What I Wish I’d Done Differently As a Young Actor (And What I’m Glad I Did)

“The only thing constant is change” – that’s what my tea bag note said to me just now. Truth. Lots of changes happening in my life right now. In my body at 37+ weeks pregnant, in my home, my family, career…. so many shifts. 

How do we embrace these changes? Some of them are painful – loss of youth, death, grieving the way things used to be (simpler, easier) and some are so joyful – new life, acceptance of where you’re at, knowledge, not second guessing yourself so much, freedom…

I’ve been reflecting on some things I am really proud of myself for doing in the past as an actor and some things wish I had done differently as a “young” actor – I use this term loosely. I’m reflecting back on some of my time in NYC right after college and some of my time in LA in my mid-late 20’s and even early 30’s – yes, I am older than you think 😉 Maybe you’ll relate to some of my thoughts  (would love to hear from you if you do) or maybe you can save yourself from some of the mistakes I made. 

Things I Wish I’d Done Differently As a Young Actor

  • Hadn’t tied up my entire identity in being an actor 
  • Spent all that money on CD workshops and not followed up with people 
  • Had stopped IMDBing everyone immediately after I met them to see what they’d booked and who their reps were before I found out who they were as people 
  • Not held on so tightly 
  • Took a business of acting class sooner (didn’t even know this was a thing for a long time) 
  • Found more joy in my auditions and less “trying to get it right” 
  • Stopped waiting for the second take and the re-direct 
  • Pitched to reps sooner (for years I didn’t even know this was something i could do!) 
  • Took an improv class sooner (I was too scared for too long!) 
  • Called my mom more 

Things I’m Glad I Did when I was a Young Actor 

  • Really gave a shit about the craft. Took lots of classes. 
  • Wasn’t jaded. Asked a lot of questions. 
  • Worked on the other side of the industry – was co-artistic director of a downtown theater festival called Planet Connections, worked for an Off Broadway producer and then worked for a commercial casting director
  • Stayed up late in NYC out dancing with my friends
  • Took a ton of CD workshops and actually followed up with people (yes, this was on my other list too. at first i didn’t follow up, but once i did. #gamechanger – so grateful to my past self for doing that and building relationships) 
  • Had lots of non-industry friends who were super supportive 
  • Paid too much for theater tickets I couldn’t really afford 
  • Acted in shitty shows with shitty scripts and met amazing people 

Be kind to your past and present self. 

get more resources

Subscribe to the Actors Rise Newsletter

Get the newsletter thousands of actors love to get. Straight to your inbox. Every Sunday.


As featured in