So you wanna be a big star
Acting “So you wanna be a Big Star?”
TAKE A LITTLE SELF INVENTORY.
1. Have talent
2. Have PASSION for your craft
3. Know yourself
4. know your niche
5. Know your Reason for acting. Recognize your needs, acting is a catharsis, an emotional catharsis, and needs to be recognized as one. Your reason for acting may be just this catharsis, know it so it doesn’t consume you.
1. prepared for lots of Rejection. As one old actress friend told my theatre class when a young future actor asked if she had a real job to pay the bills while she was acting, “Honey, your REAL job is AUDITIONING – sometimes 6 or 7 days a week. Occasionally you land something called an “acting” job. But that can last just a few hours, a few days, or weeks, or if you are lucky like I was, I have had a recurring role on a Soap Opera for 20 years, though even that means only about 15 days a year of work. If you can’t handle Rejection, quit now cuz you will only be picked at auditions one in a hundred times”.
2. Motivated by OTHER than fame and money? Do you Understand, know, why you wanna do this? Is it just for money, for applause, adrenaline, fun? Or is it your catharsis for you, what do you want to get from this. Why act? A young actor who was playing in EQUUS in the lead role of Alan, got so bogged into the pain and anger and sexual frustrations of the role, that he called one day from rehearsal and said, “Please come over, when I get Angry and yelling as Alan, I can’t separate myself from me. I can’t stop the anger.” His name was Aaron, so he was having a hard time separating his personal stuff to the point he realized during that time he had been sexually abused as a child and in denial about it. The ANGER of the role let him vent, but he got totally caught up into it. At that point, he went into therapy to look at the years he had stuffed that pain and anger.
Mapped out your strategy? If you want THEATER, go to New York and study acting, then try to perform. If you want TV or FILM go to California, start acting, then take classes “for what you need to improve”.
AND, How are you gonna get “there” from here?
ARE YOU: Prepared to be tempted by LOTS of drugs, alcohol and wild behavior AND be able to moderate yourself? When you are a kid – your mom or dad or teachers tell you, “Stay away from drugs and alcohol or you will mess up your life, you will never get anywhere.” SADLY, they are partly wrong. This is why I mention it here, many of my most successful patients ARE using Coke to get them rolling, then Pot to calm them and are in a vicious cycle. I had a dentist who was not happy with his career choice, so stayed high during the day, then chilled on pot at night. I have had a number of successful realtors using coke to roll during the day and keep up with the Beverly Hills clientele (residential as well as commercial realtors) then pot or downers to chill later.
Attorney’s too! One of my high end model clients got busted after a party at a high end BHills hotel, where he had rented a $4000/night suite for a weekend party. He hadn’t checked out yet when housekeeping knocked on his door Monday about 1 pm, she opened the door after the obligatory “knock knock Housekeeping” and poked her head in. She saw Rob on the couch, naked, with a syringe in his arm, a Glock 9 on his lap, on the couch with miscellaneous drugs next to him on the table. She screamed, thinking he was dead. It woke him up, he told her to come back, he quickly called the front desk – “Sorry, I overstayed, you have my credit card on file, charge me for today and send Valet up to get my stuff to take to my car in the lot”. 10 minutes later, knock on door, he opens it, hands $30 tip to the guys in black, hands them his bags, says he’ll be outta there in another minute, gave them his car keys (it was in Valet Parking). Goes back in, gets finished dressing et al, and goes to the door to SWAT team waiting in hall for him – yeah, they were the guys in black!! Sitting in my office in his group session, he shared, “And damn, they arrested me, KEPT the $30 tip!, cuz housekeeper reported the gun.” In BH like in Vegas, normally “what happens in the hotel, stays in the hotel” is included in the high price! Now as he sat in our group relating his story, he complained his attorney showed up Tuesday morning at court, a bit disheveled cuz he had been in Vegas himself partying all weekend, and was NOT prepared to be in court repping him. Rob said, the attorney kept turning to him, saying “Rob, what was it we were here for? what did you do?” Rob said it was clear his attorney had not ‘come down’ yet from the weekend in Vegas. Another group member said, “Rob, when did you find first know your attorney was doing drugs? Why didn’t you quit using him?”
ROBS ANSWER!!! “Oh I knew he was doing drugs, I met him 10 years ago at a party in Vegas. Hell, when you do drugs yourself, you WANT an attorney who does drugs and knows the situation!”… This was Rob’s 3rd time being court assigned to my groups and to rehab. He was now 34 years old, went through the $8 mil that he had earned as a high end model with many SuperBowl commercials and the like under his belt. But now, he was now sitting in the group in a stupor most of the time with the group folks (and I) at times thinking he had finally expired, but then he would wake up, look around in panic, and take off out of the room. And, yup, his attorney eventually made the group too!
Moral of the stories, YES, successful folks can maintain thins even with drugs, but most often do mess up their lives eventually. That lifestyle is way too present in entertainment industry. Please try hard to avoid this, I have seen the long term effects (often death!! but mostly really messed up minds and lives) so it really is not worth it. AND those same entertainment industry folks who push you to use uppers to keep rolling, to finish the filming, to be ‘on top of your game’, “to get out there and perform”, will drop you like a hot coal, when you are finally too messed up to be of use to them. Oh yeah, and you usually will look like crap by then too.
BTW, the old actress I mentioned about the ‘auditioning’ comment, Ernestine had done the severe drinking routine, started acting at 3 years of age, starting drinking as a teen to cope with the success, crumbled by 25 and withdrew to an apartment in NYC where she was doing Broadway. She stayed in the apartment, hiding from life and work until some of her friends did an Intervention at 32. She did successfully sober up, moved west to do movies and spent the next 56 years doing that Soap Opera, and being character actress with some of the big ones cuz along the way, she now became an AA Sponsor. She helped many many many actors and actresses get sober, sponsored them, and damn, guess what? when they would be in a movie, tv show, or direct or produce one, to thank her, they made sure she was included! She is now resting in peace in New Jersey with her husband looking over toward Broadway where she originally gained her fame. She made 88 years, and was basically a working actor for 85 of them. “Break a leg”.
Jim Gordon, Ph.D, MFT Beverly Hills Counseling / 204 S. Beverly Dr, #116 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 310-271-3784 / BHCounseling@gmail.com