When I go on jobs I always have the usual conversations but I do enjoy them over and over again. It’s the conversation with fellow actors that make you realise that not everyone gets us, sure people understand but actually do they? Over the years I’ve had to do a lot of explaining when it comes to my career, generally because people are interested but sometimes you get the odd few that need awakening. So here is what it is really like to be an actress.
In the entertainment industry there is always a wait. We wait to hear back to see if we have a job, we wait for the crew to change the cameras around, we wait for casting directors to see us etc. There is a lot of waiting so if you don’t like waiting then perhaps this industry is not for you. However the tea and coffee breaks are endless.
The life of an actor is unstable because we don’t know when we’re going to be called for a job and that is followed by months of waiting to be paid. Booking a holiday can be so stressful because that’s usually when you are called to work. People ask if its good pay which it can be but you don’t know when you’re next job is. As for planning my week ahead? Usually I’ll have appointments jotted down but I’ll either rearrange or cancel those because an audition or job has come through.
It’s not so glamorous
Recently I was sat round the table talking to my female relatives and one said she could never go to public toilets. Me and my auntie (who is a model/ make-up artist) laughed because years on the road gets you ready for all sorts of things. The amount of times I have had to change in public toilets or filmed in a location that is dirty and I’ve had to go to the toilet, are countless. After that conversation my auntie went on a job where she had to get dressed in the public toilet. Lots of paper towels were put onto the floor and she laughed because she remembered what we said.
Money, money, money
I would be lying if I said that I don’t work for free. Even now I do, whether it’s for my show reel or a job that will lead me somewhere else, this industry doesn’t always like to pay. After all, we are putting the hours and skill in but as an actor you have to weigh it up. Over the years I have done a lot of unpaid work but from there I have built up great contacts and as time has gone on, those contacts have been worth it. However when you do get paid work, it is worth it.
You want to be different
As an entertainer you want to stand out. I’m not talking crazy but you want to be seen so that means you always want to change something about your look. I’m not saying we are unhappy with ourselves because that’s not true but changing our hair for example can lead to so much more work. I’ve noticed that actors don’t like to follow the usual crowd or trends, on our days off from pretending to be someone else; we just like to be us.
People expect more
The dreaded ‘what have you been in?’ question. When actors start out they aren’t going to be in this year’s blockbuster or anywhere close for that matter. So when we say oh this year I’ve done a short film, a play or even some extra work to get used to sets, please don’t look disappointed. The fact that we are headed in the right direction should be enough. It’s like someone telling me they work in an office and I look disappointed when they don’t say they are the director of the company. Everyone starts somewhere.
Our lives are great and we are so busy all the time!
Wrong! Social media is the devil when it comes to peoples’ lives. Not just for my industry but in general people upload their best bits of when they are busy. Only a month ago I had a mini crying session because I felt my life was going nowhere and everyone seemed to be doing amazingly. After that I slapped sense back into me and reminded myself that I am doing great. In reality, actors have days doing nothing and Netflix is our saviour.
People don’t see it as a job
Trust me, so many people have said this to me and I guess waking up for 6 o’clock to travel over an hour away to a job, reading lines until stupid o’clock in the morning whilst everyone is asleep, learning new skills to be different, having audition after audition which is like an interview and finally getting paid for what I do isn’t a job-then I must love my hobby.
We are crazy
Actors are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Our energy and drive is something to be admired because we get 100 no’s to then get a maybe and then that turns into a no. After so many lets downs we continue to go back and do the same job. Ask yourself how many times would you be told no until you gave up? People in the entertainment industry are the only people that work for free, get told no and will be told we’re not right for the part for whatever reason and still go back for more.
If you have any questions you have been wanting know about my industry then ask away below and I’d be happy to try and answer them.