You’re Going to Get Discouraged

Stefanie Townsend

What is an actor without their dream? Chances are, you have one. A great one. A huge one.

You might dream of being on Broadway, playing your favorite role in your favorite show. Performing at the Tonys and winning one of your own.

You might dream about starring in an indie movie, winning at Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes. Dream about sitting in the theatre in Hollywood, holding your breath as the envelope holding the Oscar winner’s name is being opened. You can see yourself crying as you walk up to the stage, accepting your award and thanking everyone in the world.

Hold onto that dream. Hold onto it, and love your craft. Nobody knows what the future holds. Those dreams might be a reality.

But the journey will not be easy.

Nobody can tell you what the future holds for you. Nobody can predict what will become of your career.

But I can promise you this – you’re going to get discouraged.

It’s something you can’t escape.

You will memorize so many monologues. You will go to more auditions than you can count, and potentially care to count. You’ll be excited to have the opportunities, of course. But it will become a chore. It will feel like another day and another audition.

You will wonder what you’re doing with your life. You’ll wonder why you chose this path. You’ll want to cancel your auditions, you’ll want to throw away your headshots, tear up your resume. You’ll stare at the ceiling instead of rehearsing. You’ll wonder if you want to cry or throw a fit or just lie on the ground in surrender.

You’ll watch every movie, asking yourself what they’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. You’ll watch your friends and classmates perform, kicking yourself for not being them.

Your acting books will sit on the shelves, unread. You’ll ask yourself why you signed up for this audition. You know why you did. But you don’t have any desire to go.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Maybe you take a book off the shelf and it lights a new spark. Perhaps that new technique you learned in class helps you discover something new and you get inspired all over again. The monologue you work on is a challenge you refuse to give up on and you remember your love for acting. The audition you went to went better than you thought and you’re re-energized.

You find your love and passion again.

Your passion won’t disappear. It will hide under the pile of discouragement that comes from being an actor.

You’ll get discouraged. It happens. But it comes and it goes. And you’ll always remember why you chose this, and that will keep you going.