Show business is a funny thing.
Most people with a yen for glamour don't go for the gusto because the thought of it is not realistic enough for them. So they stay in their safe little cities, have their nice little jobs, and then get married, have kids, and live a hopefully sweet little life, and experience the glamour through their tv set, or at the movies.
I'm here to tell you that there is a lot of glamour in the entertainment industry, and it's wonderful to live your dreams, because if you don't try...
However, the people who are truly experiencing the excitement - and the glamorous lifestyle - are a small percentage of the actors trying to make it in the industry. Approximately seven to eight per cent of all actors registered with the Screen Actors Guild make more than $7500 a year. This doesn't even count the thousands of others who are not a member of any actors' union. Yes, you read that right. The other 92 to 93 per cent make less than $7500 a year. They may make more money in other fields, but not in show business.
Have I scared you away yet? Great. Stay in your hometown, and have a good life.
Not scared? So come out and try, but make sure you have nothing to lose, because the years go by quickly.
One of the main themes throughout my book is to make sure you have a life outside of show business. Too many actors have blinders on to the world around them, and they stunt their growth by not creating strong relationships with other people, and by not knowing what's going on out there in "the real world." They are so totally self-absorbed in the fantasy of becoming an actor, which may or may not happen.
I cannot tell a lie. I was, at one time, all consumed by my career, or lack of one, and because of that, I failed to nurture some wonderful relationships, and I let go of some wonderful opportunities to travel, try out other careers, etc. It's okay. It's the choice I made, and I don't regret it. However, had I known that I'd wake up one day, and find myself at 40-something - loud biological clock ticking away, no man in sight, and less auditions than there were in my 30s - I might have done things differently.
Success in acting is nothing you can take a pill for. As casting director Amy Lieberman says in my book, LITTLE FISH IN A BIG POND - A SUPPORT GUIDE FOR ACTORS, "There's no twelve-step program here." I say, if you mix a lot of skill with luck, and develop relationships with people in high places, you can probably eke out a living as an actor. It's not going to be overnight, and you better be willing to do your time.
My book will take ten years off your struggle. It will give you the most honest picture of this industry that you could get from any other book or person. It will tell you exactly what to expect, and how to begin and/or endure your acting career.
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams,
For when dreams go,
Life is a barren field,
Frozen with snow.