“There is a certain resolve that a person must have to persist at something that seems intangible at times.” Steve Carell, The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide
When I read this, I thought, “Steve, why’d you steal my quote?” But it’s a good one that deserves to be heard, so I’ll let him have it.
The resolve Mr. Carell and I refer to is the decision an actor makes that allows them to stay the course on a journey that often seems long, confusing, and sometimes, hopeless. It’s the commitment to keep forging on no matter which difficulties are thrown their way. And once this resolution is set, it’s the knowledge that only hard work could possibly make the intangible slightly more tangible.
But to succeed at anything, especially a field as competitive and trying as acting, where thousands are waiting in line behind you and everyone seems to be talented, it often takes more than just hard work to get ahead; it takes a level of obsessive determination. And for many actors, the idea of putting in more time and more effort and more passion into the craft is easy because they love it so much. It’s what they live and breathe for and they literally can’t imagine doing anything else. Escaping into the world of another character is the drug these actors are shamelessly addicted to and this very addiction is what pulls them through the many difficult situations of this Olympian-level industry called Hollywood.
Others, though, have only convinced themselves that they love acting but their actions show otherwise. For one reason or another, whether it be the seemingly glittery facade of fame and money or the lack of recognition that their passion has faded, these actors are only going through the motions, doing what needs to be done but rarely more. They’re in acting classes because it’s good to be in acting classes. They have headshots because they know they need them. And they somehow even managed to find representation. Will these actors make it, you ask? Well, everyone gets sprinkled with that magical lucky dust sometimes. But no, only true love will give an actor the strength to make that ‘certain resolve’ and energy for the obsessive determination that is needed to carry them to a lasting career.