Passion Play – Why is it you want to be an actor?

Passion Play - Why do you want to act_550
Photo Credit: SweetOnVeg via cc
Josh McHugh is an actor living and working in Los Angeles.

He writes a blog about “The trials, musings and shenanigans of a working actor…” – Josh McHugh, He Acts

His writing is thoughtful, insightful and we are delighted to be sharing it here on Actor Hub.
Dreams are free. Chasing after them? You pay for that.
The biggest thing I have learned about the acting community is what a passionate bunch we are about the art we have grown to love. So much so we are willing to suffer indignation, rejection, uncertainty. Even poverty.
From the outside looking in, we must seem a crazy bunch. A pile of shiftless dreamers.
We hop off the bus fresh into Hollywoodland, alive with possibility. We are greeted by an industry who look at that enthusiasm with equal parts fondness and pessimism.
Fondness, as many of them remember those first days as a dream. Eager to get started rubbing elbows, showing the world what they were born to do. It is a heady time to say the least.
Pessimism because, frankly, not that many of us will be able to stick it out. The realities of a life in show business are ones you have to experience first hand to understand them. There is nothing you can say to warn someone who is following their dreams.
Get involved in acting to act, not to be famous or for the money. Do plays. It’s not worth it if you are just in it for the money. You have to love it.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
I had my own impressions of the entertainment industry. I to grew up watching “Extra” and “Entertainment Tonight”. Had I discovered this path myself as a younger man, who knows down which roads my dreams would have taken me. As it was, I came to this game a little later than most. By the time I had decided to follow the call to a life in acting, I had already experienced success in a more traditional career path. I had also learned to deal with the disappointments and pitfalls inherent to a life in the arts. My enthusiasm, though large, was tempered with a dose of hard-earned reality.
Those who come out here fed on a diet of TMZ and Variety, believe that stardom is simply a matter of being discovered. Eat at the right restaurants, go to the right parties, buddy up to the right exec and bang presto, you’re red-carpet bound.
“Come on phone! Ring already!”
What they fail to realize is that the “newcomer ingenues” did not simply step into the light one day, ready to take their rightful place in the performer’s pantheon. That is a misconception created by media outlets to do one thing: Sell copy.
I’ve learned it’s important not to limit yourself. You can do whatever you really love to do, no matter what it is.
Ryan Gosling
Most of the folks we regard as stars began their journey much the same as the rest of us. They stood in cattle calls. They auditioned for bit parts in low budget features. They bused tables to pay bills. Ate ramen and slept in their cars.
They did not do it for the money. There ain’t much of it to be had, certainly not starting out.
They did not do it to become famous. There are far easier ways to do that. Just look at reality TV.
They did not do it to become a star. That is not a goal. What it takes to become a star in unknowable. You will either become one or you won’t. There is no class you can take that will make it happen. Many a charlatan has paid for their sports car selling this very dream.
Why did they do it?
Because of the same feeling each and every one of us gets when we are doing what we love. It is utterly transcendent when we are doing it right. We each have a truth we want to share with the world around us. Its a brave and beautiful thing.
Follow your passion.
You may not become a star but, if you’re doing it right, you won’t care.
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