Money & Career, So You Want To Be An Actor?
Updated: Dec 23, 2017
Once again I opened my email, checked my social media to read some to my top favorite questions about making extra income and advice on how others can live their dream as an Actor. Well let me start of by saying I started acting at a young age. I did church and school skits, but didn't understand the career and business aspects to acting. Lets just say I loved performing, and acting was just a mere-passion. Now I am embarking in my acting career. Quiet on the set. Annnnddd…. Action!!!
1. Tell us a little about yourself: Where are you from? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it, etc.
My name is Sta'cii Blake professional Actor and Entrepreneur; graduated with a Degree in Acting (BFA). I’ve lived in my home country of Jamaica most of my life, and later moved to America. I've been seen on TV One “For My Man,” “Copycat Killers” and Netflix’s “House of Cards”, etc. I am always traveling for work and class. I currently live in the Historic Sailing Capital of Annapolis, MD where my Yacht charter business is located. I’ve been a professional actor for almost six years.
2. Did anyone ever try to persuade you not to take up acting as a profession?
Have you ever shared your dream with someone, only to have them stomp on it with a few unsupportive words? There’s a breed of control freaks who quietly lurk, ready to attack your precious, vulnerable ideas as soon as you share them with the world. People try to talk me out of being a professional actor almost every day. Not to my face, but behind their computer screen, such cowards! This field is already challenging so why beat myself up even more. Negative comments won't make it any easier, plus I have low-to-no tolerance for naysayers, non-supporters, dream killers, and to be frank, assholes. lets face it, until you’re a regular on a TV show or starring in a major hollywood movie people assume you’re just doing this to get it out of your system. Hopefully that level of success isn’t too far off for me; either way I do what I love and I love what I do. This is a passion, but I advise finding additional ways of making passive income.
3. What is the best part of your career?
I really love so many things about my career. Going to work is the best feeling. On almost every project there’s a real feeling of community and a drive to make the finished product as good as possible. Probably the coolest thing about my job is the process behind the script - exploring my character, given circumstances and cultivating important relationships with other characters. It's even more facinating to watch the scene come to life.
photo: Kym, Paul, Sta'cii. Dirty Laundry - John Pallotta Studio of Acting (#behindthescenes)
4. So If I decide to be an actor, what do I do next? Take some headshots? Move to LA? Get an agent? How do you know when there is a casting call for something? In short, how to you go about breaking into the biz?
The first thing to do if someone decides to be an actor is to start acting, whether be in front the camera or on stage. Do something that builds your credibility and experience. Try classes or get some professional feedback. If you live in Washington, do some theater in Washington. The first step after training and getting great tools is not haste to getting an agent, Agents are tough to crack and there are lots of scammers out there. It's learning how the business really works. Find out which actors get those top roles, and why and how you fit into the system. What is your niche, brand, and type?
5. Go where discovery happens.
If you want the important people to find you, you’re going to have to put yourself in their field of vision. They’re more likely to be in L.A. or New York. But, don’t even think about moving to LA unless you have a plan and are ready to compete with the big dogs. To get an audition you have to best thousands of people who look exactly like you, have more credits than you, have the top agents, or have personal relationships with people in the industry. When those opportunities come (and they do come, eventually) you have to be at the very top of your game. Does this mean that you won't ever be discovered by working as an actor without an agent? Well, Arnold Schwarzenegger first gained fame as a body builder, using that as a launching point to become a huge Hollywood star. Hint: Find your niche, build your brand.
6. Don’t focus on discovery.
Perhaps the easiest way to get discovered is to lose interest in discovery because you’re so obsesssed with the art of acting. Many actors, like Octavia Spencer, Lupita Nyong'o, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, were “discovered” in their 30s or 40s, and have been at it steadily for some time. Then there are actors who had no intentions of being an actor but got discovered. Estella Warren who starred in Planet of the Apes (2001) and Kangaroo Jack, once had an entirely different career as a synchronized swimmer. Channing Tatum didn’t plan on being an actor, either, and it was his lucrative modeling career that led to his work on the silver screen.
So you want to become an actor? Well, I hope you came to the right place! If one thing is for certain in this business, there's more than one road to success. So, start acting! Find your niche, and get your work in front of the right people. Start putting your reels on your website, share in facebook groups, Youtube, etc.
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I’m here to help as much as I possibly can by showing you some of the best ways to market yourself as a brand.
Thank you once again for reading my blog, and I Hope we see eachother on the big screen soon :)