The Actor’s Struggles

The actor's struggles

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The acting industry must be THE toughest industry in the world. Sometimes when I hear people say they want to be an actor I want to say to them ‘Are you sure? Are you REALLY sure? Is there anything else you could do?’ Do you know about the actor’s struggles?


Every actor’s journey in the industry is completely different, some will train for years perfecting their craft then struggle like hell to find a job, some do very little training and find constant work and vice versa, nobody can predict how another actors journey will unfold, but there is one common thread, all actors will struggle with one or more of the pointers below.

What are the actors struggles?

Do you relate to any of these?

  1. Rejectionhow many times can you hear the word no or worst still hear nothing?
  2. The green eyed monster – seeing other people do well when you have been working SO SO hard and getting zilch
  3. Finance working a low paid job so you have the freedom to drop a shift any time an audition comes up.
  4. Finance skinting yourself to pay out for headshots, showreels, classes, Spotlight membership, Equity membership, workshops, an acting coach.
  5. Finance – forking out travel costs to get to auditions.
  6. Sacrifice – Cancelling that holiday because an audition has cropped up.
  7. Sacrifice – not buying a house or car because you can’t afford to because you have to work a low paid job.
  8. Uncertainty – not knowing when or if you will ever find your big break.
  9. Frustrationgoing through long periods of unemployment (acting unemployment).
  10. Confidence – not knowing whether you are good enough.
  11. Lack of determination – letting the past few rejections affect you.
  12. Not being proactive – expecting the work to come to you (it really won’t).
  13. Pessimism – telling yourself you’ll never make it or thinking thoughts along those lines.
  14. Staying in comfort zone – not taking action to move your career forward because it feels good being a big fish in a small pond, even though it doesn’t make you happy.
  15. Comparing – to other people’s talent/looks/success.
  16. Location – Do you move to London/LA or don’t you?
  17. Location – living in the middle of nowhere makes it soooo difficult to get to castings.
  18. Transport – having a car would make it so much easier but you just can’t afford to run one.
  19. Competition – the industry is saturated. There are way more actors than there are roles.
  20. Employment you’ve done a tonne of student films. The first few were exciting, now you’re DESPERATE for a paid gig.
  21. TimeSo much time is spent going to castings, updating your CV, practicing the craft, trying to make it to maybe never find success.
  22. Frustrationat the industry being fickle
  23. False promises being told over and over again that this is the project that will get your name out there or being promised a role on a TV show, in a big film and it falls through.
  24. Anxiety  – please don’t tell me I’m going to have to get a real job, am I going to have to get a real job? I don’t want to go back to the real world.

As an actor you have to accept that you are going to experience if not all, many of these difficulties and there will be many challenges ahead. If you’re going to ruminate over these things, chances are you will still be ruminating when you’re fifty and won’t be any further forward. 

So what do I need to do?

You need to keep going, there is no point in moaning about these things. If you are determined you can get through every single one of these struggles, that every actor faces.

This is an effort based industry and therefore you must get off your a** and put in effort to see any of the results you want. You must have a clear strategy and a very big why for wanting to make it. Your why has to be so big it makes you jump out of bed every morning and find a way around these obstacles. Without either of these you are simply going to struggle. If you aren’t clear on either of these, make it your priority today to get 100% clear.

I wish you every success on your acting journey. Feel free to let me know how you are getting on or whether you have anything else that could be added to the list, in the comments section below.



If you found these tips useful, you can grab yourself more tips completely FREE. Louise O’Leary is a professional method actress, acting coach and CEO of StandBy Method Acting Studio. Her mission is to help as many actors as she can achieve their acting dreams and become the best actor they can be. Join the hundreds of actors around the world who have downloaded her eBook “Respect your craft, discover my top 45 method acting secrets to launch your career”. and be on your way to acting success today!

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Here’s to your success!


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