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I hope this post can inspire other actors and keep them going through those tough boring days when it feels like you might not make it, those day's when you feel delusional, the days when you think that settling for an occupation will get rid of the pain you feel when neglected by your passion. Keep ya head up, and read on, and I invite any potential readers to share their stories and reply to this post, and please feel free to share this with others, or heck share your own stories with others.
The actors journey is a strange and lonely one. Many times you must gird yourself against your strongest enemy...yourself. Being on this road for many years I have made only a few discoveries. The road of your life is the material of your work if you don't pay attention to the pain, sorrow joy and suffering you have nothing to bring to your craft. The tears are real when yours have been as is the laughter such is life and such is acting. Don't disengage to "be" an actor reach out for each experience in life and bring it to what you want the audience to feel. Easy to say tough to do that's why you have to love each performance be it for 2 people or 12 million each one is important and that may be all you receive but the appreciation of those 2 may be what keeps you going and you reach the others. Who knows who can tell you the path who can guarantee that what you are doing is right... your audience them no one else in the end. When you do it right, when you put the work in when you feel that energy that you created coming back to you from the audience then you know you got it right. Money, it may come but if you're an actor and you mean it the performance is the thing. I'd love to make lots of money doing it but that's not the point shedding my tears on stage with a "real" character moving the people sitting there making them laugh that must be enough to start to finish and to fill. If it is not...well go sell real estate that is the actors delema curse and joy suffering for your art happens in the soul when we get the opportunity to pour ourselves out to an audience and they respond. What a crazy way to live what madness what joy.
It isn't hopeless at all; it really isn't. Being a local, and non-union, amatuer actor has wonderful advantages because you are far more likely to get jobs in the local market than if you were in competition with all of the talent in Los Angeles or New York! I'm a local producer, a CASA Producer, and I have recently hired four actors to work on an on-going motion picture which we are filming here in the Denver area. Every actor who I've hired has been a CASA member; and I would hire you too! So don't despair work is around and there is plenty of it. You won't be earning SAG level income, but you probably will be working more often in the Front Range Market and, perhaps, working on more meaningful projects that will allow an actor to develop and explore the forms of expression open to a performer with a willingness to commit to lower budget, more experimental, and less commercial "movies". There really are opportunities here and a lot of your fellow thespians are working at them right now. I'm actually having problems, believe it or not, in scheduling the time of the various actors in our production ensemble because they are working on so many film projects at the same time. If you doubt that this is true just ask my associate producer, Kasha Fauscett, a long time CASA member and actress. We're constantly searching for local, non-SAG, talent who are open to developing their talent. Hang in there and call me sometime. We're shooting on lots of weekends, and the actors get paid every time for their work.