Many actors think that the big prize of stardom will be theirs if only they just hang on in there, no matter how difficult things seem now, just give it another couple of years, afterall, didn't such-and-such-a-famous-actor spend 15 years getting his big break, didn't that other actor go on 3 million auditions before he made his first million – the inference here is: IT COULD BE YOU, if only you just keep “believing” then “it” will happen for you. The mentality of the lottery-playing-get-rich-quick-actor (irony intended) thinks that artistic ardour amounts to sticking to their routine at the gym, and spends endless money on THE MOST EXPENSIVE HEADSHOTS, the logic being that the more expensive the headshot the more likely it is to get that actor work, and further, this actor infantalises themselves and submits their life and happiness to the whim of an apparent authority figure, the person they think can unlock the gates to the Palace Of The Social Elite. This actor who spends their whole life trying to get into the country club and sneers at art, is seen as the “serious” actor in this era of crass commercialism that we live, because not only do they want to win the jackpot, but they are willing to follow the prescribed path (of obediance) in order to do so... Of course, almost all fail, as indeed almost all fail to get rich via the National Lottery.
There is however, another kind of actor, the aesthetic actor, who recoils at the thought of kissing ass because he wants his actions to speak for him, this actor simply dedicates himself to being an artist and pursues an aesthetic agenda (or put another way: dedicates himself to attaining truth and excellence in his work). This aesthetic actor however, is seen as “unserious” because, as with all individual creative artists, he follows his own path which may be exhilarating only to himself, his actions may seem incomprehensible to others, and further, this actor is uninterested in getting brand names onto his CV, and worse, he is unwilling to spend money in the right areas. This actor is, therefore, to be denigrated, and especially so for having the impertinence to want control over his life and work, afterall, aren't actors supposed to grovell with their begging bowls, frantically scrabbling around on the floor for whatever crumbs are thrown their way, and poking out the eyes of their brothers and sisters in the process...*cough, cough*...i'm sorry, I meant pursuing SUCCESS not scrabbling on the floor for crumbs. I do apologise for that slight slip of the tongue. But no, the aesthetic actor will be told to forsake his reason and stop being “negative”, he will be told he “doesn't really believe”, and worst of all, that he is “a loser”...and...“just, who do you think you ARE?”
However, I say, and in the words of the great Al Pacino, “you've only got today, that's all you've got”. How much of your life are you willing to spend “standing around in the dark waiting to be picked “ (ie - the casting process). How many years? 10? 15? 20? What is an acceptable amount of time? At which point do you stop “believing”? I know actors who have quit the business entirely but continue to tell me that they still “believe”. Believe in what, I ask you? If you just keep “believing” for another 9 years you MIGHT have a shot at stardom. And what does this stardom amount to? A part on a well known television show? Perhaps work on an expensive movie? Who knows? And remember, before you actually get to become a star you'll have to be cast via the audition process where somebody will decide whether, yay or nay, you can proceed to stardom. All those years of toil and sacrifice and subservience boil down to somebody in some room somewhere, deciding for you, whether you've been wasting your time or not. Nice.
I say, don't worry if you're not conforming to the prescribed path. It's not easy to stand your ground, but do so, and don't let a flip remark by a casual aquaintance upset your apple cart. Infact, what others say or do has got nothing to do with you, and therefore should not concern you. Remember that those who would denigrate you because you refuse to pander to authority, are doing so simply in order to make themselves feel secure, they are cowards who need to feel that they too are part of the country club (whether they are or not, or whether it's even possible that they might be in the future, is apparently not open to scrutiny, it's a given). Sometimes those things you do for love will not work out, and sometimes you will look at someone who works with purely venal motives and it does work - that's life – it should not cause you to throw everything out of the window. Stick to your guns. What is important is that you're living your life, and that you take responsibility for it. Don't mortgage the present for some imaginary future good, follow your own personal truth, and do so today.