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Backstage Experts

6 Signs You’re Meant to Be an Actor

6 Signs You’re Meant to Be an Actor

When children are growing up, they are often encouraged to take a part in the school play or musical. Acting is a good thing to explore. If you were an ebullient, outgoing, or social child, you may have heard, “You are a natural born actor.” But if you were shy or more reserved, you may have heard, “Why don’t you take an acting class? It will help you to be more comfortable in front of people.” These can be experiences that mark you and give you the taste for being an actor. Right then and there you could have gotten hooked by the acting bug and made you think, I want to be an actor when I grow up. But how do you know if you are really meant to pursue a career in acting? 

As you keep dealing with the obstacles that an acting career offers, you have to keep asking yourself, is this your purpose? Are you meant to go on this roller coaster?

Here are six irrefutable signs that you are meant to act:

1. You want to act all of the time. You wake up in the morning and all you think about all day every day is acting. You keep hearing that magic calling that gnaws at your gut. You learn about why you want to act all the time. You know that if you don’t use yourself as an actor, you deny your humanity. You feel that fire in your gut to express yourself artistically. What you have to say is greater than the result, the paycheck, the recurring contract, the quote, or the awards. You are invested in the journey. You book work or you create it yourself! Because the need to work is as necessary as drinking water and breathing every day.

2. You want to connect with other characters. You love the transformation. You are fascinated with being a vessel and finding out how people behave in ordinary or extraordinary circumstances. You identify deeply with other people’s plights and triumphs—their pain, fears, rages, joys—that you cannot wait to tell stories that resonate with those feelings. 

3. You feel you could be a messenger. You want to share your humanity with others. You witness challenges, injustices, and transformations. They make you feel compassion and passion to effect change in the world. You have a need to give others profound experiences. You understand the world needs actors and you accept wholeheartedly the torch to carry.

4. Audiences want to watch you. You are told you are inspiring others through your work. You are intriguing, engaging, and entertaining. People are telling you that you make them think about life, you make them feel something, and you change the way they look at things. 

5. It’s fun to do it! Acting is supposed to be fun. You hear it all the time: “Just got out there and have fun.” It does not mean that you will not suffer the trials and tribulation that we know go along with the journey; it means that in the midst of how hard it is that there are moments of laughter, and when you look back on all of it, you never lose your sense of humor. 

6. You keep learning about who you are on a deeper level. Every character you work on teaches you about yourself. It helps you grow and tap into your maturity. You keep deepening and growing. Having aha moments and taking risks. 

To be an actor is so much more than paychecks or being recognized. You realize that you have a responsibility to be an actor. You are contributing something very valuable to the conversation about humanity. You know it’s your destiny to express yourself as an actor and no matter what you cannot quit!

Like this advice? Check out more from our Backstage Experts! 

Michelle Danner is an acting coach, owner of the Michelle Danner Acting Studio, and a Backstage Expert. Her next Golden Box master-class is June 27–28 at the Michelle Danner Acting Studio in Santa Monica. For more information, check out Danner’s full bio

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