There is a life after drama school
Here I am sitting to write a blog for actors whilst reading a script for an audition on a train to London. Who the bloody hell do I think I am?!
Sometimes, I’m Barbara Streisand (cue the opening of ‘Don’t Rain on my god damn Parade’) and other times, I’m at home all day in my joggers watching Brooklyn 99 and eating, a lot. The truth of it is, we all have huge ups and downs, my rail card expires alarmingly soon and this is the first audition I’ve had in a very long time. So, as I sit and scratch my head in thought, and the dry shampoo stuck to my hair slowly flutters onto my key board, I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned since graduating drama school and if you’re still reading, thank you!
1. People are going to treat you like you are not a ‘serious human’
Now lets slightly unpack this above statement. Basically, most people who aren’t in our industry will never understand why on gods earth, we would choose to do something so ‘unreliable’, something so ‘self-indulgent’ something we can’t possibly make a career out of, ‘Actors don’t know what a days work is!’ I’ve heard em all, and I’m sure you guys have experienced similar.
Well, STEVE because we enjoy it, it’s a way to express ourselves, we are brave and take risks in the hope our dreams will pay off whilst we bust a gut doing things that we often detest like working in admin with you.
Who even wants to be a serious human?! I have realised people are often afraid to chase their own dreams, and find others who have, quite intimidating and try to put their own fears into the hearts of others. This is just a part of life, so having confidence and love for yourself will allow you to bypass the NEG and crack on towards your goals. Which brings me to my next point….
Nothing is more important than YOU and the way you feel about yourself, and the way your life is going. The industry is incredibly random often leaving people (me defo) feeling unstable with no real direction, so having confidence and support for yourself is vital. I am a home bird and I really love stability, a good old plan and things in the pipeline to look forward too, which really does not align well with being a performer because HOW CAN I EVER BOOK A HOLIDAY? WHAT IF I GET AN AUDITION? HOW CAN I EVER GET A HOUSE? MAYBE I’LL HAVE IT ALL WITH A VILLA IN FRANCE? MAYBE ILL HAVE MY 3RDBATH OF THE DAY BC I’M SO DONE WITH THIS SHIT. Lol, these are often my thoughts. Create your own self care routine that works for you! Don’t forget that there is a place in this industry for everyone and your talents are just as important as the next person’s. My fave ‘go to’ things when I’m feeling a little lost are watching Simon Sinek video’s on YouTube, Gary Vaynerchuk and Oprah, watch them whilst eating your breakfast and it will set you up to take on your day.
3. Getting a job that’s got NOWT to do with being an Actor
Unless your parents are loaded, you’re gunna need a job to fund your lifestyle whilst you work towards your overall mission. I have had SO.MANY.JOBS, some dreadful but some really rewarding that have given me experience in areas I never thought possible, take your mind off the constant anxiety of it all and actually allow you to have a life. It’s not all about the acting, the more experience you gain the better actor you will be and maybe you can book yourself a blummin holiday! You deserve it.
4. Drama School
Is brilliant, but I didn’t absolutely love every single minute of it. It was really testing with a never ending work load and I have never had as many spots in my life as I did whilst training. You learn so much about yourself at drama school as well as all the tools you need to become a better actor and I am so grateful I was chosen to go! BUUUUUUT it’s not for everyone and it doesn’t mean you can’t carve your own way because you haven’t ‘trained’. There are loads of great workshops and classes in London and Manchester (YES THE NORTH IS HAPPENIN TOO YANO) you can sign up for with or without an agent, and they are great for meeting new friends and putting on your own work.
5. ‘’Live an ordinary life but have an extraordinary career’’
Um? Yeah? Ok but WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! Like thanks, if it was so easy we would all be bloody at it, right? Then I realised what it actually means… We were so lucky to have Eddie Marsan speak at our recent graduation and he spoke about his amazing career (which has also had dry spells believe it or not) and he reminded us that, being an actor is a fantastic and brave thing to do, but it’s your job. He told us not to get career and life mixed up too much, get married, save for a house do all the normal things then go and smash your acting when it’s your time to do so. (Easy for Eddie bloody Marsan to say right?) But he is right.
So, there we have it! Just some of the things I’ve been thinking of recently and now I have been able to share them with you, so thanks for reading! Stay positive and don’t take it all too seriously, there’s always one d*** at an audition doing that for you. Oh and these are just a few pointers I hope might be helpful. Take them or leave them as you wish, who am I to preach? I’m only an ACTOR. Lolz. (If u know a STEVE in your life, tell him to get lost)
Did you go to drama school? Have you paved your own way?