There are a lot of posts out there with this title and they say a lot of different things, some give great advice and some…meh. The most respectable ones talk about headshots, training, the many years of work and how to get going when you don’t have any experience. All of that is vital and is definitely a huge part of how to become an actor. But I think there is one thing missing from the common advice out there that comes before all of that stuff.
If you really want to know how to become an actor, I want you to go along on a little ride with me.
Here’s a quick exercise: Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Feel your breath going in and out, feel your heart beating. Hear the sounds of the room you are in. Just get present. Now ask yourself this question: Why do I want to become an actor?
Now just listen for a moment.
Anything come up?
Okay, now hold that thought.
There is a fabulous speaker named Simon Sinek who gave a TED Talk called Start With Why. In his talk, he makes a great point:
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
He goes on to use the company Apple as an example. Most companies figure it’s enough to just say what the product does, listing off a bunch impressive specs. But Apple doesn’t do that. They start with why, then they go on to explain how, then they tell you what. Listen to Simon’s talk for his elegant explanation.
So perhaps starting with what in the case of an actor would look like listing your resume credits or really highlighting your appearance, skill set, or industry connections. But what if you got super clear, not just for everyone else but for yourself, about why you do this. For real. When you really look deep inside and discover your purpose, it will make everything else so much clearer. And fun!