Why do you want to become an actor – for the fame?

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Shanice Kamminga is a dutch actress living and working in Los Angeles. Her blog Stars In The Eyes chronicles her life, adventures and thoughts and is a wonderful read for anyone who has a dream.
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Why Do We Want to Become Actors Part I: Famewhore

First published October 31 2012
Famewhore, attention seeker, naive/delusional, unstable, childish – If you want to go to LA to become an actor you are obviously either one or all of these things. According to those certain kinds of people you encounter in daily life anyway! And although there’s no need to justify yourself to them, I do ponder sometimes why it is we have this unwavering desire to play dress up and pretend to be somebody else.
Why we voluntarily choose a life full of uncertainty, finanical instability and rejection.
Why Halloween or the local Theater Group on the side isn’t enough.
These things go for pretty much every creative profession of course, perhaps even for athletes and entrepreneurs. One of the first posts I wrote on this blog actually centered around this subject, and obviously I haven’t found the answer yet. But let me seek for what it could be by going off those five insults, starting with
“Oh, so you want to be famous?”
It’s one of those things you get a lot when saying you want to be an actor. Especially an actor in LA. It misses the point but it’s not wrong, not entirely…
I’m gonna be honest here. Fame does not repel me. I know it should because it sounds more bleeding-heart-artist-y but you know what? I think I want it. Never being able to sit on a terrace and enjoy people watching anonymously sounds absolutely horrifying, but please.
The only way to be turned off to being famous is to be famous.
Jesse Eisenberg
Fame almost always means constant work and lots of money. And lots of money means being able to buy your parents a house and retirement, being able to eat nice food, being able to buy professional equipment for hobbies not to mention being able to pay for lessons to learn new skills. I’ve been wanting to learn how to play the violin forever.
It also means not having to worry about making rent and not having to slave away in an office leaving little time for creative stuff … You know what, I probably don’t need to elaborate on the money aspect. I’m sure with the crisis that’s going on and all, you know. And of course, I’m aware money does not buy happiness. But it does buy a lot of worries away, if you handle it well.
The strangest part about being famous is you don’t get to give first impressions anymore. Everyone already has an impression of you before you meet them.
Kristen Stewart
Then there’s the “constant work” aspect. Besides of the awesomeness that is being able to do what you love constantly, usually being famous means also means being able to get more interesting roles. If you’re famous you bring asses in seats at the movie theaters which means money which means producers want you, it’s as simple as that.
One of my favorite actors, the always working and highly respected Michael Shannon even complained he wasn’t famous enough to get good roles sometimes. Now does he possess a Kardashian-esque lack of talent and hunger for fame? I don’t think so!
And being famous means being at the very top of your business. I’m competitive and ambitious so of course I’d want to be a the very top. However it’s not the end-all be-all. I’d be perfectly fine if I was a working actress with a good enough income that wasn’t famous. But I will certainly not deny that I’m envious of a Jennifer Lawrence or Carey Mulligan. Look at the dresses they get to wear….I kid! Look at the roles they get to play. Pretty impressive.
How about you? How do you look at fame? Is it something that factors into your dream of becoming an actor?
This article is reprinted with the kind permission of Stars In The Eyes and Shanice Kamminga.
Why do you want to become an actor