The Carrot Will Always Dangle
If you have chosen the life & career of continually attempting to find work as an actor, have a modicum of success and stick it out for a decade or more, you’re bound to be asked questions from people of all ages asking for advice, looking for short comprehensive answers.
You may have seen me post things like this before, seen a YouTube video of mine or been in one of the college theaters where I’ve been asked questions like this in person, but regardless, here are some questions, asked by a friend of one of my nieces.
So you know, I’ve asked if it was okay to post his questions, and will post only his questions. I’m not posting them as an opportunity for any one to poke fun, I’m simply sharing my reply to him, as maybe you too know someone considering a completely ridiculous life & career in entertainment.
– Quiche Out
“1. What is my best approach to take to obtain an agent?
2. One of my biggest priorities is to be able to do sketch comedy as well as acting. My humor consists of the Jim Carrey type of humor. His type of acting in movies is my goal. If you have any advice on that. That would be great.
3. I would like to use my voice for commercials, where would be the best place to start?
4. What would be the best way to keep getting experience? I will audition for anything I can get at the moment. I just am not sure where to look. (I put below what I have done so far)
5. I am an impressionist and would love to be able to showcase that in the future. Do you have any advice on getting that out there and recognized.
6. Do you have any advice on getting recognized?”
Best of luck in your pursuit if you choose it. It’s a ridiculously weird, impossibly challenging, completely unstable career, with no structure, and no one has the magic answers. I’ve seen it rip people apart inside, make people crazy, drive them to drugs, ruin relationships… It’s not like sports where if you don’t succeed by a certain age, you know to get out… The carrot will always dangle in front of you, whether or not it remains elusive, you get small tastes of it, you get the whole thing and then never another, or if you keep reaching new tastier carrots… only time will tell.
If you truly believe it’s the only thing you can or HAVE to do… then… do it. Do it until you retire with a pension, die young along the way, discover something else you love or can tolerate while you create a life/family, get too hungry trying to reach the carrot, find out you’re allergic to beta-carotine, or get tired of eating orange veggies… While Jim Carrey has made millions, also know that there are many equally funny people who haven’t cracked the 10 grand mark in their entire career. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to see into the future.
Hands down the best chance of success, from what I’ve seen… Is this simple formula: Be attractive enough, funny enough, talented enough, interesting enough, and work hard enough, but most importantly, be born into massive amounts of wealth, and have powerful parents preferably in most upper tier of showbiz.
That said, since many of us cannot control a few of those factors, here are some very brief answers to your reasonable questions.
- Get in something that they notice.
1b. If you represent the ability to bring them money, they’ll notice.
- Consider one of the high profile improv, sketch schools.
2b.Carrey did stand up.
2c. I know some people who had success with sketch on the Internet.
- A kick ass demo tape, AND solid connections.
3b. A kick ass agent.
4b. Work your ass off.
- Stand up comedy.
- Run for president.
6b. Consider a life of crime.
In all seriousness, all these questions are being constantly asked by myself, 99% of working actors, and 100% of aspiring actors. Only difference between your questions and the answers I had to discover myself 25 years ago, is now the ability to film yourself with quality gear is much cheaper, and platforms to the public are available with the Internet. It’s sort of the Wild West, and the old guard hasn’t quite figured out how to control every aspect of it.
Again best of luck.
If you ever discover the magic answer, please re-reach out and share it with me… And if you’re ever in the A list position, upper tiers, I hope you tell directors and producers to hire THIS GUY if I’m still upright, still in the biz, still knocking on doors, working my ass off, and SMASHING MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL to figure out nearly these very same answers.”