Goals for the Working Actor

18Feb08

Acting should be approached as a business. You are a product, a brand. You sell yourself every day in auditions, on stage, and in front of the camera. So why aren’t you applying the same principles to your career that you would otherwise in another industry? We all talk about goals, and dreams and what-ifs. What exactly do you want?

It’s amusing to meet actors or musicians who have just moved to Los Angeles. They are wide-eyed and full of themselves. They feel as if they need to act a certain way when they arrive. They need to be ‘L.A.,’ whatever that is. But are they really approaching their career as a career?

You’ll get lots of unsolicited advice from people in the business. Most of it, coming from the mouths of bitter, never-made-its. It’s hard to know who to trust.

Start with yourself. Write down your goals. Use your laptop, notebook, Post-Its, whatever.

Overall Goal: To make a career as a professional dramatic actor in independent film and theatre

Year One:

  • Get a flexible job
  • Build a professional website
  • Set up submissions profiles
  • Start training at an acting school
  • Get an agent
  • Book a national commercial
  • Book a local stage production

Year 2

  • Complete first screenplay

Sure, your goals may be different. Maybe you want to star in a movie with Denzel Washington by Christmas, or hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with your first record.

But, how will you keep yourself honest if you haven’t even written it down?

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