The evil power of the “NO”

Actors roll up. It’s now a new year, full of all the emotional highs and lows we expect as we step into a new year of adventure. And with that comes the usual fear and trepidation we associate with our acting goals. I guess we all want to be stupidly successful but at the same time we will just as quickly run away and hide at the very sight of a good opportunity. Is it fear? Is it a need for saying no (rather than yes I’d love to). It is a darker addiction some actors can have when they are conveniently not actually making the leap into acting even though they want it so badly they think they might crawl up into a little ball and be miserable their entire life, like forever and ever.

curiosity meets the unknownSaying ‘no’ to perfectly wonderful opportunities is the addiction we can have without even realising it. And since the month of January is often dry January or when we detox and rid ourselves of bad addictions, now is the time to fess up about your acting addictions.

You are an actor when you decide you are. I personally believe this moment is realised when you tell everyone that acting is your profession. If your twitter description says it then that’s a pretty good start. You actually have to tell others you are. If I look at your Linked In profile and it talks about your Strategic Relationships role at XYZ company how am I going to know who you are in the acting arena. You know some Casting Directors and many film companies actually have Linked In profiles, right?

Equally, all of this is futile if you don’t use reputable casting sites and the modern online technology available as well. I googled an actor the other day and nothing came up. And I mean zero. Come on people. In a day and age where we have to swim constantly to avoid the constant barrage of incoming emails, news, YouTube links, tweets, FB invites and such, how is it even possible to get away without an internet presence. I mean I would understand if you were some writer working under a pseudonym…but you aren’t Stephen King. Surely actors need to be found.

And this comes back to the no’s. Are you blocking on purpose. Have you accidentally put yourself in a position where you are unable to accept paid acting work but won’t change your circumstances? This comes in many shapes and forms:
– boyfriend or family don’t approve of your career aspirations about being an actor
– you work full time with no leeway to attend auditions your agent submits you for
– no one knows you’re an actor
– you never actually go to any of the auditions you’re invited to. You make up some realistic (read dumb) excuse to justify why that job isn’t worth it
– you’ve never emailed a director, producer or casting director in your life about anything film related

Any of those resonate for you?

Here’s the big hitter. If you aren’t available, if you aren’t willing to sacrifice anything, if you aren’t committed to going the extra mile, then sadly you won’t make it. Unfortunately there are other actors who won’t scoff at that low budget (paid) indie film. And guess what. I have seen those same actors get called back in by that same director years later to star in their next paid feature film. I can give you three or four examples of people I know personally where this has happened. Doing the hard yards pays off! Saying yes pays off.

You have to challenge your demons. You have to be willing to say, “what is holding me back”. “How

can I change that mental attitude”. “What am I afraid off”.

Success. Can. Be. Daunting.

But success is also a darn sight prettier than spending your days in a temping job or waiting tables wondering why you’re serving Matt Damon rather than starring in movies with him.

Take the no out of 2014 and start saying yes a little more! (within reason of course…always know your integrity limits).

erix! / / CC BY
deeplifequotes / / CC BY-NC-SA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *