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Backstage Experts

Actors, Stop Complaining—You Signed Up For This

Actors, Stop Complaining—You Signed Up For This
Photo Source: Photo by Omar Prestwich on Unsplash

Isn’t it crazy the things we do as actors to better understand our character?

Take me, for instance: I’m about to play a marine so I figured I had some homework to do. (For the record, I’m ridiculously skinny and still afraid of thunderstorms.) To prep, I decided to experience a military boot camp by way of some YouTube clips. You know what I saw? 

  • People getting yelled at.
  • People getting yelled at while they made their beds.
  • People getting yelled at as they endured strenuous physical activity.

And here was the crazy part: People were willingly signing up for this. Which made me think about acting. Except in acting, people tend to be much nicer to us. And yet, we still complain. 

I recently heard from an agent friend that she was on the train and overheard two actors complaining about their agents. (Side note: don’t complain in public places; you never know who is listening.)

READ: How to Normalize Rejection

Sure, there are going to be pains and inconveniences that come with this business. Like any job, we have our share of bad days. Maybe you’re like me and hear a negative voice who is yelling at you, telling you that you’re not enough because you still haven’t booked a co-star even though the rest of your (younger) friends already have.

But the important thing to remember here is that we all willingly signed up for this. 

The good news? If you’re willing to endure some pain, you’re in the right place. If you’re willing to work on a timeline that’s much longer than the one you originally were hoping for, you deserve to be here. And I truly hope you book all those roles that your coworkers from your day job keep asking you about. (“Have you ever just tried to be on Second City before?! You should totally be on Second City!”) 

Fortunately, we’re not in the military—we’re in the arts. They’re therapeutic. They’re beautiful. And they’re fun! Don’t forget that.

We chose to be here. Focus on the fun and the fact that none of us are victims. In fact, we’re pretty blessed and fortunate that we get to be artists. Let’s go get ‘em, friend.

Tony Rossi is an actor working out of Chicago with a strong interest in personal development. As he continues to build his resume, he loves helping his peers recognize their self-worth regardless of where they are in their careers. Follow his positive thoughts, inspirational videos, and #notperfect moments on TwitterInstagram, and on his podcast, “The Tony Rossi Show.”

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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