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(Continued from home page...) Unfortunately,  those 'work-arounds' take extra time and money to accomodate.  And, that extra time and money is the real career killer.  A lot of times you'll hear a new actor say 'Heck my first year out here, I was booking work left and right...now I can't even get arrested!'  The dreaded 'second year curse.'

If you haven't heard of it, it goes something like this: A young actress moves to Hollywood to start her career.  She takes some classes, gets an agent and books a role on a show.  Then she gets another and another and another.  Her first year in town and she ends up booking a good dozen or so great roles on primetime television shows.

She calls home to tell Mom and Dad she's on her way to the big time...and then the next season...nothing.

It goes on this way for the next four or five years, maybe she picks up a role here or there, but for the most part...nothing.  The frustration sets in, she packs up her things and moves home.  So, what happened?

Most folk immediately jump to blame the industry.  'Hollywood doesn't know good talent' or 'It's all who you know' or 'It's all who you sleep with' or some variation on that theme.  And for the most part, they're all wrong.

The simple fact of the matter is money.

Our young actress stumbled into a couple of monetary realities in the entertainment business.  The first one is that Hollywood needs 'fresh faces'.  As in, they can't have the same 20 or 30 people play 'waiter', 'girlfriend' or 'police officer #2' over and over again.  People will start to recognize them and that ruins the illusion.

Second,  they need people that know how to do the job really well.  At $700.00 per minute, they don't have time to 'train' people how to do the job.  They need you to know how to do the job right, or they can't financially justify using you in any meaningful capacity.

So, when you're no longer a 'fresh face', but you don't have enough job skills to work quickly and efficiently...you stop working.  Plain and simple.

People that budget for films and television shows are experts at what they do.  They strive to account for every expense right down to the pencils!  If it takes you three takes to 'get it right' when a pro can do it in one, how much do you think that's going to cost over the course of a film shoot?

Figure on a feature film, you are going to do thousands of takes over the course of the shoot and if each take takes just two minutes...well your two or three 'extra' takes is going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The problem is that you need experience under the specific environment of film and television acting to learn how to do the job.  This is the same for any job really...whether it's a mechanic, a cook or a bartender.  Just because you can mix a drink, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can work a crowded bar!  As such, just because you can act THAT doesn't necessarily mean that you can work on a professional set either.

There's the 'Catch-22' as it were.  Much like getting a credit card, the more credit you have, the easier it is to get a credit card.  Same for acting...the more credits you have, the easier it is to get more credits.  

So, how do you get those credits?  Time is the easy answer.  But, to use the credit card example, imagine if when you got your first credit card you charged it all the way up and made late payments all the time.

Then when you finally got your credit fixed up enough, you did the same thing with your next credit card.

And then the next one.

How long do you think it will take to build up good credit that way?

I'd say it'd probably take you at least ten years, if ever.  And, as far as acting goes, that's precisely what happens in the 'second year curse' example.  Our actress had the opportunity to prove herself, but she just didn't know how.

But, imagine that when you got your first credit card, you used it responsibly, made your payments on time and did everything just right.  And then did that with your next credit card and the next one and so on.  How much faster is your credit rating going to go up then?

Two or three years and you could probably buy a house with just your signature.  THAT should be your goal for your acting career as well!  If on your small gigs, you know how to do the job well, they'll give you bigger gigs.  Do well on those and you get bigger and better ones, I can assure you.

The truth is, it's HARD to find a 'good' actor or actress that knows how to do the job of professional acting really well!  So, how do you learn the job?

Well, up until now it was all 'trial and error'.  This is why it takes an average of ten years to get enough experience to do the job correctly.  If you don't believe me, just look up your favorite actor on IMDB.com and check out their resumes.

Acting schools don't teach this stuff, because most of them simply don't know.  Same's true for most books, which is why you'll find so many 'getting started' or 'survival' guides...they simply don't know either.  Remember, it takes specific experience to know how to do any job, not just acting jobs!

That's where this site comes in!  A great first step is to read the FREE ebook "Acting in the Real World: The Film Professional's Guidebook to the Job of Acting".  I wrote this book because I like actors and I want to see them succeed.  Never mind the fact that (hopefully) it will make my casting sessions (as well as my shoots) go quicker!

Seriously though, this is great information and I'm happy to share it with you.  And, please feel free to share your successes with me, I love to hear how my work has helped young actors succeed in this rough and tumble business.

Also, feel free to browse around and check out the articles and links I've provided.  I continue to expand on these as time permits and if you have any suggestions, feel free to e-mail me.

Check out the
 Free eBook to start learning today what it really takes to be a professional actor or actress in Hollywood.

Best of Luck and never forget...You Can't Fail If You Don't Quit!

D.L. White