Why Do You Want to Be an Actor?

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Photo Source: Eduardo Pastor on Unsplash

Why are we doing this?

As actors and creatives, it’s important to ask ourselves this question. Do you ever stop and ask yourself why you want to act? Or create? Or live your life as an artist?

Sometimes we lose connection to—or allow the business to contaminate—the original reasons why we wanted to create. And for that reason alone, it’s important to revisit the deeper reasons we call ourselves artists.

If it’s for the applause—that will fade away. If it’s for the adulation, that will be replaced by someone younger, hotter, smarter being the new flavor of the month. If it’s for approval, acceptance, worthiness, or love—you won't ever find it anywhere outside of yourself. You can’t get it from a teacher or lover or friend or parent or casting director or agent.

You have to start doing it for you. Find the reasons why you wanted to do it in the beginning. To create. To express. To have fun. To be human. To actually discover yourself.

Those are the real reasons we’re doing it, and we’re not even aware of it. We’re not even aware of the deeper forces at play within ourselves that compel us to make art. To tell stories. To feel. To emote. To risk. To share. To live life courageously and vulnerably as an artist.

We’re brainwashed into thinking our challenges will be solved. We'll have your “come to Jesus” moment—when we book the TV series, star opposite Russell Crowe, have the perfect boyfriend, buy that great house or car—and what we realize is that the outer can never replace the inner.

Those things may be gratifying. Intoxicating. Exciting. Fun. And those things are deserved. They’re wonderful. They can be career-building and part of our journey.

But real fulfillment is in our discovering not only who we are but also overcoming all the limitations we’ve placed on our humanity in the pursuit of this thing called acting.

We must start doing it for ourselves. Celebrate who we are. In the audition room. In the performance. In getting or not getting a job. In the victories and the struggles. In our deepest primal and spiritual connection to the reason we wanted to act in the first place: We need to reflect back to humanity what it really means to be human.

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Anthony Meindl
Anthony Meindl is an award-winning writer-director-producer, creativity expert, inspirational speaker, and artistic director of Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop (AMAW) with studios in Los Angeles, New York, London, Sydney, and Vancouver.
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