How to Turn Industry Obstacles Into Fortunes

Let’s face it: When you signed up to be an actor, you signed up for the journey. You signed up for all of the big wins—the creativity, the comedy, the drama, the joy—as well as the many of auditions, the challenging moments, and the various obstacles, small and large, that will pepper your path as an artist.

We all face challenges in this industry, but what separates successful, thriving artists from others is a little thing called mindset. It’s our approach to solving problems that will determine our ability to succeed.

I would say that the single most important thing that you can do as an actor—and as a human being, really—is to adopt an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for the challenges. Be thankful for the wins. Be thankful for the rich and beautiful journey that you are on, for being an actor is all about inspiring others. You get to tell stories as a job and make people laugh, dream, and look at life differently.

Here are four common industry obstacles that you may encounter as an actor, and some ways that you can transform into opportunities!

1. Your audition scene partner is inexperienced. Rather than panicking and thinking that a less experienced actor is going to make you look bad and prevent you for getting the job, see this as an opportunity. Firstly, you will definitely outshine the more inexperienced scene partner, demonstrating to casting that you are able to successfully work with not-so-talented actors. Secondly, this is great preparation for working with stand-ins on actual film sets. Often, over-the-shoulder shots will be done with a stand-in instead of an actual actor on set. Since you’ve worked with beginner actors in the audition room, you will be able to deliver a compelling performance, no matter the circumstances!

Also, see this as an opportunity to be generous—to share your creativity with another actor, and to help him or her to grow. And as always, be grateful for the opportunity to audition!

2. Dealing with long hours. Be grateful for the job! Remember where you were when you started your career? Now here you are on a professional set, making art! And not only are you making art, but you are also earning money. And if you work overtime, you will make even better money.

3. Making it to the final two for a role and not being selected. You’ve made it so far! Know that you’ve made a lasting impression on the producers and director, and that you’ve won fans for the rest of your career. Remember that thousands of actors likely submitted for the role, and you made it all the way to the final two. All of the directors, producers, and executives who considered you most definitely have you at the top of their lists and will be looking for ways to plug you into future projects!

4. Your agent drops you. Hooray! You get to find an agent who understands the breadth of your talent, believes in you, and will be behind you 100 percent. Chances are, things weren’t going very well with this agent anyway. Go out and find someone who will be truly invested in you and your career vision.

Again, gratitude is the way you go. The more thankful you are, the more opportunities you will receive! Embrace the challenges and obstacles. Trust that success is coming your way! And have fun out there!

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