Would you trust anyone to be your doctor simply because they watch a lot of hospital dramas on television, have just always dreamed of being a doctor, and therefore believe themselves to be just as qualified as a real doctor? Would you trust adorable young kiddos to give you that amazing new haircut currently trending on Pinterest that you have been wanting and have even created your own private board for last week? If I were to guess the answer.... I would have to guess....No. and WHY??????? BECAUSE: lack of training, qualification and experience! Did I get it? Do you agree? (#iamnotwrong)
To work as a professional creative artist in the entertainment industry, whether as an actor, dancer, singer, musician, all of the above, and really any entertainment professional for that matter, the rule still applies. It is hard for me to understand how so many new and inexperienced creative artists, (and especially parents of young and inexperienced creative artist's) expect and sometimes demand such a complex, unpredictable, roller coaster ride, A.K.A. "The Entertainment Industry," to open all it's doors and windows, blowing a wind of opportunity and success the very second they made a decision to give good Ol' Hollywood a "try." .......with No EXPERIENCE, NO TRAINING, and NO INVESTMENT WHATSOEVER. In what profession is this ever acceptable?
In this business and in any business really...if you want to WIN you have to work!! You have to commit to doing whatever it takes, (and for at least ten years), so you can study and develop the art of your craft, by remaining faithfully dedicated to yourself and to the process. You will have to invest financially because time is money. When you ask of and require time to be spent on you, you will have to compensate the industry professionals, in which you sub-contract, for their skill, time, knowledge, and expertise. For example: classes, workshops, private lessons, monthly casting site subscriptions, stylists, photographers, demo reel editing, website, printing costs, beauty and skin care, postage, gas, parking, travel, etc. etc. YOU ARE THE FOUNDER, CEO, CFO AND TALENT BABY OF YOUR BRAND!
I have listed four things, that talent should know, do and understand, from the beginning if they want to compete at a professional level..
1. Enroll in a weekly class or series of weekly classes, at a commercial entertainment studio, that focuses on techniques and methods specific to commercial entertainment, such as film and television.
2. Find a private mentor/coach to help develop YOUR craft, in a personal way, that is specific towards developing your creative vision and own unique artistic expression. With the internet (via Skype), you can learn from anyone and anywhere!! So don't limit yourself and really find someone GREAT!
3. Create a short term AND long term plan, focused on developing your strengths to become stronger and your weaknesses to become strong. For example: If your vocal tone is not present enough when delivering lines, then find a vocal coach and allow your coach to work and build your voice. Maybe you tend to look stiff when working a scene, so enroll in a dance class, or study yoga. You may be a great athlete, but train MORE and become a BETTER athlete. Go above and beyond the role or position you play and understand all roles, positions, and plays of the sport. Gaining extra knowledge and extra experience in many different things, will help you tremendously as a creative artist.
4. Learn and understand EVERYTHING you can about the BUSINESS of "THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS." Entertainment IS a business and it is important to treat it as such, or you will go "OUT OF BUSINESS." The entertainment industry is certainly a top contender for one of the most lucrative, most powerful, most influential, and most competitive of all the industries combined, so you better get really good at conducting it.
If you are a creative artist, or parent of a creative artist, and have been searching for things you should be doing, this list is a GREAT place to start! I hope this post was helpful and gave the guidance you have been looking for. If you are passionate and really want to work professionally as an entertainer GO FOR IT!! Dive in, commit, study, train, alway stay humble, remain grateful and NEVER GIVE UP!!