As a professional headshot photographer in Los Angeles, I see how many people wish to be working actors in LA but they never will be. And, it is not because of lack of hard work, luck or talent. It is rather because they usually have a wrong attitude.
With plenty of hard work and the right mentors or teachers, many of you hope to become successful actors. But, merely talent and hard work are not all it takes.
In reality, to become a successful professional actor, you need to view acting as a career. It means that you should gain the mindset of a working actor along with other skills and professional headshots. But how to think like a professional working actor?
Be Easy to Work with
Besides delivering good work, casting directors usually search for actors who are easy to work with. If you perform well, and are polite to the people around you, and are trustworthy, anyone would want to work with you again and again. Even I sometimes go the extra mile with a professional headshot session if the person is pleasant and polite. This is the most important thing in building a successful acting career in Los Angeles.
Get into the Habit of Listening
Being able to listen is a key factor if you wish to work with directors, photographers, actors and other professionals in the Los Angeles entertainment industry. This does not mean that you shouldn’t have your own ideas and opinions. It rather means you listen to the directors and your fellow actors’ ideas and give them a thought.
As you are trying to get into the film industry, you should remember that the director is the authority when it comes to the final decisions. And their decision is the final one. A failure to listen to the director’s instructions can get you blacklisted faster than anything.
Accept Rejections and Move on
Any actor in Los Angeles should understand that they are going to get rejected – a lot. It is the nature of the LA film industry: actors spend less time on acting than auditioning. You cannot control the casting director’s decisions no matter how perfect you think a part is for you, or how talented you are. You should learn not to crush any time you get rejected as it is more than normal. You should not take it personally, and you better develop a thick skin to take everything easy.
Be Confident without Developing Huge Ego
It is important for actors to professionally achieve the right balance of humility and confidence. However, it is also vital to avoid developing a huge ego. Nobody wants to deal with a diva. You should remember that nobody is irreplaceable, especially in the Los Angeles film industry. Irrespective of how talented you are, the casting directors will find someone else if you are rude or miserable.
No matter how successful or famous you are, always be respectful and polite to everyone from the director to the film crew, and your fellow actors. Remember, that everyone has their key role in the production and they deserve to be treated with respect.
Learn Every Day
You always need to remain open to learning new things if you wish to build a sustainable acting career in Los Angeles. The most important lesson you need to learn is that you can never know everything about acting. That means you should never stop taking acting classes, polish your skills, and develop new ones.
As a headshot photographer, I’ve heard a lot of my clients say that every audition is not only an opportunity to get casted but also a great chance to learn. Have the attitude of improving your acting skills every day with every chance you get. Never underestimate the power of watching your fellow actors perform or taking people’s feedback. If you want long-term success as a professional actor, keep all these in mind.
As a Conclusion
Remember that as an actor, you need to develop a strong mindset. Wherever you are in your career you will have to deal with criticism, insecurity, rejection, dream stealers, and the massive highs and lows. They are all just part of ‘normal’ life for an actor in Los Angeles. This is what I’ve heard from my clients as a professional headshot photographer. And, you will have to not just deal with all these but stay positive and focused through it all.
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