Why I Stopped Pursuing an Acting Career
When I was younger, I desperately wanted to be an actress. As a teenager I thought I was willing to do whatever it took to make it in the industry. As I got older, I realized this career was not as “perfect” for me as I originally thought.
- Traveling alone
The only times I was on a set, it was close to my hometown and I was young enough that my parents had to be with me. As I got older, the idea of traveling for filming was terrifying. Traveling alone is not something on my bucket list. I did not feel safe going to an unknown city without somebody I trusted nearby.
- Job security
Acting is not a career path for those looking for job security. Even when you are constantly submitting to roles, you have no idea when / if your next job is going to come through. As I got older, I realized I would rather have a job with a steady paycheck that I can count on and budget.
- Body image issues
When I was chasing acting, I was hyper-aware of how my body looked at any given moment. I was always comparing myself to actresses I looked up to. Over the years, I realized the relationship I had with my body was unhealthy and changes needed to be made.
- Work / life balance
If I happened to be given a miracle and book a huge movie, that would mean I would likely be filming for an extended period of time outside of my hometown. When I was getting ready to sign with an agency, I read that I could have less than 24 hours notice before having to fly out of state for auditions or filming. As someone who likes to plan things out, this kind of schedule only stressed me out.
- Start up costs
Acting can be expensive at the beginning. There’s the cost of classes, headshots, travel, casting websites, and more to consider. Since many roles beginning actors book are unpaid, this makes the start up costs more difficult.
Interacting with strangers is something that cannot be avoided, but acting takes this to the next level. Many of the roles that were available for me to submit to involved my character having to kiss another character. This means kissing strangers, or acting out intimate scenes, in auditions and on camera. Maybe I am simply too shy or prudish for the career, but it was something that was too far out of my comfort zone.
- Damaging mindset
Some roles were too damaging to consider auditioning for. Getting into the mindset of dark characters can be easy to slip into, but difficult to snap out of. I didn’t like how I felt when I rehearsed certain scenes/ monologues.
It is too easy to get hit with a scam in the acting industry. Whether it is a fake agency or a fake movie listing, it is scary how many dangerous situations I could have walked into.
Acting still looks like a fun career, but I now know that it is not for me. I may audition for a short film in my hometown or help out backstage at a community theater in the future, but I cannot see myself dropping everything to chase a Hollywood acting career.