11 Habits Of The Successful

By AM Staff

  • (Acting Magazine Contributor, Author/
    Distributor of YouMustAct CD Rom Technology)

    Find more info on this author at YouMustAct.com

    Here are 11 bottom line (absolutely necessary) habitual behaviors that every “pro” actor must possess.

    YOU MUST BE ON TIME

    If you can’t get anywhere on time now, you’d better learn how before you attempt the “real world” of an acting career.

    On a big film, the money is going out the door at about 50 grand every 20 minutes. On a network TV show, the rate is only slightly less.

    If you are an actor who is ten minutes late for a job that pays five hundred bucks – you will be heartily disliked by the producer and everybody that works for the producer.  People will scream at you.  If you are late for an audition, the casting director will worry that you won’t get the job on time.

    Because the reality is this: if you’re late for a job, that casting director will also have people screaming at her. Understand?  NEVER BE LATE.  

    YOU MUST BE ABLE TO WORK A LONG DAY

    There is no such thing as an eight-hour day in an acting career.  In forty years, I’ve had about 23 eight-hour days.  And two of those were because somebody died.  If you cannot work a long day, you are unsuited for success as an actor in professional show business.  IT’S LO-O-NG HOURS.

    YOU MUST BE AN EARLY RISER

    I know it’s nice to laze around in bed when you’ve got a day off, but this is a habit no actor can afford.  Grasp the idea that if you want to be in the movie or television business, you must be the kind of person who can get up at five in the morning.  All the time.  Period.  If you work in the theatre, your early rising will fall about 10 AM – because you work into the night.  But if you plan on working in “the industry” or “the business,” you’d do well to make early rising a life-long habit.  WAKE UP THE ROOSTER.  

    YOU MUST BE A PLEASANT PERSON UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES  

    Early starts and long hours mean that you will be spending (on average) about half your life with co-workers.  If you are a pain in the a@# – you will be heartily disliked by other people who are also working 12 hour days.   Word will get around.  It will be harder to get work.  BE NICE.  

    YOU MUST LOVE THE WORK

    You have to keep your “creative juices” flowing during the entire 12 hours.  If you don’t love acting, being ‘on’ for 12 hours is impossible.  Don’t forget why you are doing this.  LOVE.

    YOU MUST BE WELL-GROOMED AND CLEAN  

    You are not the part.  Even the guys who play bikers and bums wear deodorant.  The teeth are clean.  The breath is pleasant.  Etc.  I know this seems nit-picky, but a co-worker who literally “stinks” will get a reputation and lose opportunities because of it.   I’ve seen it happen.  And when it comes to casting agents, who see hundreds of actors in a week – well, odors are their number one pet peeve – and heavy perfume or cologne both fall into this category. CLEANLINESS IS IMPORTANT.  

    YOU MUST NOT COMPLAIN (WITH ONE PROVISO)

    Those actors on sets who complain about the dressing rooms, the food, the director, the co-star, the costume people, the hours, the script, or pretty much anything to do with the production – are labeled as “complainers” or a@#h*%s – and they are rarely appreciated or tolerated for very long.

    Actors near the bottom of the ladder who think it’s “smart” to gripe about every little screw-up, are putting a bulls-eye on their butts.  Don’t become one of those actors or you will find yourself near the bottom of the ladder for a long, long time.

    Nobody reaches out to complainers. Nobody, including you, even likes complainers. Besides, complaining about circumstances doesn’t work. If you want to be thought of as someone NICE – DON’T COMPLAIN.

    (The proviso to this is that you must never let anyone abuse or berate you – in those cases, complain to the authorities – loudly and often).

    YOU MUST NOT SPREAD RUMORS

    Rumor-mongering is the first sign of someone who isn’t really interested in the job at hand – someone so bored or so shallow that they must talk about other people, instead of concentrating on the acting job at hand.  When you hear someone say, “Oh, I worked with (fill in the name of a movie star), he’s a pig.” – excuse yourself and go somewhere else. You do not want to be around this sort of person.  93.3 percent of all rumors are false.  The other 6.7% are probably none of your business.

    Again, actors who are rumor-mongers are labeled and eventually work dries up. Talk business, talk philosophy, talk about the weather – but avoid the temptation to talk about other people (except in the most glowing terms).

    Watch the stars when they are asked about other performers.  Have you ever heard a star say, “She’s an idiot.”  No, they are always upbeat, positive, complimentary – because they know the rumor mill is a two way street.  If avoiding this sort of thing is good behavior for stars (and most behave this way) then what’s stopping you from adopting the same habit?  NO RUMORS.  

    DRUGS, DRINKING, AND SCREWING AROUND

    I’m sure you know what people think of people who are more interested in sin than cinema.  You will be labeled.  People will not forget.  Work will be harder to get.  JUST SAY “NO THANK YOU.” 

    JEALOUSY AND BAD FEELINGS  

    Jealousy is one of the main causes of actors “messing up” on one of these crucial behaviors listed above.  Jealousy leads to bad decisions.  Bad decisions lead to bad results.  And jealousy allows you to blame others for your results. You will begin to believe that things aren’t fair.  You will begin to look for “reasons” for your lack of progress.  They will, no doubt, be well argued reasons – but an excuse by any other name… is still an excuse.

    Jealousy is a bad path – it’s a step on the wrong ladder– you’re on the wrong street – you’re a stranger in a strange land – GET A MAP. 

    The same goes for other “negative” emotional reactions.  Self blame.  Frustration.  Fear.  Anxiety.  Worry.

    This is business.  “There’s no crying in baseball.”

    Besides, wallowing in your emotional reaction slows down your forward progress toward your acting success.

    GIVE GOOD VALUE FOR THE DOLLAR

    When you habitually give 110% of your energy to your acting work – you will get more acting work.

    It’s a mortal lock.

    By Bob Fraser
    (Acting Magazine Contributor, Author/Distributor of YouMustAct CD Rom Technology)

    Find more info on this author at www.YouMustAct.com

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • Memory vs. Imagination: Which Approach Works Best?

    Memory vs. Imagination: Which Approach Works Best? Actors have many different devices for achieving magic (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Ben Sweet/Unsplash) How should an actor work-up the emotions needed to perform a scene…

    7 Self-Tape Instructions Actors Often Ignore

    7 Self-Tape Instructions Actors Often Ignore Treat your self-tape like you’re baking a cake. Follow ALL directions and you’ll get a sweet result. (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Luis Quintero/Pexels) Self-taping was already the…

    3 Misdemeanors to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé

    3 Misdemeanors to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé Misdemeanors aren’t felonious, but they can still be problematic (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Niu Niu/Unsplash) When it comes to an actor’s résumé, there are differing…

    Quarantine and Build

    Quarantine and Build…Your Acting Career! 5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Acting Career While Under Quarantine (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Ani Kolleshi vu Dazveny /Unsplash) “It was the worst of times….

    Don’t Do These 7 Things When Choosing a Monologue

    Don’t Do These 7 Things When Choosing a Monologue Here are some things you should absolutely avoid when choosing your next monologue (by Jim Webb) Are you looking for a new monologue? Don’t…

  • Ad

  • Don’t Panic! It’s Just a Redirect.

    Don’t Panic! It’s Just a Redirect. 5 Things You Can Do to Reduce the Fear of the Dreaded Redirect (By Jim Webb) Human beings didn’t always dominate the Earth. Once upon a time,…

    5 Great New Year’s Resolutions for Actors

    5 Great New Year’s Resolutions for Actors Here are some great New Year’s resolutions you should strive for, if you haven’t already (by James Webb) We are a few weeks into the new…

    10 Reasons You Didn’t Book the Role You Should Have Booked

    10 Reasons You Didn’t Book the Role You Should Have Booked There are countless potential reasons why you didn’t book the role you thought surely you were going to book. Let’s just start…

  • Ad

  • Before You Blame Your Agent….

    Before You Blame Your Agent… Because, it’s not always your agent’s fault (By Jim Webb) You’re not getting enough auditions. Your friends are auditioning like crazy, while you rarely get any. The knee-jerk…

    3 Important Questions to Answer Before Your Next Headshot Photoshoot

    3 Important Questions to Answer Before Your Next Headshot Photoshoot Remember, the goal of a headshot is not just to produce a pretty looking picture (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Roy Alanwar on Unsplash)…

    The Callback Checklist

    The Callback Checklist Check these items off your list before you go in for your next callback (by Carmichael Phillips) (Photo: Emma Matthews/Unsplash) Are you ready for your next callback? Check these items…

    Why Building Relationships with Casting Directors is So Important

    Why Building Relationships with Casting Directors is So Important One of the best ways to improve your odds is to emphasize relationship-building as a core part of your strategy for success (by Carmichael…

    3 Reasons Why It Sucks to Do Student Films

    3 Reasons Why It Sucks to Do Student Films Yep. Sometimes they really do suck! (by Carmichael Phillips) Alright. Let’s light this candle! We’ve already given you the lowdown on how student films…

  • Ad

  • Set Aside One Day Each Week for Your Acting Business

    Set Aside One Day Each Week for Your Acting Business How setting aside an entire day can improve your acting business (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Brooke Lark /Unsplash) The #actorslife is a hectic…

    Don’t Audition Solely for the Purpose of Booking the Role

    Don’t Audition Solely for the Purpose of Booking the Role Always act in truth. (By Jim Webb) (Photo: Mostafa Meraji/Unsplash) You are behind on your bills. You’re facing money shortages. You’re not entirely…

    5 Good Reasons to Do Student Films

    5 Good Reasons to Do Student Films Student films can be a bit of a mixed bag. But they’re often more good than bad! (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Alireza Badiee /Unsplash) Student films…

  • Ad

  • 3 Reasons Your Audition Ended Quickly

    3 Reasons Your Audition Ended Quickly The speediness of the audition may have nothing at all to do with the actor’s performance in the audition room (by Jim Webb) That sinking feeling you…

    3 Minor Violations to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé

    3 Minor Violations to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé When it comes to an actor’s résumé, there are differing levels of crime that an actor can commit. Here are 3 Minor Violations. (by…

    You’re Not Really Acting When You’re Over-Acting

    You’re Not Really Acting When You’re Over-Acting It’s amateurish and does a disservice to the script, your fellow actors and to the audience. (by Jim Webb) It’s understandable for aspiring actors to want…

    Never Apologize When You Make a Mistake During an Audition

    Never Apologize When You Make a Mistake During an Audition Don’t apologize during an audition. Ever. If you stumble over your words or make a mistake, simply correct it. Confidently. (by Carmichael Phillips)…

    Never Do This on Your Acting Résumé!

    Never Do This on Your Acting Résumé! This is a brief “NEVER and WTF Were You Thinking!” list (By Carmichael Phillips) Sometimes there are “Should and Shouldn’t” lists. Sometimes there are “Do and…

  • Ad

  • Before You Approach an Agent, Get Your S@#t Together!

    Before You Approach an Agent, Get Your S@#t Together! Before you approach an agent, make sure that you are ready to present yourself as an actor who understands the business and understands what…

    3 Helpful Suggestions When Slating

    3 Helpful Suggestions When Slating While the slating process may seem insignificant, it represents an additional opportunity for actors to stand-out, when done properly (By Jim Webb) You already know what slating is….

    Look to Acting to Be Your Creative Savior, Not Your Financial Savior

    Look to Acting to Be Your Creative Savior, Not Your Financial Savior Fame and fortune must not be your primary pursuit. They should be the fortuitous byproduct of a larger pursuit (by Jim…

  • Ad

  • 5 Riddles Every Actor Must Solve

    5 Riddles Every Actor Must Solve So many riddles to solve. So little time. And on it goes… (By Carmichael Phillips) In a normal profession, everything is clear and easy to understand. The…

    Make Sure Your Name is Added to the “Nice” List

    Make Sure Your Name is Added to The “Nice” List You may not get the role you auditioned for, but make sure your name is added to the “nice” list (By Jim Webb)…

    Reinvest 50% of Your Cash Back into Your Acting Business

    Reinvest 50% of Your Cash Back into Your Acting Business Of course, each time you repeat this process, your career becomes stronger! Your power becomes stronger. (By Carmichael Phillips) (Photo by Ibrahim Rifath…

    3 Hidden Advantages of Self-taping

    3 Hidden Advantages of Self-taping This new wave of self-taping also offers actors enormous advantages (by Carmichael Phillips) Self-taped auditions are the wave of the future, in part, because they offer casting directors…

    5 Great Ways to Master Your Cold Read Audition

    5 Great Ways to Master Your Cold Read Audition Who says that doing a cold read means you can’t perform at your best? (By Jim Webb) Doing a cold read audition is a…

    5 Things You Should Never Do After an Audition

    5 Things You Should Never Do After an Audition There are many things you should never do after an audition. But here are 5 things you might have actually done or considered doing…

    Don’t Sabotage Yourself

    Don’t Sabotage Yourself It’s difficult enough for an actor to find and secure a paying gig. Why make it even more difficult by sabotaging your own chances? (By Jim Webb) It’s ok if…

    All Acting and No Play Makes You a Dull Actor

    All Acting and No Play Makes You…a Dull Actor Ironically, spending too much time on all things “acting” can actually make an actor worse at acting. (By Carmichael Phillips) (Photo: Christopher Campbell on…

    Load More