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3 Challenges Every New Actor Faces

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It’s no secret that acting is a challenging profession.  Some of these challenges may be avoidable while others are not.  Many of these challenges have a lot to do with an actor’s perspective of his or her abilities and they can be avoided, or at least made easier with practice.  Here are three of the most common challenges that are simply a matter of mindset.

Here is the first challenge every new actor faces.

One of the biggest challenges that is self-imposed includes feeling the need to be ‘perfect’ at every audition and in every performance once booked. Perfectionism itself can be a fault more than a positive feature.  While it is an integral part of human nature, it can easily be detrimental when taken to the extreme.  Actors who put added pressure on themselves to avoid making mistakes at all costs, often (and ironically), find it much more difficult to perform up to their own expectations, and might even give up after making the littlest of ‘mistakes’. It’s important to view any perceived mistakes as learning experiences. Continue to hone your craft and correct yourself based on these experiences. Acting takes hard work, which means always picking yourself up after a failure and forging ahead.

Here is the second challenge every new actor faces.

Another common challenge is finding the courage to treat acting as a hobby rather than a career, even if it is your career. This contributes to the added pressure one puts on oneself to be successful.  If acting is viewed as something you are doing because you enjoy it, rather than something you have to do to make money, this mindset will automatically help you perform better when it really matters.  Have you ever heard the saying, “If you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life?”  If you focus on enjoying the act of acting, rather than thinking about it solely as a way to pay your bills, a good amount of pressure will be lifted and it will allow things to come more naturally to you.  If you don’t, the opposite will inevitably be true. Any challenges you are faced with, will feel that much more overwhelming.  Your pursuit of acting should be something you enjoy and not something to perpetually stress about.

Here is the third challenge every new actor faces.

Another challenge actors face is knowing when to proactively decide that any new offers they receive will need to be met with a ‘no’ upfront.  As human beings, actors have limits.  There is only so much a person can take on at once.  However, it’s all too easy to view oneself as invincible until, well, you’re not.  It’s important to have good boundaries and know when there isn’t enough room to continue to pile things onto your plate.  Appreciating your acting career means finding some sense of balance so you can actually take a minute and give yourself credit for the talent and work you have.  If you’re getting pulled in too many directions at once, you’ll spread yourself thin and quickly burn yourself out. Giving yourself time to breath and focusing on a manageable amount of workload will allow you to refine your skills, and continue forward without feeling entirely overwhelmed.

Even though acting can be challenging, there are many fun and exciting aspects as well.  Yes, there will be times when obstacles are unavoidable. However, when it comes to challenges that involve merely a mindset, actively shifting into a more positive one will help you find joy and stay motivated in this life-long journey of acting.   

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