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Do You Remember the Moment You Decided to Be an Actor?

"I decided I wanted to become an actor at two different times in my life. Creatively, I knew at the age of 5 or 6. I was in love with pretending or becoming another character. However, I logically made the decision at the age of 28, which many said was late. I ignored the negative comments and moved forward, and to Los Angeles, where I'm now a proud SAG member, always looking for the next opportunity. Confidence makes a huge difference. I needed the time and experience to gain it. Now I'm looking forward to playing more roles on television!"

—Leslie Ivarson, Los Angeles

"The summer before my senior year of high school, I took an acting intensive class. I was sitting under a tree after a particularly memorable scene-study class, and it dawned on me that acting was what I wanted to do more than anything. I had always been interested in acting, but ballet was my main focus. I started auditioning for the plays in high school. But it definitely wasn't until that day, under the tree, I finally admitted to myself that I was going to be an actor."

—Jen Bailey, Los Angeles

"I was 14 years old and had just started playing Dungeons & Dragons. I loved making up the characters and their attributes. It was different each time, and it never got old. I could do or say anything, because it was character-based. That meant that I could be as off-the-wall as I wanted. I honestly could not get enough of it. Soon after, I begged my mom to let me enroll in acting classes. That was really the beginning!"

—Seregon O'Dassey, New York

 "I decided to become an actor when I first saw Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music.' I thought, Wow, I want to sing, dance, and act just like that! I grew up watching old musicals such as 'Annie' and 'Oklahoma!' I remember I would dance and sing around my living room, reciting all the lines from every musical. Unfortunately, I am not the greatest singer, so I decided to stick to straight acting. I soon transitioned from watching musicals to studying the great film actors, like Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Al Pacino, and Johnny Depp. Now I am a professional actor in Los Angeles!"

—Davon Clark, Los Angeles

"Years ago, I chose to sacrifice a six-figure executive career in order to pursue a career in acting. But the actual decision to be an actor was made in sixth grade. My teacher had just handed the class an assignment: what I want to be when I grow up. I thought about all the things I ever wanted to be: a fireman, an astronaut, a zoologist, a cartoonist, and even an Olympic swimmer. That's when I knew—suddenly and with absolute certainty—I would be an actor. When I left my executive career, I closed my eyes and smiled, because I could hear that little boy cheering."

—Dave Lankford, New York

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