Actor Stories: Ann Dowd Perseveres, Getting Her Big Break at Age 56!

By Webmaster

  • Actor Stories: Ann Dowd Perseveres, Getting Her Big Break at Age 56!

    Perseverance, determination and willpower! Mrs. Dowd refused to give up no matter how long it took. Her patience is now being richly rewarded and she is certainly living her best life!

    (Arranged by AM Staff)
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    We strongly encourage all actors to read this inspirational story, first posted in Glamour Magazine. Ann Dowd’s career first took off when she was cast in the 2012 film Compliance. Critically-acclaimed roles on HBO’s The Leftovers and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale soon followed, each earning her Primetime Emmy Award Nominations. What is remarkable about Dowd’s story is the perseverance and courage it took for her to reach these heights. According to Dowd, she had to watch her classmate reach stardom, while she struggled for decades! But she refused to quit.

    Here’s a sample from the piece:

    “I want to tell you a brief story, if I may. When I was a young actress, 30 or so, I was on the way to my waitress job in my black pants and my white shirt and my black tie—glamour is not the word that would come to mind at all. Feminine? No. Nothing. I looked across the street, and there were several limousines parked outside the theater. And I looked at the marquee and it said, “About Last Night starring Elizabeth Perkins,” who was my classmate. I was going to wait on tables, and she was going to a premiere of her film that would launch her into stardom.

    I got through the shift, and I went home on my porch, and I wept and screamed into the night, “When?! When is my turn?” And it was one of those dark nights of the soul—we’re all familiar, I’m sure. And a voice—I’m not kidding—quiet, probably from the inside, said, “It will all be fine. It will all be all right. You will be in your fifties. You will be 56.” And I said, “Oh no! No, no!”—missing the whole point of the voice—I said, “I’m not waiting until my fifties. I have no intention, so you can take that message and…”

    Well, as it turns out, I was in my fifties, and I was 56 when I did the film called Compliance, which shifted things for me tremendously.”

    (Ann Dowd in Compliance)

    How uplifting and inspiring! This story reminds us of a quote we posted on Twitter by the late David Carradine:

    Here are a few other passages we found poignant:

    “For some reason I had an unshakable faith that all would work out. I don’t know if it’s because of that voice, which I tried to stop and kill, or because I just thought, I am an actress, and that is what I’m going to do.”

    “Celebrate the small victories. Every time I got a role, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world.”

    “When I didn’t have an audition or anything happening, I would go straight to the bedroom, I would take out my monologues, and I would do them. And I would remind myself in the mirror, “You are an actress, and you are in charge of your life.”

     

    Perseverance, determination and willpower! Mrs. Dowd refused to give up no matter how long it took. Her patience is now being richly rewarded and she is certainly living her best life!

    Please read the entire article here and be inspired: Glamour Magazine

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • Acting: When is it Time to Quit?

      Acting: When is it Time to Quit? How long is too long to pursue an acting career? (By Carmichael Phillips) How many years should an actor wait for their big break before…

    “Acting is not pretending. Acting is becoming” (Bill Duke)

    “If you’re hired to do a job, the director doesn’t hire you to act like that character, the director hires you to become that character. And that’s something that most people don’t understand…

    Don’t Just Tell a Talent Agent About Your Dreams. Show Them Your Work!

    Don’t Just Tell a Talent Agent About Your Dreams. Show Them Your Work! Your dreams are not much different from any other actor’s dreams. It’s your work that sets you apart. (By Carmichael…

    How to Audition When You Know the Role Has Already Been Cast

    How to Audition When You Know the Role Has Already Been Cast You still have an opportunity to introduce people to you and your art (By Carmichael Phillips) One of the hardest things…

    What is a “Cold Read”?

    What is a “Cold Read”? (By Tonya Tannenbaum) A “cold read” refers to a type of audition where the actor is expected to perform with little-to-no preparation. Usually, the actor is given the…

  • Ad

  • “You can write your own things and act in your own stuff” (Emma Stone)

    “I was auditioning a lot and waiting for other people to give me a chance. And now, with the internet and all these other outlets, you can write your own things and act…

    The Callback is Not the Time for Experimenting

    The Callback is Not the Time for Experimenting Why tinker with a winning formula? (By Jim Webb) The callback is not the time to start taking chances. Unless otherwise instructed, try to do…

    “Auditioning sucks hippo d**k.” (William H. Macy)

    “Auditioning sucks hippo d@#k. Everybody knows it and no one will say it. It’s the worst part of the business. If there were a way to do it better, we would have figured…

  • Ad

  • Why Acting Must Be a Need, Not a Want

    Why Acting Must Be a Need, Not a Want If you want to become an actor, then don’t become an actor. It must be a NEED, not a WANT! (by Jim Webb) It’s…

    What is a “Background Actor”?

    What is a “Background Actor”? (By Tonya Tannenbaum) A “background actor” is an actor who performs in view of, but usually away from, the foreground, in a non-speaking or non-singing capacity. Commonly referred…

    “Just work on being a better actor” (Jeff Daniels)

    “If you want to work on anything, just work on being a better actor. Stardom? You don’t have any control over that. You may think you do, but you don’t. If you can…

    What is an “Obstacle”?

      What is an “Obstacle”? (By Tonya Tannenbaum) In acting, an obstacle is a person or object that stands in the way of the character achieving his or her objective. Obstacles can also…

    Actor Stories: How Luke Perry Almost Gave Up on Acting

    Actor Stories: How Luke Perry Almost Gave Up on Acting. “Literally within a week, he was getting ready to go back to Ohio and join the fire department.” (Arranged by AM Staff) ______________________________________________________________________________________________________…

  • Ad

  • Don’t just pursue an agent. Study the craft. Do good work. Then, invite them to pursue you.

    Don’t just pursue an agent. Study the craft. Do good work. Then, invite them to pursue you. (by Jim Webb) Pursuing a talent agent is one of the more unsavory, yet necessary, aspects…

    “Just don’t give up, okay” (Molly Shannon)

    “Don’t give up. Whatever you do. Just don’t give up, okay? It took me ten years to get on SNL. I walked around and no one knew who I was. Then I got…

    Check Your Ego at the Door, But Bring Your Confidence into the Audition Room

      Check your ego at the door, but always bring your confidence into the audition room. And bring lots of it! The audition process, in many ways, is like the job interview process….

  • Ad

  • Actor Stories: Jenna Fischer Recalls Her First Day in LA, as an Aspiring Actor

    Actor Stories: Jenna Fischer’s First Day in LA, as an Aspiring Actress It was my first day in Los Angeles and everything felt perfect. Then, nothing happened for six years. (Arranged by AM…

    Why Natural Actors Still Need Training

    Why Natural Actors Still Need Training While an actor might be a natural performer, he or she is also a human being. (Jim Webb) ____________________________________________________________________________ Training is vital to the actor’s life. Being…

    Being-in-the-moment

    Being-in-the-moment “Being-in-the-moment”, usually refers to the abstract event when an actor feels genuinely connected to their character. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) ____________________________________________________________________________ “Being-in-the-moment”, usually refers to the abstract event when an actor feels genuinely…

    “Do not run for the sake of running” (Konstantin Stanislavski)

    “Do not run for the sake of running or suffer for the sake of suffering. You must not act in a generalized way, for the sake of action. You must act with a…

    “There’s a wide river of actors and actresses. But there’s only a tiny pond of real talent.” (Charles S. Dutton)

        “There’s a wide, wide, wide river of actors and actresses. But there’s only a tiny pond of real talent.” (Charles S. Dutton)   ____________________________________________________________________________ Dutton went on to explain: What I…

  • Ad

  • The Super-Objective

    The Super-Objective Unlike short-term or moment-to-moment objectives, the super-objective influences and guides the character’s actions throughout the entire course of the story. (By Tonya Tannenbaum) ____________________________________________________________________________ The “Super-Objective” is the primary goal that…

    When you speak words you don’t truly understand, you are not truly acting.

    When you speak words you don’t truly understand, you are not truly acting. So, pull out your dictionary or get busy on Wikipedia and find out the answer… (by Jim Webb) ____________________________________________________________________________ When…

    The Unbroken Line

    The Unbroken Line. When this line is broken, Stanislavski believed, the actor gets “lost” in the role, the life of the character “stops” and the actor loses the overall thrust of the character….

  • Ad

  • “A film actor must be able to dream another person’s dreams” (Michael Caine)

    Quote of the day: “They say you’ve learned a foreign language when you start dreaming it. A film actor must be able to dream another person’s dreams before he can call that character…

    Actor Luke Perry has reportedly died

    Actor Luke Perry has reportedly died. The actor suffered a massive stroke and never fully recovered (by AM Staff) ____________________________________________________________________________ Actor Luke Perry has reportedly died. He suffered a massive stroke on February…

    Continuity

      Continuity (by Tonya Tannenbaum) ____________________________________________________________________________ Continuity, as it relates to on-camera acting, is the effort to create the illusion of one continuous time and space, even though the process of filming the…

    Don’t Be Afraid to Politely Ask for an Audition Do-Over

    Don’t Be Afraid to Politely Ask for an Audition Do-Over The goal is not to be nice, the goal is to leave the audition room feeling good about the performance you put on…

    Actor Stories: Tyler Perry

    Actor Stories: Tyler Perry Tyler Perry, the actor/director/playwright, proves that you can go from broke, homeless dreamer to Hollywood Mogul if you believe in yourself and never stop trying. (by AM Staff) ____________________________________________________________________________…

    What is a “Backstory”?

    What is a “Backstory”? (by Tonya Tannenbaum) _____________________________________________________________________ In acting, creating a “backstory” generally refers to the process of inventing details about the history of the character’s life, where those details are not…

    3 Good Reasons to see BlacKkKlansman

    3 Good Reasons to see BlacKkKlansman. This film will delight you with its wit and charm. And, while witty, it also manages to bring some heavy moments. (by AM staff) ____________________________________________________________________________ If you…

    Quote of the day: “You might sometimes act badly” (Mikhail Shchepkin)

    Quote of the day: “You might sometimes act badly, sometimes only satisfactorily (it often depends on your inner mood), but you should always act truthfully.” (Mikhail Shchepkin) _____________________________________________________________________ Brief Bio The “father of…