I like to start with why.
Why am I writing a blog called The Failed Actor’s Blog? It’s simple. Last year I came to face certain truths that have been lurking in the background of my life for many, many years. It’s a simple truth. And the truth goes something like this: No matter what I did, no matter how experienced I was, no matter how hard I worked to be the best actor that I could be (with all it’s implied limitations) no matter what I have sacrificed (and the sacrifices have been legion) my career was failing.
I have to take some blame for that and I am sure that we will discuss this in future blogs. There are many ways that I have failed myself. I could have been more confident in selling myself, I could have worked harder at developing accent work that would have made my CV more attractive. All these and more we will explore.
But what is often not explored is how so many actors are failed, not by themselves only, but by an industry that is determined to keep actors silent, acquiescent. An industry, whose brutal, competitive nature creates an environment that leads to mental health issues and burgeoning egos. Where careers are launched and lauded and yet the 1% that work constantly do not represent the world we live in nor is it guaranteed that they have any talent, whatsoever.
Again and again I ask myself why? Why is the industry this way? And can it be any better? I don’t know. But I am going to use this blog to explore all of this. I am not perfect. Due to reviews I’ve received and how I have developed my craft I know I am a good actor but I was striving more to be a ‘working’ actor. I never ever cared about fame and fortune (not that that wouldn’t have been nice) but I did want to always be able to pay my rent through my acting career. That hardly ever happened. There have been bursts of that but mostly I have had to do other jobs to just survive. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Until you enter your forties and you realise that this is going to be your life. That you are not going to achieve being a ‘working’ actor and that there are so many obstacles against you that you start to recognise the new truth – it isn’t going to happen for you. And that brings much sadness, some regret and an awful feeling of waste.
I want to explore those obstacles and ask why they are there and what, if anything, can be done about them.