Why It’s Okay If You Suck At Acting

Do you suck at acting?  In order to be a good actor, you need to practice being a bad actor first. There are some actors born with natural talent.  Even then, there needs to be an understanding of how to harness such attributes.

No one comes out of the gate sparkling with greatness.

Perhaps the media tends to paint such a picture but it is a false projection.  Anyone that is good at anything, busted their ass to get that good.

You need to remind yourself that if you are working on being a good actor, you must fail to succeed.  By doing so, you lift a self-imposed pressure off your shoulders and instead allow yourself to focus on improving.

It’s Okay To Suck At Acting

Tips on coping with being a bad actor:

  • Patience.
  • Commitment.
  • Passion.
  • Discipline.

Society teaches us that it’s not okay to make mistakes.  So there is a subconscious resistance to doing something wrong.

I’m talking about the logical sense of making a mistake.  You don’t want to drive drunk at 150mph and crash your car or commit a crime or go against your personal morals and values as a human being.

It’s about making good mistakes.  How can you make good mistakes?  You have to try, experiment, explore, test and examine.

Mistakes are the greatest ways of making the best improvements in yourself.  You need to be willing to dive in and try to swim.  Sooner or later you will.

INNER DRIVE

You need inner drive.  Your work in acting must matter to you.  If you don’t have a deep seeded purpose driving you, you will sooner or later walk away from it.

By having an inner drive you defeat these common excuses:

  • “It’s so hard.”
  • “I don’t have the time.”
  • “I’m only fooling myself.”
  • “I’m busy with that other thing.”
  • “My partner doesn’t think I should continue.”
  • “I think it’s just a big waste of my time, anyway.”

These are the thoughts that will rise up in you when doubt creeps in.  If you have a strong inner drive, they will never overcome you.

Understand what your inner purpose is in acting.  It doesn’t need to be an Earth shifting purpose but something strong enough that lives inside of you that you truly believe in.  That’s all you need.

FAIL YOUR ASS OFF

Just be the worst actor you have in you to be.  There is no better place to start then at your ultimate worst.  There is only one way you can go…up.

The more you fail, the closer you get to becoming a good actor.  All of the people you respect in any field of work are at the top of their game because they failed more than you have.

Does this sound familiar?

“You’re not good enough.  You will never be anything.  Stop wasting your time.  You have no talent.  Are you actually serious?  You’re too fat.  You’re too skinny.  You’re not good looking enough.  You’re too young or too old.  You’re a dreamer.  You need to be realistic.”

No matter who you are, there is a resistance on anything you want to do in your life.  Whether it be the thoughts of others or self-imposed.

Ignore the peanut gallery or invite them to motivate you.  Either way, use the peanut gallery to your advantage.

The best of the best are willing to suck at acting in order to get good at acting.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Another myth that needs to be shattered.  Practice doesn’t make perfect because perfection in art is grossly exaggerated. Show me the perfection experts who claim that an actor’s performance was of the utmost perfection.

Acting isn’t an art form designed to be perfect.  Acting is an art form designed to express humanity…which is imperfect.

There exists a multitude of ways to interpret a role from a multitude of actors but there will never be perfection reached by any one of them.

That in itself is what makes acting alive, beautiful and honest.

Knowing you don’t have to be perfect, even as you grow in your work is comforting.  You will aspire to be as good as you can be with each new character you portray. You will also remain humble as a servant to the art of acting, rather than a big headed egomaniac who believes your own self-importance.

Practice makes improvements, not perfection.

Conclusion

My closing thoughts is that if you suck at acting and know it, I applaud you because you are already halfway toward where you wish to go.  It takes strength and courage to go past point one to get to point two in your work.

Even if you are a veteran of acting for decades, there will be challenges and discomfort and times when you are lousy.  That’s part of the process and it’s a lifetime journey.

No actor is perfect.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

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.

Monologue Blogger Newsletter
* indicates required