I’m An Actor
So, this was my deal for a long time:
I’d go to a party, a wedding, what have you; and I’d pray that no one would ask me what I did.
Because if I was brave enough to say those three little words – “I’m an Actor” – what do you think came next?
“Have I seen you in anything?”
This is an incredibly awkward question for any actor at any level to answer.
Years ago I was in a movie with Rick Schroeder (star of NYPD Blue and Lonesome Dove). I watched him field this question when a fan who “sort of recognized” Rick approached.
“What have I seen you in again?” the fan asked.
Rick was uncomfortable.
“Ummm…well… I mean do you want to look at my resume?… I don’t know what…”
The question of “What do you do?” is even more difficult for the actor who hasn’t done so much yet, right?
Yeah, but here’s the thing.
Have you studied acting?
Are you currently in an acting class?
Have you done a play in the last few years?
Do you have a headshot and an acting resume that you submit to casting directors?
Do you actively pursue an acting career?
If you answered “yes” to the any of the above questions, then you are an actor. You are an actor. You are an actor. You are an actor.
So, next time you’re at a party, or you’re sitting next to somebody on an airplane, and you are forced to answer this question – be strong!
In a breezy voice say, “I’m an actor.”
And how do you handle the obnoxious follow up: “What have I seen you in? ”
First, don’t apologize that they haven’t seen you in anything.
Don’t say things like “It’s really hard and the competition is awful.”
Don’t say “If I could just get a good agent, I could book.”
Instead, come up with a line that you’re totally comfortable with.
Maybe the line is:
“Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of theatre which I love!”
“At the moment, I’m focusing on my training. I’m in the most incredible acting class with the greatest teacher!”
“My love is improv and I want to be on a show like SNL. I’m studying at The Groundlings right now which is super fun.”
Find a positive way to let whomever you are talking to know that being an actor is not synonymous with being famous.
Remember, there is no acting police. No one is going to bust you for not having enough credits on your resume.
You are allowed to be at the beginning of your career and still say to the world:
“Hey! Nice to meet you. I’m an actor.”