Question:

Is it OK to start acting as career in 25 of age?

by Guest335  |  earlier

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Hi, I am 25 years old and throughout my life I have always enjoyed the arts but I have been afraid to put my time into becoming an actor mainly b/c of the competition and the lack of stability.  However, as I get older I feel like I have to try it or I will look back on my life with regret. So I guess my question is have I waited too long to get started? I have not begun to study although I am checking out theaters and teachers in the LA area. Another question is if you know any good teachers in LA? It has been hard weeding out the teachers who just want the money and the teachers who are still in the business and enjoy teaching future actors. Can you please help me. Thanks in advance, Nicole

 Tags: 25, acting, age, career, OK, start

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  1. Guest23259477

    Hi Nicole,

    Opinions differ, but my personal feeling is that it's never too late to start doing something you feel passionately about. I loved acting when I was in high school, but left it behind once I got into college. I didn't go back to it until I was married, had children and was 34 years old. At that time I started doing community theatre and taking theatre classes at my local community college (ending up with an associate degree in theatre). I became more and more passionate about theatre, and more and more committed to doing it well, not only acting but also stage managing, tech, and finally directing. After earning my degree and doing years of community theatre, I began working with more and more professionals, who convinced me that I should be directing professionally. I have been ever since.

    That said, if you are truly interested in becoming a professional actor, you should be aware, as you seem to be, of the hazards, instability and insecurities of being an actor. This is one of the hardest professions there is, with absolutely no promise of an income ever. Even the greatest actors are only as good as their last show and are constantly wondering where their next job is coming from. Less the 2% of Equity actors ever make a living as an actor. Most work at day jobs to pay the rent while they follow their dream and continually audition and search for the next role. It's not an easy life. Don't do it just to find out what it's like (unless you have a lot of money saved up). I always tell aspiring actors (and I'm not the only one who says so), that if there is ANYTHING else that you can do that will make you happy, DO IT! But if this is something you are passionate about, if you can't imagine a life without acting, if you want this more than stability, more than a normal family life, more than a good night's sleep and financial security, then go for it with everything you have in you.

    I'm sorry, but I'm in the NYC area, not LA, so I'm really not familiar with LA teachers. However, the best way to find good teachers is to talk to other actors (and LA is full of them). Check out Backstage West or the other trade papers. They all have ads for many teachers and coaches. I know that backstage has at least one issue every year that lists all the teachers and tells something about them. See if you can get an archive copy, make yourself a list and start doing research (every actor needs to be good at research, so this is a good way to start). Contact the teacher or school. Ask about their curriculum, the classes they teach, the level of students they teach. Ask if you can audit a class. Any good school should let you audit at least one class. Never choose a teacher without observing a class or at least having an interview with them - remember you are choosing them as much or more than they are choosing you - make them audition for you! The teacher who will work best for you is one who has a teaching style that you can connect with, and who you feel you can trust (when you trust yourself - your body, your emotions, and your psyche - to an acting teacher, trust is very important). Ask if they will give you a list of some of their students - references - that you can contact. And DO contact them and find out about their experiences with the teacher - do they feel they learned in the class? Was there an atmosphere of creative freedom in the class or was the teacher a tyrant (neither is necessarily bad - but different actors react well to different teachers, and you know best in what atmosphere you learn best)? Have they gotten work after taking the class?

    If you take some time with the process, you should be able to find a teacher who will give you want you want.

    I wish you lots of luck, Nicole. If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them for you. Arlene (MsDirector)
     

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