It’s amazing the things we tell ourselves as a means to make excuses from going out and living the life we always dreamed of.  No matter what you do for a living or your industry I am sure you can relate to what I am getting at.  There are always going to be these nagging little misconceptions floating around your atmosphere that if you allow them, will cause self-doubt.  Here are some of the common myths I hear way too often about being a performer that I am squashing with my big 9 1/2 feet!

1) You’re Too Old To Break Into Acting

I admire people that have never deviated from their course, but let’s be real for a second.  For most of us, our path has taken so many bloody twists and turns as opposed to it being a straight line.  My life has definitely zig-zagged along the way and I bet it will continue to do so.  Never let your age prevent you from pursuing your dreams.  There are definitely going to be some disadvantages (an excuse for your lack of credits, possible “sex appeal”) you have so much more to offer (relatable life experience for character development, perspective, ability to focus for longer periods, applicable skills garnered in other areas).  We can’t all be child stars so don’t be afraid to dream your dream.

2) All I Need Is To Get Discovered

Er…. yeah that’s so not the case.  When you are an actor you automatically become an entrepreneur, and YOU are your BUSINESS.  With any business, you need a strategy and a plan.  Once that is in place you need to work at it consistently.  I mean, every single day just like any other entrepreneur would.  I mean, they call this “SHOW BUSINESS” for a reason.

3) I’ll Never Make Money As An Artist

If you are one of those creative types that suffer from the starving artist mentality, you need to do whatever you need to go to get out of that mindset.  You can get paid to do what you love… or art.  I mean I do and so can you!  Money should no longer be seen as a symbol of selling out.  I never ever got that.. one of my ex-boyfriends felt that way and I just didn’t get it.  Still don’t.  Money is a tool that can be used to sustain you to create even more art.  Many artists have bought into a romanticized notion that art is somehow more legitimate if it is created by poor people. This so isn’t the case.  Financial stress is a distraction and not how we are meant to live.  Stop this thinking right now and flip the switch.

4) I Need An Agent To Get Work

Yeah you will… if you roll up your sleeves and do the elbow work.  Again this is a business and YOU have to take charge of it and luckily doing what we do there are plenty of opportunities available to us.  You just have to be willing to do the work.  One of the wonderful things I have learned about business, again no matter your field, people will work with you if they like you.  So build your own relationships, get to know the people that can bless you.. in this case casting directors, musical directors, producers, directors etc and be a breathe of fresh air.  Do your research and put in the time it takes to make YOUR dreams come true.  Even if you have an agent, you should still be out there doing whatever it takes to sell your business, which is you.

5) Gotta Be  A Triple Threat

It seems that to work on Broadway in our day and age you need to be able to do it all.  If you look at all the shows that thrive on Broadway, they are typically musicals, or the leading man/lady are celebrities and in some cases, both.  No matter what people tell you, you don’t need to be able to sing and dance to be a great actor. Everyone has their gifts.  We can’t all kick face, sing face, and act like our lives depended on it. Even if you take dance lessons diligently, not everyone can do “A Chorus Line, “Cats” or star on “Glee.”  Exercise your instruments —our bodies and our voices—being a multiple threat is not required for a successful career.

What are some of the common myths in your industry?

12 Comments

  • Kat says:

    I agree with everything! Love this post!!! Thanks for your wonderful insight! 🙂

  • Missy Bell says:

    So many people lie to themselves and make too many excuses that they talk themselves right into failure before they give themselves a chance to succeed. It’s sad. If you have passion, want it bad enough, can see yourself doing it, and take action toward it, you can achieve it. I’m glad you practice this.

    Great post.

    Missy Bell
    http://www.PeaceAndHappinessProject.com
    http://www.WhereTheGhostsLive.WordPress.com

  • Those are great responses to those myths!! I so admire your persistence and determination. And your optimism and faith. But this is my favorite part of your post because it’s what I needed to read: “Never let your age prevent you from pursuing your dreams.” I need to really let that sink in.

    • Tamala says:

      Thinking we are too old to accomplish something is one of the greatest lies we tell ourselves and what people tell us. It’s such a SHAME! I love that commercial where they say “not everyone peaks in their 20s”… it’s so true. Your 20s is just the beginning 🙂 Thank you so much Jeanine for visiting me once again. Love when you stop by.

  • Amar Naik says:

    a small mistake will erode all the hard earned reputation in good work

  • What a great post Tamala! I had never thought of being an actor as being an entrepreneur, but you are so totally on target. There is also an interesting correlation that came to me, is that entrepreneurs are also actors, especially if you are a coach or consultant where you need to speak in public to get your message across to your audience.

  • That’s some good debunking right there, Tamala! If there is something you want, then go for it! I’ve always subscribed to that belief. We are never, ever too old!

    Great post. Love the confidence and the determination that shines through your words 🙂

    Blessings.
    Penny

  • Diatta says:

    My industry is Project Management and one of the main myths is that you have to start off working on a small project before getting a big one. There ARE NO SMALL PROJECTS! My cousin is a performer on Broadway, close friends with Kim Fields and is constantly on his GRIND for his business and his brand. Oh yeah he is very sensitive to how he is perceived online and in person. He stops and speaks to all of his fans and is also certain to promote himself and his shows whenever he has an opportunity.

  • I love that you started off with the old age issue. You know this is part of a mindset that stops us from doing so much in our lives. Getting older shouldn’t stop us from reaching for our dreams, after all we are wiser and more brilliant from all our experiences.
    This is a great post for so many reasons…mindset is a huge factor in everything we do but I certainly get the aspects that would apply to those in such a tough field.

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