8th May 2021

Is a Career in Acting Worth It?

career in acting

An extraordinary career


A few years back, I read an interview with Timothée Chalamet. In it he was asked to comment on his meteoric rise to fame and this was his response…

“I don’t know how the f*%& any of this happened.”

I was both grateful and so frustrated. Grateful for the reminder that there is nothing “clear-cut” about the acting industry, and that anything is possible. Frustrated because this rare occurrence, the “overnight sensation”, perpetuates the myth that we cannot work towards successful careers as actors, but instead they just happen to us.

Forget about international stardom; financial security and artistic fulfillment alone are difficult to manifest. To be a working, happy actor making a stable living is extraordinary, and for 100% of our clients, that’s what they long for.

Chalamet’s words and story underline the huge unknowns in relation to all of our artistic futures. For every Timothée Chalamet there are tens of thousands of actors struggling to survive, some are implementing strong business strategies, most are not and are instead waiting for a Chalamet-sized break.

So is a career in acting worth it? Yes, but with some caveats…

It’s worth it if you work it.

If you want to create art but do not want to put any work into the “business” then what you have is a glorified hobby, not a sustainable career.

If your plan is to not self-generate opportunities for yourself and others and instead wait by the phone for the next audition, get out now!

The odds are too stacked against you, there are thousands of hard-working, extremely gifted actors in the world. The chances that dumb “luck” will lift you specifically from the unknown masses is dangerous wishful thinking.

Dedicating time and resources to not only your craft and creativity but also in carving out a clear path forward by planning and prioritizing will greatly increase those odds.

If you believe you can build a career and not that a career happens to you then it’s worth a shot. When our clients work with purpose, empowerment and a sense of the long-term they are able to cultivate lasting relationships, develop financial awareness, and build enough stability in their lives to create art that forwards their professional goals.

In other words, a career in acting is worth it if you are willing to be a phenomenal artist and a phenomenal entrepreneur.

We can never guarantee success with 100% certainty.

But if you don’t put immense effort into your business what is the other option? Pray that the casting director at your next pay-to-play thinks you’re the next Timothée Chalamet? Hope Steven Spielberg sees that web series you were in? Prayer and hope, though life-affirming are not good business practices.

It’s worth it if you work it. With everything you have. And when you’re interviewed about your rise, you’ll be able to tell everyone exactly how you did it.

Also by Artist’s Strategy:

Actors as Producers: Beware of Tunnel Vision

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ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Artist's Strategy offers artists the opportunity to strategize and create tactical next steps towards a successful, fulfilling career. Based on tested business principles, Artist's Strategy helps you design a tangible path towards a sustainable future. Incorporating and using the basic tenets of a healthy business, we will help you set a one, three or five-year-plan that will work for you and keep you on track to seeing real results. With Artist's Strategy, you will work alongside founder Joshua Morgan to identify the strengths and opportunities of your business and learn more about how to stabilize and grow. How long and how frequently you work with Artist's Strategy depends on your individual needs and resources. Contact us to discuss a plan that could work for you.

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