Some actors seem to have all the luck. The odds are always in their favor and they always seem to be at the right place at the right time. You know the actors I’m talking about: The ones who are always auditioning, are always doing a show, and seem to consistently have one or even two commercials running at the same time. Here are four things these “lucky” actors know that you might not:
- Their Market
Where you decide to start your career can determine your success and your “luck.” I’m sure you know the saying, “Would you rather be a big fish in a small pond or small fish in a big pond?” Successful actors know when to be the big fish and when it’s time to be the small fish. Most actors decide to be the small fish in the big pond right away by hastily making the move to L.A. or NYC with no training, no professional headshots, no credits, and no connections in their new city. They come swimming into town thinking an agent is going to call them up and sign them, and they’ll be on the road to starring in a big Broadway show or a Hollywood blockbuster. Occasionally, a really good-looking fish will find this path to success, but most of us will be stuck swimming upstream trying to catch up.
If you haven’t made the move yet, get experience first! Build your résumé, take classes, and start meeting people on social media in NYC or L.A. Become that big fish in your small pond, then make the move.
If you’ve already made the move, find your pond by finding your focus. Instead of trying to dabble in musical theater, film, TV, voiceovers, and commercials this year, choose one medium to focus on. Try to build experience in one area and make connections with industry professionals in that one pond until you become a big fish there. You’ll discover that if you find great success in one medium, it will lead to success in other areas.
- Their Brand
Some lucky actors might not consciously know it, but they know who they are and they do it on purpose everywhere. You need to discover what makes you different from every other actor out there and make sure your headshot, social media, website, reel, and even your audition clothes reflect that. As you get to a higher level in your career, most people will be talented, funny, or beautiful, but it’s your singular look, experiences, and perspective that you bring to the material that will win you the role.
- The Right People
This business is all about who you know. To increase your luck, start associating with the right people. Supermodel and entrepreneur Kathy Ireland said we must be able to “discern engines that move us forward and anchors that pull us down.” Who in your network is an engine and who’s an anchor? Who’s on the same page as you and is helping you get closer to your goals? Is there anyone in your group of friends whose negative attitude is bringing you down? Start meeting new people offline and on social media who will become engines, not anchors, for your career.
- To Constantly Work on Their Craft
Ironically, this is where many actors fall short. They are attending workshops to meet new people and auditioning every chance they get, but don’t work on their craft enough. The most successful actors all know that even with success they must be constantly preparing and training for the next job opportunity. You can get that big chance, but if you can’t deliver when you’re in the audition room it will pass you by. So in addition to Nos. 1–3 above, you must continue to train. Find a good book on acting to read, take a class, or find a good audition coach.
As you can see, these fortunate actors aren’t just lucky—they’re creating their own luck!
Want 13 (yes, lucky 13!) of my favorite resources to make more things happen in your career? Grab the list here.
Start making your own luck by browsing our cruise lines listings! And for advice on working at your craft, watch the video below.
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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.