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6 Reasons Becoming An Actor Was the Worst Decision of Your Life

When it comes to becoming an actor, you are quite literally inundated with an unlimited supply of obstacles from others on what can and will go wrong.

becoming an actorWhether it’s the odds being stacked against you, all the competition from thousands and thousands of others who want what you want, putting yourself in the right place at the right time meeting the right people, even the beliefs in your own head that sometimes send you down path of questioning your choice to become an actor

Sometimes your obstacles can even come from your own home – Loved ones who don’t get it and don’t support your dream trying to protect you from getting hurt by bursting your bubble every chance they get.

Sometimes it seems like becoming an actor was the worst decision of your life.

What if I agreed with you?

becoming an actor

What if, as a seasoned Casting Director with 20 years of A-list experience in this business who spends every single day training actors and empowering them to pursue their dream, I actually agreed with you and said that becoming an actor WAS indeed the worst decision of your life?

Okay, that’s crazy.

If you know me at all, you know that the prior statement is preposterous because YOU following YOUR dream of becoming an actor is what I’m all about. It’s what I stand for.

It’s what I INSIST you give yourself because you deserve to live a joyous life where your dreams are not dreams but your reality.

To choose becoming an actor is to choose a license to become extraordinary

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There are many who will try to knock you and show you why becoming an actor is the worst decision of your life. I won’t.

But just for fun (yes, FUN)…If someone put a gun to my head and forced me to say “becoming an actor was the worst decision of your life”, here’s how I would spin it.

I might say that the following are…

6 Reasons Becoming An Actor Was The Worst Decision In Your Life:


1BECOMING AN ACTOR MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM MOST PEOPLE.
And you certainly don’t want that. You’d rather live out your life in mediocrity slaving at a job you hate and always wondering “what if”.

becoming an actorBECOMING AN ACTOR IS CHALLENGING.
You want life handed to you on a silver platter so that you can never feel truly accomplished at having achieved something extraordinary that others only dream about.

becoming an actorBECOMING AN ACTOR MAKES YOU USE YOUR CREATIVE GIFTS
And you certainly don’t want any of that pesky creativity getting in the way of a perfectly mundane existence. You’d much rather live a day-to-day life that completely suppresses your beautiful creative impulses and makes you feel dead inside.

becoming an actorBECOMING AN ACTOR WILL PUT YOU IN UNUSUAL SITUATIONS MEETING UNUSUAL PEOPLE.
And you don’t want to constantly be around people who are different from others and have so many interesting lessons to share with you because of their own unusual choices. That’s crazy talk.

becoming an actorBECOMING AN ACTOR FORCES YOU TO PLAY “PRETEND” AND PLAY “DRESS UP” EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE A GROWN UP!
You don’t want the opportunity to creating fascinating characters and live out pieces of their lives wearing things you’d never wear, saying things you’d never say being in places you’d never be having experiences you’d never have. What grown up would want that?

becoming an actorBECOMING AN ACTOR OBLIGES YOU TO LIVE AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE THAT OTHERS ONLY DREAM ABOUT.
You’d much rather be the one watching others live their dream than living your own.

So, the next time someone tries to make you feel that becoming an actor was the worst decision of your life or you have one of “those” days that chews you up and spits you out, consider this list.

Consider these 6 reasons why becoming an actor was the worst decision of your life and see if you can allow the smile to creep across your face knowing that you’ve chosen a path that allows you to live an extraordinary life, meeting extraordinary people, doing extraordinary things.

Remember that even when it seems “hard” becoming an actor is still a gift of grand proportions because you will never look back on your life and wonder “what if”.

Wherever it leads you – to the Red Carpet or beyond — the gift of your journey is yours to keep forever.

Remember that you can take any statement like “becoming an actor was the worst decision of your life” and turn it on its ear because you choose to and make yourself feel like the total rockstar you REALLY are.

Remember that you have the power to change your perspective on anything at will…just because.

That’s what creative people get to do.

They choose cool things.

Guess what. You’re one of them.

How cool is that?

You DESERVE The Red Carpet!
~Amy

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Amy Jo Berman - Acting Coach
Amy Jo Berman's Tips On Acting & Auditioning Blog
Email: Asst@AmyJoBerman.com

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135 Responses

  1. Liz says:

    Hello, Amy. Thank you for posting this. All of my friends and many of my family members are against my decision. I’ve grown up in a church oriented home so, it can be difficult. Thank you for encouraging me in this time of uncertainty. You’re inspiring.

  2. Alex Edwards says:

    You forgot one. Becoming an Actor is bloody expensive

  3. Brandon McMullen says:

    Thank you, Amy. Definitely made me feel better about my dream of acting & writing :)

  4. Amanda Vigo says:

    Thank you Amy! And I do believe I’m on my way to living an extraordinary LIFE, as an Actor.!…Sky is the limit :-)

  5. Jose B Martinez says:

    Thanks Amy Jo, I really appreciated this post. I actually used to think all of the above was a big mistake of my life, but actually it gave me a sense of accomplishment for myself because I chased my own dreams with or without the approval of my family and friends. I never imagined in a scene with Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds, when I frantically was demanding for a ride in that mini van and Tom Cruise giving me a thumbs up, made me feel that I can do this because I was in character, even though nobody but him and I knew of what had transpired, I knew deep down inside that this is what I wanted to do even if it takes forever. My acting teacher Ivan Markota said that there is three ways of getting into showbiz, 1) You have family in showbiz. 2) You know somebody who knows somebody. 3) Luck! I will take my chances because I feel that I have the skills and experience to play any character that is demanded of me.

  6. Liz Gallagher says:

    Thank you Amy Jo! #3 & #4 speak to me as I tip-toe up to reviving the career I put aside 32 years ago. Yes, you are an inspiration!

  7. Elle Shaheen says:

    Amy Jo Berman…..you did it again! You inspired me to keep going, yet again! These 6 reasons made me laugh because I love your sense of humor always, but the fact is, these reasons are SO true!!!!! I have struggled with these exact reasons and I can promise I’ll be referring back to this list over and over again….for the simple reminder that I only have this life to live & I might as well be doing exactly what I want to be doing and was meant to do! You’re so right, nothing is worthwhile, unless there’s a challenge!
    Thank you once again….you’re AMAZING!!! <3

  8. Dilan Gülmez says:

    I feel seen!

  9. Angela says:

    Amy thank you for this great post. All those reasons are my why I became an actor. but it took me a long time to realize I shouldn’t let others thought’s of failure cloud my judgment. Every time some one say’s to me why I shouldn’t follow my dream. I ask them well why not?

  10. Ashleigh Renee says:

    Love this! !!

  11. Leigh Trifari says:

    Hi Amy
    Thank you so much for sharing this. There was a similar article in”Backstage” about a month or 2 aho, but I like your take bettet, for its warmth and humor on what could be the tipping point for many actors. I now have you posted on my vision board , on my fridge and next to my mirror!
    –Leigh Trifari

  12. BILL BEERS says:

    Hello Amy yes it is Hard and yes everythinG you said its true BUT I WOULDNT HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY

  13. PioneerGirl says:

    @Liz and Amy Everyone seems to think this is a joke. They are just going to have to learn to look at my back! and the wise look at my smile and reap the rewards of my success! Amy you are n inspiration Thank you with all my heart!

  14. PioneerGirl says:

    SEE YOU ALL ON THE RED CARPET!!!

  15. Cecilia Randall says:

    After spending 20 years in the field of education and now pursuing a career in acting, this post was right on time!! These very reasons have driven me to make this transition. This post has affirmed that in which some people may not understand or see, but the very thing that I BELIEVE is my journey at this phase of my life….living the life and pursuing that in which makes me HAPPY and FULFILLED..ACTING just happens to be IT!! THANK YOU for the words of encouragement and the INSPIRATION to push!!

  16. Richard Allan Jones says:

    Could easily apply to any of the creative arts…musician, artist, poet, writer…anything that most people would classify as “not a real job.”

  17. Bj Wieland-Doucet says:

    Oh Amy!!!!! This is sooo what I needed right now! Thank you is so wimpy a sentiment compared to what I’m feeling right now.
    I love my choice of careers & you for having faith in us. Bless your heart Girl!!!

  18. Clifta Frizzell says:

    Amy Jo Berman I love you! Thank you for reminding me of why pursuing my dream is worth it.

  19. Desmond Zampella says:

    this was a great read, thank you.

  20. M Engelhardt says:

    I really enjoyed the article. Especially the list of six reasons. Thanks Amy!

    P.S Also love your boost of encouragement and confirmation at the end “You DESERVE The Red Carpet” Thank you!

  21. Virginia Redler says:

    I love you! This business needs someone like you!

  22. Dawn Anderson says:

    Love this!! I want to put it on my wall! :)

  23. Angel Matheson says:

    I spend most of my time being inspirational to others it’s great when someone inspires me to keep going. Thank you for quieting the little voices in my head.

  24. KaptainAmericana says:

    …………
    Enjoy being broke all the time……….But at least you will meet hot girls at the clubs.

    .

  25. Camilo Eraso says:

    I was expecting something a little bit different, but it still made my insides all boiling… Thank you :)

  26. Jahmeel says:

    This was very uplifting! thanks Amy Jo! :)

  27. Wade Dienert says:

    Good advice Amy! So many people ask “What do you do?” because they don’t see me have a normal job that a “normal” person is supposed to have according to them. Well, I choose not to live life according to the norm. Who says I have to right? I mean really, what book was that written down in? My soul would absolutely die if I was stuck in a dead end job knowing that was what I was going to do the rest of my life. Uggghhhhhh………! So, number one really hits home, but they are all good. Thanks for the article!

  28. Kelly Jean Clair says:

    Amy – Thank you for this…I follow your posts regularly (And I had one of those days today that chewed me up and spit me out…) And I have to admit that my faith has been wobbling as of late – then lo and behold – I clicked on this post. Don’t know if it’s a ‘sign’ as the timing is pretty uncanny…but anyway – thank you again!

  29. Hannah says:

    I needed to read this. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Ok, back to memorizing lines.

  30. Berti Moso says:

    Great timing Amy, just what I needed today! Yessss! Thanks!!!!! Xxx

  31. Matt Lacy says:

    The main obstacle I always get hit with revolves around every form of the word “reality”. Everyone one says that I need to be realistic, because nobody makes it as an actor. Or when I don’t book a job my wife says “welcome to reality” or “welcome to the real world”. I don’t let “reality” dictate my acting future. Reality dictates what I’m currently doing, not what I’m capable of doing. By that I mean that I am currently working to be an actor, and “reality” doesn’t mean I can’t ever become a successful actor.

  32. Jeaniene Green says:

    Thanks, it was certainly encouraging. Fortunately my loved ones are supportive. My battle comes from within when things around me become challenging (I.e. finances). So that negative voice builds up momentum andurong those challenging periods and I’m doing battle with myself.

    • AmyJoBerman says:

      I’m sorry to hear that Jeaniene. You are not alone. I’ll be doing a free webinar soon that addresses some of those issues. Make sure you’re on my mailing list so you don’t miss it!

  33. Ankit shah says:

    Amy thnks fr sharing this. I m an actor in India. And sumtyms this question does cum. Fr me acting is lik a virus wch has gone in ma blood nd will nvr cum out. We Actors hav advantage to live othrs life in a diffrnt way. I m proud of myself tht i m an “Actor”. Thnk u

  34. kerry says:

    Love it :) you’ve hit the nail on the head! Thank you :)

  35. Ola Kolakowska says:

    Amy, becoming an actor allows people like you to profit from our pearl when we’re out of work. I have to hand it to you Girl – great business model!

  36. Ola Kolakowska says:

    The truth is that in-spite of all the positive comments here Amy makes a great living by tapping into our insecurities and providing so called ‘professional advice’ granted she knows what actors want but we all have the skills we already need we just need to practise them in the room, in class and on our own. There is no substitute for doing it yourself.

  37. Johnny Farrell says:

    Great stuff again Amy! I began smiling more and more as I read through 1-6. You rock!

  38. Ola Kolakowska says:

    If you all want some advice, perhaps need some encouragement then go out and make your own luck. Write your own script, be it a play, short film or feature, whatever. Cast yourself in the leading role and when it’s finished, make sure as many people see it as possible. The best use of your creativity to channel it through your talent and vision. Don’t wait on the phone to ring.

    Remember the quote from William Goldman – Nobody knows anything.

  39. Bruce Clifford says:

    Who in their right mind would want to still become an actor after reading this? I guess I’ll give up and take a 9-5 job I hate and watch Netflix the rest of my life. Thanks for crushing my dream Amy. ;) (Great Article!!!!!!) Loved it.

  40. Archie Cogollos says:

    Rejection gives you thicker skin and if it don’t kill you..YOU WILL BE STRONGER!!!!!!!!!….Yea baby………

  41. Jackie Taylor says:

    I went to monster talent in LA and they tried to talk me out of acting completely because they were working with someone and if they worked with me it would have been a conflict of interest, as well as telling me I wouldn’t get many roles because I didn’t have blonde hair and blue eyes.

  42. Chuk Obasi says:

    This really outweighs the 76 obstacles… thanks!

  43. Andrea Havens says:

    The smile is creeping across my face… creeeping… OW! My cheeks are killing me!! ;-D Thanks Amy Jo for the always inspiring – and FUN – perspectives!!

  44. There is a lot more than six but these are good ones.

  45. Nikhil Nagpal says:

    thank u so much mam.. m grateful..

  46. Talya Price says:

    Thank you Amy for this wonderful post. I am happy that I am an actor, one the best decision I made in my life.

  47. Sharon Talbot says:

    This is clever and sensitive, Amy, and hysterical. Yeah, it raises my spirits.

  48. Janice M. Wesley says:

    Hi Amy, thanks for your tips. I did not say anything to anyone for a long time for fear of being different. When I finally told my family they were completely supportive. I was getting in my own way of my success.

  49. mattUK says:

    this post is absolutely ridiculous bordering on bad taste. Probably the most offensive bit is the one that states that everyone who is not an actor lives a mundane life. really??? get off your high horse! being an actor is no more, neither it’s less than any other profession out there and these people with mundane existence are exactly what you are trying to portray most of the time unless you are doing some kind of meta cinema or theatre where the art is about the art. then you say if you are an actor you won’t look back and think “what if”. so by logical conclusion you are saying that being an actor is a guaranteed pass to success and there is no other outcome. you don’t think that out of those millions competing for the same profession that at least half of those (and that’s being generous from general statistics) who will have reached their 40s with a career that didn’t work out and now they find themselves with no money, no career and nothing to hold on to and then think “what if” I hadn’t chosen acting? then there is that business of having life handed in a silver plate if you’re not an actor. what the actual f..??? not even get me started me on that one. but then we get to the crux in the comments. after many “follow your light” and whatever other cheap motivational comebacks preying on vulnerable people who struggle with a hard choice, once asked for guidance we get this response “stay tuned as I’m doing a class with those skills coming up in a month or so.” So you egg people on to create an industry so you can make money out of them. nice. I get it, it’s business, but don’t sugar coat it for people that already have a hard enough time. I’ve got plenty of actor and musician friends (some very successful and others where life went horribly wrong because of their blind devotion and now find themselves struggling with depression) as I’ve got plenty of friends in other careers. they’re all people, no is special based on the merits of their career choice alone. there are wonderfully weird ceos as many as there are quirky sainsbury’s workers or chefs; there are I know unsuccessful and successful people in many fields, people asking “what ifs” everywhere and most importantly people that wished they had been an engineer, a lawyer, a doctor, a florist amongst a million other things including yes, an actor, however, the reality being for most people that following your dreams is not always possible or at least you try to make them possible but keep level headed approach to it, particularly when it’s a profession as hard to succeed in as acting, or music or any entertainer for that matter. so I’ll say it again, get off your high horse and stop romanticizing the profession. yes, it can be a great career but not viable for everyone, even the big starts are saying so in unison these days. The truth is, even statistically, it’s one where a lot of your time and effort will be extremely undervalued by comparison to others. So here’s my proposition, Amy. If you are really a casting director for so long in the industry and care so much about the cause of making sure actors are successful, then how about you hold free workshops and give everybody here a chance to audition for you so you may cast them in roles you may have and given everyone a chance? what do you say?

  50. Robert Leavell says:

    I got laidoff a couple months ago and now I’ve been in Louisville Ky. for a couple of days. I called a casting company here and the want me to pay a fee. What shall I do?

    • Archie Cogollos says:

      Never…and never an agent…u need headshots ..and a resume…those are yout tools…ask around for info on headshots..photographers..and if they’re asking you …ur being played

    • Bj Wieland-Doucet says:

      Robert, if I were you I’d go somewhere else to find representation. If they want a fee up front they’re a bogus outfit! A legit group takes their fee from your EARNIMGS.

  51. Thomas O'Malley says:

    Most of the time I treat acting like it’s the most serious intense activity in the world, when I should just kick my heels and have fun.

  52. Deanna L says:

    Yes #5 definitely #5! Thanks Amy :)

  53. Lori Richardson says:

    Hi Amy, I’ve been the dutiful daughter and stayed at home even when offered a job in entertainment after a high school audition. I’ve been a fantastic mother and raised 4 children. Now, it’s my turn and suddenly doors are opening again for me and I’m surprised, excited but most of all optimistic. For if nothing else when I’m gone those who know me will remember it may have taken me awhile but I did follow my dreams.

  54. Frankie Ray says:

    Hay Amy loved it I Choose Acting BECAUSE its Hard. Anyone can get a degree and fit into a job or a mold. to Face the challenge where Most Fail. to take the big Risk??????????? that’s a life well lived for me. But hay I need therapy.

  55. Corinne Bell says:

    This article was great! Yes it is so hard to become an actor!
    I currently live in a flat that I cant afford, but am determined not to move back home!
    My parents don’t get it, my boyfriend hates it.
    At the moment I am finding it hard to even get jobs , and if I eventually do they just last a day then I am back to trying to find more for a whole week. It sounds like I am complaining hahaha it really does doesn’t it!?!
    But if I am being truly honest with myself I know that I wouldn’t change a thing or turn back the clock , I don’t care if that makes me sound a little crazy hahah!

  56. Corinne Bell says:

    Thank you so much Amy! I forgot to say that in my long message hahaha

  57. jamesmapes says:

    Thoughtful, well written and right on the mark! It has been a wonderful roller coaster of a ride.

  58. Jim Pallett says:

    Thank you Amy Jo, Best, Jim Pallett

  59. Jimmy says:

    This article as awful

  60. Sharpo says:

    Love this. Thanks, Amy Jo. I love living the extraordinary life – even with the many challenges…then again, all lives are challenging and therefore extraordinary and that is why we as actors love to step into the shoes of other people’s lives.

  61. richard t phillis says:

    Thanks for your encouragement !!

  62. Joan Margaret Cyngot says:

    Thank you! It makes my day

  63. RyanAlexanderM. says:

    Awesome !!!! These 6 are such motivating reasons to Never stop climbing up in my acting career. Thankx a Million 4 this.

  64. Maya says:

    Amy, this gave me a smile; thank you. I recently moved back to LA to as ‘mature’ actor – but even with some decent IMDb credits its been tough getting an agent (I now have one) and getting in to audition for roles I am suited for, since I don’t know (and am an un-kown to) folks here. . . I know roles for older women (especially somewhat unusual women) are out there – aught I be doing CD workshops to get seen?

    Keep sharing your uplifting wisdom – we love you!
    Thanks so much,
    Maya Massar

  65. Lucas Simon says:

    Ah FUCK THIS. I’m never gonna succeed in acting and neither will any of you. Why don’t you just grow up, get your head outta the fucking clouds and get a real job.

  66. Lucas Simon says:

    I dunno about you guys, but I’ve gotten my head outta the clouds. I’m never gonna succeed in acting. You have a better chance of being abducted by aliens.

  67. Sad dreamer says:

    upon reading all this, i think its best to be an actor

  68. Mohi Mulk says:

    Thank you so much, I feel so much better now. I was completely shattered when I went to others sites and they said some crazy things, but these 6 reasons helped me to put myself back together again. Thank you

  69. Pawel says:

    I’m 27 right now, feel dead inside and trapped, wanted to be an actor since kind. Never tried, but got this voice inside of my head that it is one of those things that would make me feel fullfiled. I know, and i’ve heard thruoughout my life that I have predispositions. Now I ponder to get myself to London, find a teacher and try to get into acting school. It’s tough to make that decision, but it may change my life completely.

  70. Brain says:

    I really wanted to be an actor. last year, I was into the art of drama, and the places that acting takes you. up until I had a second seizure, It really made me reconsider what I had wanted to do now that I face two major disabilities (diabetes T1 and epilepsy). I still want to be in show business but don’t know what part is even close to the fun and adventure of acting.

  71. zb says:

    when you look at the reality of it, the reality: it’s a no brainer.

    The cost of time and gas and effort for the ‘thrill’ of an audition isn’t worth it.
    If you realistically kept a record of what you spent on time, gas, and prep to do a large number of auditions before you landed a gig, that gig is probably paying you $2.oo an hour by the time you reckon everything.

    The competition isn’t even truly the real reason you don’t get it.
    Some places have x # of auditions to allow them free usage of the space, like CAZT which then sells your email and spams you to buy your audition footage.

    Then you encounter clowns who allege they are the ‘awesome casting director’ but their idea of humor is making fun of a woman’s eating disorder or having an actor ‘pretend you are dying from poison gas!’ at an audition. Real funny in Beverly Hills S. Stone. 50% of my friends lost friends from real poison gas from the Nazi Camps. The idea of Oprah’s eating disorder as comedy is abhorrent.

    So if you like living in poverty, acting is a hoot.
    If you want a savings account and to kive outside of the armpit we call Los Angeles, there are so many other, more reasonable ways to make a living.

  72. LAC says:

    This is a very interesting post. The part about loved ones bursting your bubble every chance they get resonated with me. Maybe they are legitimately “worried” or they don’t “get it” or maybe they are a little jealous.
    If I wanted to become an astronaut and had the intellectual and physical ability to do it, most people would think it is a laudable goal. The government actually pays for most of your training. How many astronauts actually go into space? Think about it.
    Your TV set and computer are filled with entertainment 24/7. Now there you have some better odds! Plus there are thousands of live venues of all kinds all around the world.
    The stupidest thing I ever did in my life was wait for my family to “get it”. They never did really.
    This is like being an astronaut. Just know what your natural ability is and go for it. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if you had the backing of your community and family? Yes.
    Waste your time trying to get them on board? No.
    I would suggest running the astronaut story by them.
    The other very good points of your post are also well taken. Nice!

  73. Funruffian says:

    I’ve had this epiphany of extreme regret that I chose acting over sports in HS. In all modesty I was quite outstanding for my age. I loved acting in plays. I got to be the hero without shedding any blood or injuring myself. The experience was rewarding. However, at this stage in my life, the ripe age of 49, I have been ruminating on how my life would have turned out if I had just stayed in sports and developed more skills with all the other guys. Would I have attracted more girls? Would my social skills be different? Would I have developed more marketable skills?
    I had the fortune of having a supportive family that admired my pursuits and accomplishments. My naivety and wishful thinking led me through college and earning a degree due to my acting. You could say that was my ticket into a major University. But that was 1990. Times have changed. The business culture has changed. I now see my Theatre degree as a forgotten piece of paper that will only serve me as a teacher.
    Your article afforded me some inner peace. My decisions have been made and I can’t relive and change my teenage dreams. They were made and that’s that.
    I admit i chose acting, because my creativity and knack for acting was too good to be abandoned. And because I enjoyed it so much back then I had to make the sacrifices.

  74. Allocator says:

    Most people-talented and highly motivated people – who want to succeed in this business – never ever make it passed background work. Forget about acting classes…..you will spend a lots of money and watch the person with great connections in the entertainment industry get the roles. It really is that simple.
    The vast majority of people who have the talent and acting ability never make it But if you know the right people and really have a talent or ”look” your odds improve
    Amy Jo Berman is spinning a nice tail …… but the reality of this business is really sobering.

  75. Romero R says:

    Great advice Amy Jo!

  76. Santos says:

    ” No one has a perfect life. Everybody has something that they wish was not the way it is “–Stan lee

    Thank you for this.

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