. They don't understand what it feels like to love acting and to not want to do anything else, and how heartbreaking it would be to NOT act at all.
As for romantic relationships, I think they can work, but I do think it is harder. I think actors can tend to put their career first and be very selfish in that sense. But not all are that way. Those who are not in the field might not really understand it.
I think I started a lot earlier then most on this board.....the interesting thing about it is I really didnt start early enough.....
I have been at this for a couple of years now....and as a teen the first thing you notice is that you just are not marching to the beat of the same drum as your friends
"what do you mean you cant go to the mall with us? Blow off that acting class"
"your not coming to my swimming party because you have an audition? What kind of friend are you? Oh you will come over when you get back into town? I guess thats ok"
"will you put down that CHESPE book while we are eating....for CHRIST SAKE get your head out of that book"
I am lucky to have close friends and supportive family that get it. I absolutely LOVE to perform......whoever said that if you do what you love you dont work a day in your life was a smart person.
"Its the struggle that makes it great"
Not much changed for me when I went into acting except my feet quit hurting all the time. Everybody assumed I would be a professional dancer. That is a harder life than being an actor in many ways and I was well on my way to it before I got obsessed with what the drama kids were doing at my high school. The only resistance I got was that one of my dance teachers got upset and took it personally when I switched over.
My parents are artistic and all my friends are artistic. They get it and it has always been that way for me. Nobody else's opinion has ever mattered and I just tune out any petty bourgeoisie dreamcrushers I come across. They don't count and I try to avoid associating with them.
I have only dated one person that was not artistic and it turned out to be such a disaster that it will probably never happen again. He started stalking me when I dumped him and I had to get a restraining order. I have kept it in the tribe ever since. I have a thing for jazz musicians so I might never have any money if I don't make it myself.
The hardest part for me has been learning to think like a left brained business person because it isn't how I naturally process things. That's why finding this message board has been such a godsend. I think I annoy SAM because he doesn't usually answer my questions but that's okay. I'm learning! haha
I am lucky to have grown up around people supportive of my acting career. Now I live out in LA and with the exception of some very rude strangers who insist on really asking what my back-up plan was, (If I had anything else in the world that would make me happy, wouldn't I be doing that already?) I continue to find support.
Romantically, it can be difficult for non-actors to understand the very strange hours actors work, the self-marketing work that is often done at home, and the inevitable rocky financial situation actors live with. And then when one dates a fellow actor, it can be difficult when one actor is booking all the time and the other not at all or other discrepancies in career success. I believe the key is maintaining a healthy dialogue and a healthy attitude that two people in this business are never really in competition with each other and that your partner can be there to lean on in your hard times and celebrate with in the good times.
I agree, this is one of the bigger obstacles I've found in trying to balance any sort of dating life with acting. It's not a 9-5 job where you can go home and relax at the end of the day, you can spend all day on set, auditioning, or at your survival job and then (depending on how you approach your career) go home to hours upon hours of more work. Essentially you're doing the job of 5 or 6 people to cover marketing, maintain a website, keep submission sites updated + self-submitting, maybe you (like myself and many others) do your own reel work, blog, maybe you have a newsletter for fans and supporters (unless you're at a point in your career you've hired those other people to do their own job!) And working on sides, prepping for auditions, mailings if you're in the market for an agent/manager, any classes you're taking on top of all that...
Time definitely has to be effectively managed and I've found most people have a difficult time understanding exactly what all you're responsible for when it comes to your career and how it can take as much time as it does out of your days.
I have had a successful relationship with a non-actor/non-artist for over five years now, while I've been working as an actress during this time. It's not impossible to have a successful relationship and it does not have to be with another actor. I have actor friends but my closest friends are non-actors. And it works fine.
Just because your an actor does not excuse any bad behavior. Yes, your career choice might be a bit different from your partner's, but so what. You'll find stress, pain, rejection and all those kinds of emotions in a lot of other careers as well. At least you're doing what you love.
People are always blaming someone or something else for not being able to make things work. Maybe get out of your own head and start seeing others, feeling others, might be a good idea if you always find yourself in that situation: "Where the whole world is against you blahablaha".
Degprinsessan - congrats on your successful relationship, no one is said it can't be done and I don't think anyone on this thread is saying "the whole world is against them blahblahblah" or that being an actor would excuse bad behavior in a relationship...
Every career, every lifestyle, every individual person has their own set of stresses and constraints that they deal with and balance with their relationships; that's a given. The poster asked what role acting plays in our relationships and from what I can tell all the responses are simply exploring exactly that and laying out the reality of how their career choice integrates with their personal lives.
I may be wrong but it doesn't seem like anyone is "in their own head" or placing blame, the responses all look like honest answers to me. Don't know about anyone else but that's exactly what I come to these boards for - honesty.
I was talking about people (not necessarily just actors) in general. No need to get defensive.
Ah. Looked like you were referring to all the responses here. Not defensive, just didn't add up. Thanks for clarifying
I'm going through this now - met my fiance and became engaged all while finishing school (outside of theatre) and restarted my pursuit as an actress after graduation (did theatre for some years before & during the early years of college).
It has been a rough road - while my fiance is both creative and business minded, the acting world is not one in which he is comfortable with and no more interested in. While this may seem foreign to some of you reading this, for some men (or people in general) they are much less receptive to the life of an actor. In my case especially, as we had developed a very comfortable day-to-day routine that was very traditional.
The change in schedule and my overall attention & motivation, as well as his general disinterest in this realm has made for a difficult road. But he is open and actively working on adjusting, as am I.
If anyone else is going through something similar I hope you know you're not alone, because I know I feel that at times. All the best to you Enigma_UK.
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