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    Screen Acting As A 'Horrible Profession'?
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    Some select quotes from the crafty screenwriting blog:
    I cannot stress seriously enough: acting is a horrible, awful profession. It is a miserable way of life. Acting itself can be creatively enriching, but unlike writing, you can't act all by yourself, so practically speaking actors spend 99% of their time trying to find somewhere they can act. A tiny few extremely lucky people, some of them talented, some of them crafted, actually make a living at it. A surprising number of them have an "in" to the business. Is it any wonder Gwyneth Paltrow is successful? Her mom's Blythe Danner. Isabella Rosselini is Ingrid Bergman's daughter by director Roberto Rosselini. Melanie Griffith is Tippi Hedren's daughter. Nastassja Kinski is Klaus Kinski's daughter. Liza Minelli is the daughter of Judy Garland. Mira Sorvino is Paul Sorvino's daughter. Emilio Estevez is Martin Sheen's son, as is Charlie Sheen. Angelina Jolie is Jon Voigt's daughter. Kate Hudson is Goldie Hawn's daughter. Warren Beatty is Shirley MacLaine's kid brother. Kiefer Sutherland is Donald Sutherland's son. Nicholas Cage is Francis Coppola's nephew. Carrie Fisher is Debbie Reynold's daughter. Drew Barrymore comes from an acting dynasty that stretches back to the 19th Century. And those are just the children of famous actors. Maggie Gyllenhaal, for example, is the daughter of director Stephen Gyllenhaal. Sure, they can all act real good, but they also went to all the right parties growing up. You didn't.

    I had a dear friend who was extremely talented and beautiful. She worked hard and became an extraordinarily crafted actress. If you had one tenth as much craft and talent as she did, you'd be lucky. After fifteen years of trying to make it, she had been in one tv commercial, an "Unsolved Mysteries" segment, and a lot of free theater. She finally gave up.

    What happens is that people take acting classes, and the teachers are very encouraging, and you get a sense of family from being with your classmates, and they encourage you. Teachers have no incentive to be honest with you about your chances. Why would they want you to stop acting? So they string you along. Your classmates don't want to confront their own odds, either. It is all but impossible to get honest feedback about your chances of making it.
    You no doubt think I'm being too harsh. But as a Holocaust survivor told a producer I know about Schindler's List, "it's pretty accurate, but it only showed the nice parts." The movies like to show how glamorous the lives of successful actors are; they celebrate all the sacrifices these people made in order to get where they are today. No one makes movies about unsuccessful actors. Their lives are dreary, dreary hell. For every Hilary Swank who lived with her mother in a car for a year, there are a thousand actors you will never see who also lived with their mothers in their cars, for years, and came away with nothing.

    Don't do it. Don't go there. Find some other way to evade the mundane in your life.
    He goes on to suggest that anyone who really loves acting but was not born to a Hollywood heavyweight is better off starting a local theatre group than trying to become a screen actor - that at least that way you actually get to act.

    What's your take on this? Passionate and/or insightful responses are strongly encouraged!


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    Member tasialabastro's Avatar
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    All I can say is, if you have a dream and a passion. Then the next step is to set realistic goals to help achieve them.

    Like any craft, if you're getting into it to "Make it big" then time becomes the enemy. If, however, you're enjoying it and spending time to develop yourself then there's always a reward for someone who works hard. Because hard work makes luck. I suppose it doesn't hurt at all to know someone who knows someone either...

    I'm not saying that his female friend didn't work hard, but success is relative. It's a tough business I understand that much, and maybe all she needed was to relocate...who knows.
    Will act for food! | The Blog | The Site


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    Bronze Member GageFX's Avatar
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    He named a little more than a handful of famous people spawned by famous people. Great. How about the thousands more that weren't?

    It is an "against the odds" endeavor, but so are most things worth pursuing. I looked up his IMDB profile. Not that impressive. Strikes me as someone who is a bit too bitter about their life and needs to shatter other's dreams.

    Now, I'm all for being realistic and being clear with people about what they can expect, but it's a severly broken person that seeks to take someone's dreams away.


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    Joystick Member Richard J. Johnson's Avatar
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    Wil Smith
    Sam Jackson
    Denzell Washington
    George Clooney
    Brad Pitt
    Tom Cruise
    Don Cheadle

    Are they spawned from celebs?

    Canon 7D+Teddybear T-Finder+Tamron & Canon Glass+lighting+a bunch of other stuff+2 Beautiful Babies.

    "Torn" Available now!
    http://www.rsquaredfilms.com/films/torn.html

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    Senior Member jls4's Avatar
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    This is how I see it for Actors and everybody else in the "Outside-Hollywood" World. Surround yourself with the best people you can and work towards being better yourself.

    We all have it hard, not just actors. In fact, Actors have it easier, but maybe they went about it in the wrong way. Example: One of my actors has been in 3 feature hollywood films (small parts), over 20 shorts, 3 plays, the lead in my feature and the lead in another indie. (both indie's are pretty good). What helped him? He didn't run to Hollywood before he built himself up. He stayed in Atlanta - learned the ropes, got better, built a resume, made connections, then went to LA. It's better for an Actor to go to a large city and start, than to run to LA. (Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, DC, New York, etc) all these areas have a "real" film community - although small. The actors can cultivate their skills and try to connect with upcoming directors.

    Here in Atlanta, several actors hooked up with Tyler Perry. When certain actors turned their back on Tyler, the cuter ones that HAD to get paid, the more regular ones stayed by his side. As he grew into what we know today, he didn't forget them. And now they are acting and getting paid.

    Actors are in a conundrum because no one wants to tell them what they really need to do or they are un sure of what really works, because actors get their "big break" in so many ways.

    What I encouage actors to do is just find the people who are doing things. Where the production quality/scripts are getting better with each project. Those who are talking 2, 3, 4 projects not just the one they are currently working on. Be a part, Actors need to invest in good ideas (their money) - become producers - PAs. Make themsevles invaluable and constantly work towards being a better actor with a "great look"

    This way when the directors/producers/writers finally get their big break - they'll ride those coattails into their big break. If the people never get one, then they'll have a great resume and can try at hollywood.

    There's 2 people in my first distributed movie that left for Hollywood. Within a month, both of them had landed a gig. One guy was in a string of commercials about Deodorant.

    And remember actors have to be GOOD, especially women. Unfortunately it's harder for women.


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    Pain in the ass Mark Harris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filthrich View Post
    Wil Smith
    Sam Jackson
    Denzell Washington
    George Clooney
    Brad Pitt
    Tom Cruise
    Don Cheadle

    Are they spawned from celebs?
    Clooney is.

    And if not Will Smith, his kid certainly is...


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    Sound Ninja Noiz2's Avatar
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    As someone who spent many years in theatre, though mostly not as an actor, I think his assessment is correct as far as it goes. But he leaves out some crucial stuff. Like theatre and film is a big extended family. A lot of actors have closer ties with other actors than any of their family. The arts are not so much a job as a lifestyle and so it's hard to judge by "typical" standards. Compared to a "real" job acting SUCKS, no stability exposing yourself to just awful crushing and often unfounded criticism total lack of understanding of what you do by pretty much everyone who isn't in the biz (and even by a lot of them). And the general impression by those on the "outside" that it's all fun and games and your not serious because you don't do any "work".
    But you also have a community that is very supportive, folks who have laid it on the line in public to help you out when you needed it. Massive adrenaline rushes. Life may be hard but it's not boring. Sure connections help but anyone who is working should be developing those. If your born with them it gets you started, if daddy keeps hiring you well that helps a lot. But in the end if your working your meeting people, and those people are connections. If your a good salesman and pursue those contacts it generally pays off. The reasons people "give up" and leave generally either because they are not good salesmen and aren't making those connections pay off, they can't take the stress anymore, the arts are EXTREMELY stressful even for those who are successful. I have worked in the arts pretty much all my working life. I'm not a particularly good salesman, though I have done OK at times. I had no connections going in, and know a lot of people now. If I were better at selling myself I would probably have a bigger house etc. But ... Making the phone call and showing up is 90% of getting the job, very hard work is 90% of keeping it. I've had a few "real jobs" in my life and find them very relaxing. Everyone else at the "real jobs" seems to get pretty stressed out working, but compared to the arts it's a cakewalk. But in the end I don't think I could do it for the rest of my life with out going whacko or having some very consuming hobby.
    In the end complaining about the hard life of an actor is a little like complaining about the hard life of a monk. Your not likely to be a big star (Pope) but that's not primarily why your there.
    Cheers
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    Senior Member -JunK-'s Avatar
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    Rubbish. Screen actor is such a general term, what this guy posts is becoming the next Harrison Ford... which... mind you... he was not "spawned" from any connection and he struggled for a long time VERY long, and gave up almost, was a carpenter and we know the story with Star Wars and American Graffiti. This doesn't happen often but...

    "IF you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two imposter's just the same..."

    "IF you can force your heart and nerve and sinew,
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so Hold On, when there is nothing in you
    Except the will which says to them, Hold On!"

    Not everyone will get to the success of him or any big name actor... that's not what actings all about. There are many many levels and it's tough, hard, you need a little luck, no you need a lot -

    It MAY take a lifetime, it takes a thick skin to "make it". What IS making it anyways? To everyone it;s different not everyone has the ambition to be Brad Pitt. Sometimes people fight against what they are. Making this a career is hard work, heartache, heartburn... and maybe takes hard cold reality, you may not be the next Christian Bale, but that doesn't mean you can't make something out of it... truth is you may fail in the end, but you'll definitely fail if you don't try.
    "The grass will not grow in the sand... it will only grow in the dirt!"


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    Member tasialabastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -JunK- View Post
    Rubbish. Screen actor is such a general term, what this guy posts is becoming the next Harrison Ford... which... mind you... he was not "spawned" from any connection and he struggled for a long time VERY long, and gave up almost, was a carpenter and we know the story with Star Wars and American Graffiti. This doesn't happen often but...

    "IF you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two imposter's just the same..."

    "IF you can force your heart and nerve and sinew,
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so Hold On, when there is nothing in you
    Except the will which says to them, Hold On!"

    Not everyone will get to the success of him or any big name actor... that's not what actings all about. There are many many levels and it's tough, hard, you need a little luck, no you need a lot -

    It MAY take a lifetime, it takes a thick skin to "make it". What IS making it anyways? To everyone it;s different not everyone has the ambition to be Brad Pitt. Sometimes people fight against what they are. Making this a career is hard work, heartache, heartburn... and maybe takes hard cold reality, you may not be the next Christian Bale, but that doesn't mean you can't make something out of it... truth is you may fail in the end, but you'll definitely fail if you don't try.
    I absolutely agree.

    I noticed you're in San Mateo, maybe we can collaborate sometime! I'm in San Jose!
    Will act for food! | The Blog | The Site


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    Actor!!!!!! Tom Marshall's Avatar
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    It's definitely not your standard "work your way through college and up the corporate ladder" type of job. You have to love it to do it. You really have to be an artist and understand all of the artistic stuff (most people simply don't) in order to do this. You can't do this to be rich or famous, and if you are, you're probably pursuing the wrong profession. If you want to be rich, be a banker. If you want to be famous, be a politician.

    As long as I can scrape by and be a working actor, I'll be satisfied. I'll keep striving for the really good roles and hopefully, one day, I'll get to the point where I do get the good roles and get to work with other great people. If I could get to that point and still have people (the general movie-going public, not the people that hire actors) not know who I am, I'll be happy...
    Actor / Musician


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