Everyone has their ‘dream role’ in mind, whether it’s the lead in a Richard Curtis rom com, a Guy Ritchie gangster, or a heavyweight ‘tortured genius’ part in an Oscar-winning drama.
But lets put one thing to rest. You don’t walk out of drama school straight into a lead role in the next Ridley Scott movie (unless you’re Daisy Ridley, but even she had to take a few minor roles in television series before she got her big break!).
More often than not, it takes years of hard work and experience before you’re even put forward for those ‘dream roles’, so what do you do in the meantime?
Try something new. Say yes to roles you might not previously have considered, because they’re out of your comfort zone or in a TV show you don’t like.
You’ll stretch yourself as a performer, and, most importantly, you could make valuable new connections with the other members of the cast and crew. Every job should be viewed as a networking opportunity – you never know who you might meet on set!
Even if that receptionist part in Holby City doesn’t match your dream of playing Othello on stage at the RSC, you might end up chatting to the Director of Photography over a cup of tea at Craft Services, and he or she might then end up recommending you for a bigger role further down the line.
Why not try a medium you haven’t worked in before? An adaptable performer is a performer who won’t often find themselves out of work.
Radio plays and sitcoms offer great opportunities for actors when TV or film roles are thin on the ground, while immersive theatrical experiences like Punch Drunk or Secret Cinema require hundreds of actors to keep them going.
Whether it’s time off between shoots to take a refresher course, a weekly night class, or just listening to and learning from those around you, a performer should always be keen to evolve and develop their skills.
With a wave of new performers graduating from drama schools each year, the most successful actors make sure they stay at the top of the game by constantly learning new skills (a language, a physical skill, a new accent) which means they always have something new to offer.
Your career = your choice
Each performer follows their own individual path, and has their own specific ‘dream role’ or set of goals.
Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have a good agent, who understands where you’re going as an actor and puts you up for appropriate parts, but if not, then you’ll need to sit down and think carefully about how to get where you want to be.
If your ultimate goal is Shakespeare, then you might want to concentrate on stage roles and period theatre. If your goal is to get to Hollywood, start making those connections that will lead you to the right agent overseas.
Your career is in your hands. Good luck!
Date 8 June 2016 | Category: Actors | No comment