How to take control of your own career as an actor

How to take control of your own career as an actor_550
Photo Credit: Tristan Schmurr 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.

Walk the walk

“They never call!”
“I sent my head shots out for seven different projects today. Fingers crossed!”
“My reel is positively anemic! I just can’t get any good footage!”
Sound familiar?
I personally have dealt with this from day zero. It wasn’t really till this past year that I realized I was doing myself a disservice.
Like most people in this profession, I presumed that my success was entirely dependent upon the good will of others. That is a very disheartening way to approach something you are passionate about. The one thing I would sell my everlasting soul for requires more than indifference from the powers that surround a seemingly impenetrable industry.

As an actor you can create your own work

I continued in this vain till one day when a friend from a film project contacted me to see if I could help with a comedy web series. I figured it would be a fun distraction while I awaited my shot at fame.
I showed up at a restaurant where they planned to shoot a number of scenes for their first season. I was floored at the level of professionalism I witnessed. Who was running this machine?!
Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.
Michael Jordan
Turns out, actors. Like me. These two girls, I will call them “The Jenns”, wrote, produced and starred in their own comedy sci-fi series.
This was the missing piece of the puzzle for me.
So many of us sit by the phone, attend workshops and beg borrow or steal time with the folks who may one day invite us in to audition for something we may ultimately not prove right for. Wash, rinse and repeat.
It had honestly never occurred to me that it was possible to write the perfect part for me, let alone produce it and get it out into the universe.

Don’t wait for permission. You can just do it

“The Jenns” are doing just that. They released the tenth and final episode of season one this week. They are already developing season two. That is commitment. That is passion. That is two actors who decided not to wait for Hollywood’s permission to show how great they are.
You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.
Diana Ross
To someone like me, they are an inspiration and an example of how serious you have to be to make it in show business. We don’t have to sit in the stands and wait for our chance to play. We can just play.
The cost of admission has never been cheaper. The technology needed to play with the big boys is literally sitting on a rack at Best Buy these days.
You have power over your career. Show the world you are serious about what you do. Show them you aren’t in the business of being ignored. You became an actor to do just that. Act. You didn’t put all this money, heart and effort into the hopes someone would offer you the chance to act.
Be that chance you have been waiting for.
Check out the fruits of “The Jenns” tireless labors here
Other Guest Posts from Actor Hub
  • From Guest Blogger ‘Bitter Gertrude’ – I posted on Facebook that I was considering writing a post about audition tips for theatres. Going through the responses, one thing stuck out immediately: No one is telling anyone else the truth about any of these things.
  • Here are ten tips to help you to make your CV one which shows you off at your best and will get you through the door to show what you can do.
  • Your acting CV is a crucial part of any casting process. It should speak volumes about you. Your CV should highlight all your acting experience, skills and unique talents. Here are Actor Hub’s top tips on writing a professional lookling actor CV.
  • Voice Reel Producer Kirsty Gillmore shares her top tips for making your voice over reel stand out from the crowd.
  • Acting showreels have changed recently. With new technology the way video is watched is so different today than it was two or three years ago. Here is how to make sure your showreel is bang up to date.
  • One of the hardest things to do when promoting yourself is writing your own actor biography or ‘biog’. Take a look at Actor Hub’s checklist when writing a biog, whether it be for your website, a letter or for an application for a role.
  • From Guest Blogger – GoLocalise – As a voice actor it is important that you feel comfortable and confident behind the mic, just like how screen actors need to feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. The microphone is, next to your voice, your ultimate weapon, so you need to know how to use it.
  • Guest Post from Actor and Director Ben Hodge – All things connect. Do we believe this? If we did, we would all be better for it. Acting is all about connection in a variety of ways.