10 Actor Life Lessons From Gordon Ramsay

You may be wondering what the heck does Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares have to do with acting?  Good question.

I’ve come to realize that depending on how you perceive things in life, you can either gain something of value or something of insignificance from it.

Gordon Ramsay is a master Chef but if you watch his show ‘Kitchen Nightmares’, you could possibly gain some powerful insight into the mindset of someone who has incredible work ethic, passion and motivation.  What’s more, is that you can apply those values to your actor mindset and improve your actor life.

I’m going to share 10 observations I’ve made from watching how Chef Gordon Ramsay conducts and uses his mindset.


You can’t get nothing done without concentration.  Knowing what to focus on is also essential  and the more you act, the more you will understand and things will become second nature to you because you are familiar with the process of acting in film, tv or theatre and you will therefore be able to fix your attention on certain elements quicker and more accurately.  Each project will be different but certain principles will always remain.  When you watch Gordon Ramsay, he is completely aware of all the different aspects of a restaurants function, simultaneously.  He is aware of the front and back end of the restaurant at the same time.  This takes enormous concentration as well as special focus on the right things.


You need to be willing to commit and give all of yourself for your career goals and actor craft.  Gordon Ramsay spends virtually day/night working his tail off with his restaurants to give the best customer service experience he has in him to provide with his team.  It takes a load of discipline to stay in there and demand that kind of attention. With consistency discipline gets easier but you have to ground yourself.


When you love what you do, you are willing to go through the necessary pain involved. The ups and downs that come with an acting career.  No matter how many awards you’ve won or how many projects you have not done, you will still go through some tough times.  Passion is what keeps the light on and pushes you past your mental road blocks and whatever other road blocks you may encounter.  Passion is part of your gift because when you have something deep inside of you that breathes fire, it will never get put out and it will never leave your side.  Passion goes past rational thinking in a good sense because it helps you stay the course whatever your personal goals may be.  Gordon Ramsay certainly didn’t have an easy background to get where he is today.  Passion carried him forward.


Not throwing in the towel.  Never giving up.  Being relentless with your promise.  That’s what it takes for achievement to be reached.  You have to be willing to go through the hurdles and struggles.  You have to be committed.  I’m pretty sure Gordon Ramsay’s first cooked salmon wasn’t superb, probably better than most but it was still his very first.  His commitment to ‘getting it right’ didn’t happen overnight.  You have to promise yourself that if an acting career is what you want, you will stop at nothing to go after it and maintain the course within yourself.  You won’t allow distractions to get in your way.  Do you think Gordon Ramsay misses a day here and there running his restaurants or do you think he’s committed?  Was he committed to becoming a top notch Chef?  You bet.  Are you committed to being a top notch actor?


Since you love what you do as an actor, you will find yourself maintaining a level of integrity and self-respect not only for yourself but your fellow colleagues.  It’s crucial to always keep a level you do not wish to go beneath simply for your own self-integrity and respect for the art form.  Only you know what you are living your life for and if it’s for a career in the world of acting, only you can set the limits and boundaries to what you wish to do and not do.  Gordon Ramsay certainly sets a high bar of integrity for himself and stops at nothing to make sure he doesn’t ever drop below that self-inflicted standard.  Things can get pretty disappointing at times in general anyway, why disappoint yourself?


Keep pushing to grow and learn and get better.  Don’t settle for less than what you know you are capable of giving.  When you are tired or feeling lazy, force yourself to go one step further.  These growing pains will get you to where you desire to be.  Be relentless.  For every goal met, find a new goal to set and keep striving.  Gordon Ramsay never stops trying to challenge himself and push his limits.  Whether its the work he creates in his own kitchen or helping those achieve new heights with their own kitchen.


The more experiences you go through, the more failures you will have and the more knowledge you will gain. Gordon Ramsay has had failed restaurants along his journey and he learned from his failures and bounced back.

According to Wikipedia:

Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants have been awarded 16 Michelin stars in total and currently hold 9. His signature restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, London, has held 3 Michelin stars since 2001.


When you do what you love, you have what may seem like an insurmountable amount of energy.  You don’t get tired as quickly as the next person because every moment is too enjoyable not to be living in it.  Good energy is a tremendous advantage to getting things done.  Notice how Gordon bounces sometimes when he talks, when he is really trying to get a point that matters across to who he is speaking to?  That bounce may be entertaining but it’s energy that comes from his passion.  That energy gets thrown into the work and great things happen.


Without caring about the work you do and about the people involved in collaboration, sooner or later you will come off negative.  The nature behind Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares is the fact that it’s a show based on helping other restaurant owners succeed.  Succeed with their cooking, succeed with their relationships, their finances, their customer service and more.  This is all because Gordon Ramsay cares…you can’t fake that, he genuinely cares about the people he is trying to help achieve their dreams.  The same goes for you…do you care about the work you do?  Do you care about the people you work with?


It takes courage.  You need to be brave.  At whatever stage of your acting career you are in, whether it be just starting out or a seasoned pro, courage is always something you need to keep within you.  Courage to audition, courage to interview, courage to film the scene all night, courage to take risks in your work, courage to take on a role in general, courage to turn down a part, courage to maintain your level of professionalism and on and on and on.  It takes Gordon Ramsay courage to help people when they put up a strong argument and tell him he is wrong about their restaurant.  It takes tremendous courage to stick it out for someone else and fight for them, despite themselves.  Are you strong enough to fight for yourself?

Of course you are.  Make it happen!  =)

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Joseph Arnone

Joseph Arnone is the founding editor-in-chief of Monologue Blogger. In addition to running MB, Joseph is a filmmaker/producer who has had his films premiere at Festival de Cannes - Court Metrage and Tribeca Cinema's Big Apple Film Festival. He can be reached at Joseph@monologueblogger.com