Just Actor Things: The Data, Community, And Guidance

I’m home in RI visiting family and friends. I sat up with two of my best friends the other night and they were asking me all kinds of questions about the way our industry works. Some things I honestly thought they knew already. (We’ve been friends since HS), but there’s just SO MUCH people outside our industry don’t know.  

They couldn’t believe the things I was telling them. 

“Wait! You’re saying 3,000-8,000 actors get submitted for one role sometimes?” 

I thought i’d told them this, “Yes.”

“How many people get to actually audition?” 

“About 25-100.”


Their minds were blown. 

I forget how normal this info is to me now, but how crazy it once seemed when I first learned it.

I told them, “there are people in my acting classes that would absolutely blow you away with their talent…” There is A. LOT. of talent. 

And they couldn’t get over that actors just have to kind of blindly trust that their agents are doing the work – submitting, pitching, advocating for you. 

Of course we shouldn’t actually be blindly trusting our reps. We should be communicating with them regularly and looking at what my career coach likes to call, “the data not the drama”. i.e. tracking our auditions, who got them for us (was it our relationship with casting, our manager, or agent), what was the quality of the audition, is it the same office calling us in again and again, what kinds of roles are we getting called in for, etc. 

BUT it’s not enough to just keep the data, is it? We have to DO something with it. We have to analyze it and say, “Great, I see I’m already getting a ton of nurse auditions, but I’m not getting so many young mom types and I know that’s also a type I can nail right now, so do I need to update my headshots or my footage to make sure I am getting those kinds of opportunities?” “Do I need to talk to my reps and see if they see me the same way I do?” “What changes can be made?”

We have to be pulling our own weight and that doesn’t just mean being good actors and taking class (yes, that’s suuuuper important), but we gotta also be learning about our casting, updating our headshots, our footage, and creating relationships in the business and here’s the really important part, actually maintaining those relationships (I know that’s the tricky part for most ppl). 

A lot of actors get overwhelmed with all of these things. I see some get fiercely motivated for a bit and then burn out or beat themselves up when they don’t know what to do next. 

It’s tough. I’ve been there. Stuck. Alone. Confused. I stopped acting for 6 years cause I didn’t know what to do to help myself. 

We all need community and guidance from those who have been there before. And there is so much community here if you look for it. Find yourself a mentor, an accountability buddy, or a coach. Try new teachers and classes. There are loads of great people inside the Actors Rise Facebook group ready to support you and inside my membership the Actor’s HomeBase (re-opening again in Sept -wahoo!!!).

This career isn’t something we can do alone so stop trying. Try something that’s free. If it’s not for you, all good, but who knows, maybe it will be. Maybe it’ll be the thing that makes a huge difference for you. Ya never know! 

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