3 Tips To Become an Actor Without Feeling Overwhelmed


Your acting career is about to take off!…
That’s how it feels when you decide to be an actor. You made that decision; suddenly the world is open to endless possibilities. You can already feel your feet on that Red Carpet!

And then it happens…

The endless possibilities for your acting career that once seemed like a delightful buffet of delicious treats now feels like an endless array of offers, tools, classes, coaches and…well…decisions, decisions, decisions.

And suddenly not only do they not look like delicious treats, they look downright daunting.


You are officially suffering from what most actors feel when they start to become an actor… Information Overwhelm… Or what I like to call “Cheesecake Factory Menu Syndrome”.

The good news is…

By the end of this blog, you'll know exactly what steps to take to avoid this dangerous career-killing syndrome before it stops your new acting career in its tracks.  

And I'll get to your 3 tips in a sec…  First, I've a question for ya…

Ever go to The Cheesecake Factory?

Sure, they have an outrageously large array of delightful treats to choose from on that menu…but OH! …what to choose??!! It all looks good, but the pages go on and on and on.

And as you flip through the giant, heavy menu, then the waitress comes over.  She gives you that warm smile and asks if you’re ready.

acting career
Since you have about 150,000 choices and don't know what to pick, you hold up your index finger give her the “I need a minute” sign while you try to make the “right” choice that you won’t regret later.

Whew!  What pressure!

And this feeling of total overwhelm — feeling frozen and not knowing what to choose or do next is just what often happens in your new acting career…if you're not careful.

When you are beginning an acting career (or even if you’re right smack in the middle of one), it is very common to experience this kind of information overwhelm. And, unlike your choice at The Cheesecake Factory, if you make the wrong choice, the repercussions could follow you in your acting career for quite some time.

So, here are 3 simple ways that you can avoid the acting career overwhelm conundrum and have your (cheese)cake and eat it too.


acting career1 – Take Things Slowly

Your acting career is not going anywhere. I know you want to get your acting career off the ground, NOW…or YESTERDAY, or 10 YEARS AGO, but trying to do it all at once doesn’t actually serve you.  It can actually throw you further into overwhelm, the result of which can be you either quit before you start, or you make a choice for the wrong reason and live to regret it.

Take a moment to breathe when you feel the overwhelm start to creep up; remind yourself that you are in control.

If you feel pressured (either by you or by someone trying to sell you something) take a step back. REMEMBER: YOU get to decide what your next move is and you don’t have to decide right there in that second.  Whew!

Then, go to step 2.

2 – Get Educated

REMEMBER: Learning about the business (not just of acting but of Hollywood) and understanding how it all works is key to avoiding “Cheesecake Factory Menu Syndrome” in your acting career.

I can't stress this enough.

Once you have the bigger picture, you won’t feel like such an outsider and you will relax a little more about the decisions before you.  Not only that, but doesn't it just make sense to get to know the business you want to be in?

After all, you wouldn't enter any other business without some foundational knowledge about it.

For example, you wouldn't just decide – “I want to be a Stock Broker” without getting some knowledge on how Wall Street works. (Not unless you want to go broke anyway.)

It's the same with your acting career.  

Your acting career, big or small, new or old, is part of a business.

Yes, passion for acting is at the central hub of it, but if you don't learn what's happening around your passion for the art of acting, it's virtually impossible to land on the Red Carpet AND return there over and over again (aka being successful).

Afterall, you don't want to be a one hit wonder.

You want to have an exciting long term career as a professional working actor, right?

There are many resources for this kind of education. But always vet the source thoroughly. Make sure whoever you choose to educate you has expertise AND real life experience in the business…and even then…thoroughly research your choice before you dive in. Get recommendations from people you trust.

And always, always, ALWAYS trust your instinct.

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3 – Make a Plan

Once you understand how it all works, and where you fit into the “machine” of Hollywood, you can begin to make a plan. Sometimes you can learn to do this on your own; sometimes you’ll want to consult with an expert. Either way, you need a plan.

In those moments of information overwhelm, the key is to always go back to your plan.

That way you're not relying on emotion or getting lost in that black hole of indecisiveness.  You'll be much more relaxed, making decisions in a much more streamlined and simple way and then you can move toward your goals much easier…and FASTER.

REMEMBER: Every Plan Needs A Strategy — Here Is Yours:

If you’re serious about having a professional acting career, you must play “the long game”.

audition tips.

The long game is for pros. Not amateurs.

The long game is your return ticket to the Red Carpet over and over and over.

Professional working actors play the long game by making educated decisions with a long-term goal in mind.

Be professional.

Don’t go for quick fixes and biting off more than you can chew at one time. Don’t be in a rush. Going for the fast ticket to fame is a fast ticket to acting career Burn Out City.

The long game requires thought, planning and strategy. Add that to your creative passion for acting and you have a win-win.

Of course there are many more steps ahead of you to create a successful acting career and rockin’ the Red Carpet and I will continue to give them to you in small digestible pieces.

Afterall, I don’t want this blog post become another Cheesecake Factory Menu. :-p

In the meantime, work on the 3 steps above and please feel good about joining me for my next upcoming free training on how to start your acting career — the RIGHT way.

Your turn!  What challenges have you faced in your acting career when it comes to information overwhelm?  Have you ever experienced “Cheesecake Factory Menu Syndrome”?  Please share your experience it in the comments below :-)

You DESERVE The Red Carpet,


Ready To Start Your Acting Career Right?

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

“I show actors how to be better, book more jobs and live The Red Carpet life!”

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30 Responses

  1. Juan says:

    I first want to say Thank You for taking the time to help us become successful professional actors. Any advice to help clim the mountain to the top, I am all ears. As much as I want to rush to be a costar on a tv series or blockbuster film and commercials I am learning to be patient ambitious and a student. So when I have a successful productive career like Danzel Washington I will choice the roles I am comfortable of acting. I am looking forward for tomorrow 8 steps.
    Question, do you recommend if we choice to have a stage name? My name is Juan Carlos Salinas but my stage name is JC Cristo

  2. Francesco Ciaramella says:

    An Italian poet said that to drawn in a sea of trouble can be difficult but lovely.
    As an Italian in New York, I look back at that great poet, Giacomo Leopardi, and I thank him because it is so huge this ocean of trouble, an acting carrer maks drawn in! It is exhausting. Though still gorgeous!

  3. Veronika St says:

    My biggest struggle at the moment is where to move… NYC, LA or Atlanta. And I’ve been consulting with a few acting coaches and I’m getting mixed answers and yes it does become overwhelming!

  4. Alexa Fontecha says:

    This means so much, Amy, truly. For the longest time I was afraid to go for what I really wanted because I was always scarred away from it because it wasn’t “practical.” Now, I know that I really can live the life I have always truly wanted and be an actress. I’m young and have a long way to go and I am sure in it for the long game. Thank you for helping me get a proper start on my dream.

  5. Troy Weymouth says:

    I’m new to this venue but I’m loving it so far. I left the Army last year after almost 20 years and could not find a job so ended up auditioning for an acting/modeling program. After 7 months in the program I’ve done almost every kind of job to stack my resume. Next month I’ll be in a talent showcase and get to meet about 20 agents from around the country. I’m pretty excited. It’s hard starting out at 40, but I’ve read about many others who have done the same thing. I’m probably the only one in my showcase who has tried to learn about the business. I’ve spoken with SAG 7 or 8 times and we talked forever about questions I gathered from my time as an Extra. I only did 4 films as an Extra, just enough to learn the business. My goal is not to be a career Extra. I’ve done 5 student films and had a lead in a feature film. So I’m ready for next month’s showcase. This is probably a long post, but in reference to the Information Overwhelm. I think a lot of it has to do with your background. I was in Special Forces for 12 years. I believe my stress to information ratio is a little different than the individual coming off the street. I enjoy stress and I make good decisions, but it’s always valuable to get feedback from professionals, successful professionals, in the business. Right now I’m moving at light speed. Casting directors have raved about me to others and I’m loving the experience in this new career. I’ve lived off my savings for a year to do this. I even sold my car and moved back with my folks so I could continue with this. I’m excited, and equally excited to be a part of experiences like this one. Amy, I want to thank you for putting this kind of information out there. I know so many would pay for it but what you do is a credit to you as an individual and professional. I hope to continue to learn from people like you and hope, someday, I’ll be walking that red carpet. The goal right now is to be able to pay my bills. If I can do that, then I’ll be a professional actor.

  6. Linda Ann Eknoian says:

    Amy many thanks for your sound advice!! Very, very helpful — even when you have been in the business a while!!

  7. Amy’s information is absolutely SPOT ON and so very important to all actors, regardless of their experience level.

  8. Patricia McLaughlin says:

    Thank you Amy for emphasizing the importance of easing into the process of choosing acting classes, auditions, photographers, etc. I returned to the acting industry 4 years ago after a long hiatus from the stage and found it to be refreshing to pace myself this time around. It allows for better focus, economy in movement and the state of being comfortable in my own shoes while acting.

  9. Bj Wieland-Doucet says:

    As usual, your post is spot on. I do my best to breathe thru the overload & go back to all my notes from your posts, webinars & v-logs.

    The Atlanta market is starting to really take off so I’m blessed to be getting in on the ground floor so I can create a career here then expand back to Hollywood where I started.

    Your cyber tutelage has so helped me to be working with some awesomely creative folks. Thank you with all my heart!!!

  10. corbi pierce says:

    This advice helped allot. I just recently moved to the Atlanta area and I have been trying to understand the acting world for myself. I just recently got a part of an agency however I do most of the work myself which means that I have full control over what I want to do and what I don’t want to do. So I guess that it must be a gocod thing.

  11. Love this… Never get tired of the great advice you give.

  12. Talya Price says:

    Thank you for this. I need to advice and guidance with concerns to my career and this helped.

  13. Alexandria Odekirk says:

    I’m in the process of starting to look for an agent and a friend of mine a couple months ago told me his agencies and told me it couldn’t hurt to at least check them out. So he asked me if he could send a “hey watch for this girl” message to his agents. Before I had a chance to respond, he had already done so without my permission. I was going to say yes…but at a later time when I was prepared and ready. I was just getting my headshot session booked since my then current ones were old. I freaked out a little and then stepped back and told myself. Whatever. It’s ok. You have to put YOUR best foot forward when you are ready. I am definitely happy I didn’t rush into that because now I can apply with more confidence! slow and steady wins the race!

  14. Cooper Anderson says:

    Always good advice from Amy.

  15. Aubrey says:

    This blog really hit home for me! :)
    I definitely feel like my career is taking forever to take off. I’m switching to a new job to support my career. It’s full-time tho and I’m not really sure when my acting career will take off at this point. I know I’m a young twenty-something, but I wanna get out of working a regular job and be full-time in acting as soon as possible. I’m just not sure how to make it happen at the right time.

    • AmyJoBerman says:

      I can totally understand that and it’s something I hear often Aubrey. Make sure you get on the notification list for the free training series I’m doing on this topic. Yes?

      • Aubrey says:

        I’m on the notification list. Believe me :) I loved being a part of your free webinar from June and the webinar earlier this September :)

  16. Lisa Marie says:

    Thanks for this blog. It definitely is overwhelming out there because I want to accomplish so much RIGHT NOW. But, my biggest problem is time management and balancing a checkbook- between doing what I need to do to make money and trying to find time to learn, take classes, audition and train without going broke! Its a slow work-in progress……

  17. Bj Wieland-Doucet says:

    As usual Amy, it is spot on! Getting my branding is the thing I’m glitchy about. Still working on getting that down
    Thanks for the reminder to WRITE DOWN my plan again!

  18. Henrik Plau says:

    This is so true. I know I’ve spent way to much time in the cheese-factory these days. Patience really is a virtue, especially in this line of work. Thank you for talking about this, I can really relate! And now I really want cake…

  19. Amy Akins says:

    Wonderful advice as always!

  20. ScottyFusion says:

    Oh dear! You forgot step #4 (and in my opinion the most important)

    The best solution to “Cheesecake Factory Menu syndrome” is to call and schedule a one-on-one hour long consulting appointment with AJB and she can help explain the menu! I did this last Friday and I am happy to say I’m ready to order! I know I have a LOT of work to do now but I’m way less overwhelmed about the steps I need to take! Oh waitress… check please!

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