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There is room for every actor in the entertainment biz. The key is to find where you fit into the business and how to maximize your work opportunities in your niche.
While working on a commercial job, I ran into a kind production assistant named Fred, with whom I’ve worked previously on set. When I saw him this particular time, he commented about how much I resemble two celebrities.
He said: “Jesse, it must be hard for you to get a job in Hollywood when you look so much like these two celebrities who are already established!”
I replied with a bit of a laugh: “It’s actually not very hard at all! We all find the place in this industry where we fit in. It’s only hard until you find your place.”
Finding Where You “Fit In” Can Take Time
From personal experience, it’s taken me several years to discover where I fit into the industry of entertainment. I have found that the best way to find where you fit in is to continuously focus on being who you are, as opposed to trying to be like another actor or another person. As my production assistant friend Fred points out, there are already many celebrities out there who resemble other people. But that doesn’t need to affect your career or your life one bit! There is still only one of you, and even if you look like another actor, your essence is not going to be the same as theirs. Your vision for what you want to accomplish as an actor is unique to you.
You Do Not Compete With Anyone Else
I recently met with a new talent agent in order to discuss the potential of working together. (I believe it is always important to keep options open with representation.) While in my meeting, my prospective new representatives began to list names of actors whom they felt I resembled, and they included actors who are actually more tough and “macho” than I am – such as Zac Efron (Zachary David Alexander Efron : is an American actor and singer)
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I stopped them almost immediately, and I explained that over the course of my time in Hollywood, I’ve learned that – although I can try to am perfectly willing to audition for any role – I want to focus on the roles that are more specific to who I am, to my essence as a person and a performer.
Certainly we do not want to limit ourselves, but it’s important to recognize and be realistic about what you can believably portray. Regardless of how talented we may be as an actor, we cannot change the essence of whom we innately are. There is already a Zac Efron, and he is a fantastic actor. It is unlikely that I will play the same roles as Zac, simply because my essence is different from his. And this is true for everyone in the business. It is your individuality that sets you apart from everyone else, and it is what makes you the amazing actor and person that you are. (Click here to read Casting Director Chris Game’s advice on being you.)
Find What You Love!
You’ll find where it is that you fit in by discovering what you love most about our industry; and this doesn’t only mean thinking about your dream role as an actor – which is obviously very important! But actors typically wear many hats and work lots of different jobs (including day-jobs) while pursuing this career path. Be open to trying new things while pursuing your dream of becoming an actor. You may find a love for other creative outlets, such as writing, art, or music!
A lovely girl whom I met on set while working on that above-mentioned commercial explained that she found a love for drawing, simply by putting a pen to a piece of paper during some downtime on set. She hopes to continue her love of drawing, designing and being creative while continuing to make acting her number one priority. (Here are some thoughts on creative endeavors to pursue, especially when auditions are slow.)
I never planned on working as a freelance writer when I first moved to Hollywood; but we often find our passions as we go along. During my interview with actor and photographer Bob Barry, Bob explained to me, “A creative person always finds a way to share their work.”
Focus On Being Who You Are
Focus on being who you are and being true to yourself, my friends! There is room – and a need – for your uniqueness in our biz!
“There is no one alive