Marci Phillips, the Executive Director of ABC Casting, discusses how to pursue a career acting in New York City without breaking your heart.
Our lives can usually best be seen through the rearview mirror. We rarely look at all the positive things that we have here and now because we’re too busy obsessing about the things that we don’t have. We rarely take a moment within the craziness of our day to stop the noise and simply be grateful.
Do you think that this business and New York casting in general is unfair? OK, but please show me a business that isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, if I ruled the world every talented actor would be making their living acting, and roles would all be cast according to whomever is the best for the job. But this is a very subjective business, and who is “best” for the job depends on the perspective and psyche of the individual doing the hiring. Today the role goes to the other guy, and tomorrow it might go to you. When you get the job, you’re no longer thinking, “That’s not fair,” but the actors that lost out to you may be thinking it! Instead of seeing things as unfair, ask yourself how you can grow from whatever happens. Success may—or may not—bring you peace, but disappointment can bring you wisdom.
The angst of your career not being where you want it to be can only bring you more angst. Thoughts become things so it may be time to stop programming your brain towards negativity. Remind yourself of all the things that you actually have accomplished and don’t belittle these achievements—no matter how “small” you perceive them to be. There’s always someone out there who would be very happy to have experienced the wins that you’ve already had.
Many people, myself included, have experienced being financially broke. This period of time can either break you, or it can play a huge part in your growth and development. To know that you can live and somehow make ends meet with next to no resources is very empowering. When you eventually get out of your financial rut (and you must believe that you will), you’ll have the knowledge that you indeed survived it and that makes you stronger. No one can ever take that away from you.
If you look at this business as cruel and unjust then you’re right—that’s what it will be. If you look at this business as a crazy adventure where anything is possible, then you’re right—that’s what it will be. I didn’t write this article to invalidate your experiences or your feelings. I wrote this to remind you that where you are today is more wonderful than you probably realize.
Marci Phillips is the Executive Director of ABC Casting. The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to Marci Phillips and do not necessarily reflect the views or endorsement of ABC, Disney or any of its subsidiaries. Marci is the author of “The Present Actor – A Practical and Spiritual Guideline to Help You Enjoy the Ride” available on Amazon.com.