It’s not your job to be a good actor

When you go into an audition, it’s not your job to be a good actor. I’m going to say it again so you can really let this important note sink in. Understanding it can change your career. It’s not your job to be a good actor.

It is also not your job to:

Be sexy.

Be funny.

Be smart.

Be manly.

Be feminine.

Be cute.

Be entertaining.

Seek validation.

Receive good feedback.

Start deep friendships.

Prove you’ve done your homework.

Show your homework.

Convince people how uniquely talented you are.

None of that matters. None of that is your job. It’s not your job to be a good actor.

So what is your job? It’s your job to be the character. That’s it. Just be the character.

Go into the room. Be a pro. Be considerate. Sit in the chair. Connect with the reader, or your fellow actor, and be the character, living truthfully in the moment, off book, not acting, not bullshitting, not performing. Truthfully connect with, and react to, the reader or your fellow actor. That’s your job.

And then go home without seeking approval.

If you simply are the character, truthfully, then you will be good, you will be funny, you will be sexy and charming. You’ll receive validation and approval. You might even get a callback or, even better, book the job.

One of the great secrets of this industry is simple but often overlooked: people are looking to hire actors who understand how the system works. Who don’t need to be babied or taken care of. Who know that their job isn’t to be a good actor.

They’re looking for actors who can simply be the character.


© Craig Archibald 2018

josh heisler