Sorry to vent, Just need advice bad =(

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    Jan 08, 2011 8:15 AM GMT
    Hi, thanks in advance for everyone who reads and answers this. I'm an 18 year old gay college student who just finished my first semester of college. I'm originally from New Jersey and decided to move to Florida for college as a way to start over and get away for a while. Now my real dream is to become an actor and entertain people. My family just doesn't believe that, so to make them happy I just kept my dreams on hold and went to school. I had a ton of fun in Florida but it just wasn't for me and I struggled so bad in school that I realized I should move back home and get my grades up.

    I just applied to a community college in my town but I honestly can't do it anymore. School is just not for me as I am always thinking about what I want and my dreams. I don't know how much longer I can take making everyone else happy before me. I feel like just packing everything I have, getting up and just moving to California by myself. I know that having an education and degree is important and that the entertainment industry is difficult to get into but I feel like I need to get started already and not wait anymore.

    I'm not happy being in school and not living out my dream and it's making me a bit depressed knowing that each day that goes by I could be taking acting classes, going to auditions or something like that. My family just does not support me and don't understand and I just don't want to give up that easily. It's my turn to be happy. Any advice? Thank you!
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    Jan 08, 2011 9:07 AM GMT
    university offers various kinds of studies in the film and entertainment industries. Perhaps you should check into that avenue and think about the future with a degree focused on your dream rather than running off to hollywood and joining the masses of unemployed kids already there...You have a bird in the hand,,,,,,i would suggest you hang on to it and use it...talk to a student advisor.................................good luck...................Keithicon_wink.gif
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    Jan 08, 2011 12:46 PM GMT
    Patience pays off.
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    Jan 08, 2011 12:57 PM GMT
    You're just not ready for college yet. Take a year off and work.

    The chances of being successful in acting are very slim. So go to work with a HS diploma, see what kind of s scut jobs you are going to get, and then maybe you will be motivated to study in college.

    That'll be $75, please.

    check out this book too:

    http://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Success-Carol-Dweck/dp/0345472322/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294491575&sr=1-1
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    Jan 08, 2011 1:07 PM GMT
    Is it that you want to act so badly you are unable to concentrate on your studies or is it that you are just not academically inclined? Plenty of people fall into the latter category (myself included). Do not make yourself miserable by trying to live up to others' expectations of you. On the other hand, do be realistic in your ambitions.
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    Jan 08, 2011 1:10 PM GMT
    Usually when people say that college just isn't for them, it's because they don't have the patience and the maturity to be in the real world yet. Beyond the homework and studies, college has a lot more to offer as far as real world realizations, experience, and lessons.

    My college roommate just moved out to LA a couple months ago. As for being a talented rapper, actor, and graphic design artist, he still hasn't found a job out there which is shocking because he is VERY talented.

    My opinion, you can get your career started in a proactive way by doing your research and finding a college that will help you get an education that you want as well as offer some of the core materials you'll need if you want to pursue this career. It's ALWAYS a good thing to have a back up plan if something doesn't go right. Picking up everything and moving isn't going to solve your problems; you've tried that once already and look how that worked out. It's dangerous for someone at your age, and not to mention a waste of money since the chances of success are so slim.

  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jan 08, 2011 1:23 PM GMT
    Alex,

    just moving is never the answer!! It just changes geography. What do you have a passion for?? Find out and do that with all you have and lose the quit attitude. Life is alot tougher when you're older. Right now is the easiest time of your life. Maturity will come, just realize how lucky you are to even be able to attend collegeicon_idea.gif The majority in this world are not so fortunate.

    Good Luck
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    Jan 08, 2011 1:36 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]
    My college roommate just moved out to LA a couple months ago. As for being a talented rapper, actor, and graphic design artist, he still hasn't found a job out there which is shocking because he is VERY talented.

    [/quote]


    HAHAHAHA. This is the truth. I was born and raised in los angeles. Do you know how many people move out here ? And with no college degree? most likely you're just gonna be another twink hustler selling your ass up and down La Jolla Ave trying to get enough to score your next crack binge

    Talent / looks doesn't mean anything in L.A. To make it here takes networking your ass off, making friends in the right places, and a shit ton of luck.

    I understand that college might not be for you but honestly if you move to L.A. without knowing anyone, no one is gonna look at you twice. People in L.A. don't give handouts. But if you do decide to move here, I wish you all the luck!
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    Jan 08, 2011 1:53 PM GMT
    ExcuseMyHyperbole said[quote]Talent / looks doesn't mean anything in L.A. To make it here takes networking your ass off, making friends in the right places, and a shit ton of luck.
    Same can be said for NYC and Miami.
    Having a professional career is almost a must if you want to network with the right people.
    Moving to these places to get a low-paying job in hopes of "making it" is a fast track to failure.
  • FreakTheBeat

    Posts: 151

    Jan 08, 2011 2:29 PM GMT
    OR You can not think about the success but the journey to. You can totally move and follow your dreams because it makes life for great adventure. Plus, if you wanted you could always go to community college over there part time. Get a job, and act. It's all about puttin in the work. Be positive & HUSTLE!!!!

    I'm in the dance industry and I guess that is way different from the acting scene buttttt...

    Its totally spontaneous.

    I moved.

    &

    I'm having the best time/experiences of my life.

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    Jan 08, 2011 2:34 PM GMT
    alexxxm saidNow my real dream is to become an actor and entertain people.


    If that is what you want to do, and absolutely nothing else you do in the world that can and ever will satisfy you, then all power to you... you GO, act and entertain to your heart's content. It doesn't really matter where you are. You can do it right where you are. Local theatre, local TV, indie productions, etc. If the "craft of acting" is truly what you want to do, then do it. You were born to entertain. Discover your niche.

    On the other hand, if you want to be an actor because you want to be a celebrity or famous, then that's a different game to play.
    Know yourself well, as it will dictate how you engage in this business. Reality shows are big business. (And I hate them - LOL)

    I don't want to discourage you, but be realistic. Know that facts. Keep your ego in check. Do your homework, both business-wise and skill-wise. You're making an investment of life, self, time and money, emotion, etc. Know what you're getting into. Weigh the numbers... recognize your odds and plan accordingly. According to that link, in 2008 about 56,500 worked in various venues, which includes stuff like acting in museums and places. Last I recall, there are over 120,000 members in the Screen Actors Guild, where the majority 98% makes less than $5000 per year. And that's not including the tens of thousands of non-union actors, of which you will be one, competing for those coveted background work vouchers. Just getting into the union will be the first hurdle, as union productions will hesitate to hire non-union as there are penalties.

    The bottom line is, to support yourself, you need school to give you skills to make money while you pursue your acting. Like @BiBoston said, get some other skills. Having some business/marketing skills will really come in very handy. Learning to manage your time and affairs, being diligent and disciplined, persevering, doing what you have to do to make it happen are all very important. That means laying down the groundwork for success.

    GET educated and have something to fall back on, lest you find yourself homeless and begging on the streets of LA. It's a BUSINESS, first and foremost. Never forget that. I repeat, NEVER forget.

    Don't get too caught up in the dream that you forget to come down from the clouds to see how things are really done. Seriously, unless you have some aspect of you like Ted Williams' voice, that kind of discovery is once in a blue moon.

    All that said.... Much success to you! Indeed, whole-heartedly, I wish you all the best!
    —Your friendly card-carrying SAG member. icon_cool.gif
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    Jan 08, 2011 3:08 PM GMT
    There is nothing worse than spending time doing something you're not passionate about. Of course, moving to California has ramifications (and the number of hot waiters and bartenders on the lookout to be disovered attests to this fact-most of them just do this on the side, and go to classes after)

    I suggest, if you have the wherewithal to finance, try and live in California for a while, see if it's for you.

    Non-trad advice but the lnger you wait on a dream (especially those involving acting) the harder they get as time passes. Schools on the other hand will still be there in case you find out acting's not for you. There are risks but the greater the risks, the bigger returns.icon_cool.gif
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    Jan 08, 2011 4:38 PM GMT
    i say just find something you like to do that makes money.. but dont expect everything you like doing to make money
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    Jan 08, 2011 5:12 PM GMT
    It has already been said, but I will say it again...
    Do you have any idea how many guys move to Hollywood with the hopes of landing an acting job??? Thousands... every month!! AND do you have any idea how many of them actually get into the business?? Maybe ONE out of 10,000...or more!
    You have to have some foundation before you can just run off to someplace where work, in ANY field, is extremely difficult to get. Our unemployment rate is 15%+, compared to the national average of around 9%.
    Stay in school...somewhere...and work the acting classes and get some experience. If you came here, most likely no one would give you a chance without having some acting experience...and you also have to have a SAG card, which you cannot get unless you've had experience.
    DON'T give up on your dream...but get the foundation FIRST. I always wanted to be in the movie biz... I always thought it was my destiny. And I had my chances... but somewhere along the way, life happened, and my dream just kinda disappeared.
    DON'T let this happen to you...but get the foundation FIRST!!!
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    Jan 08, 2011 5:19 PM GMT
    "FIND THE WORK YOU LOVE TO DO AND YOU'LL NEVER WORK ANOTHER DAY IN YOUR LIFE"


    That said, getting there takes time, you'll have to be patient with life, and accept/enjoy each step in life as it comes and goes. Your only 18 so you have the world before you, just keep aiming toward your goals one step at a time, life builds as you go and soon you've got foundation to work with, add to and build more in your life experiences. But you need to do work for money to live while you take acting courses and work in the industry.

    In my experience, I was not ready for college either at 18, I quit and went to work, saved up money because my dream was to buy some land and build a house. I did it too, it was definately hard, then I went back to college in my latter 20's, I made nearly straight A's, which was new to me !! the difference was I wanted to be there and liked it by then.

    Is there some trade you like and might try working in ? If so get training in that, get work in it and on the side go for your dream of acting. I'll bet your family would go along with that as long as your moving forward in some positive direction to obtain training in something to give you a living wage. That way you have support while you go for your dream, its a win win proposition.

    Sometimes as mentioned above taking a year off and working at whatever you find to do is good to just get a break from school to get your head together. Whatever you do just remember that life is a building project, it takes time, and one thing builds on the other as long as you keep trying, keep going in the direction you want to. Be aware that doors open that take you in directions unforeseen, but it all works out and when you look back, often it turns out that life worked out better than you might have planned back when you were 18. Good luck to you !!!
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    Jan 08, 2011 5:44 PM GMT
    Don't live to regret the things you haven't done.

    Stay in school, but maybe switch your major to something to suit you better.

    Let's assume that one day you will be a successful actor. The one failing of many actors is their inability to balance their finances. You mostly work as a freelancer going from gig to gig. You should be studying something in finance with a minor in drama and/or film history.

    When I worked as a casting agent, one of the first questions I'd ask is, "do you want to be an actor or a star?" If the answer is star, you're in for a huge letdown.
    I've met many people on their road to stardom, they open the doors for me at bank atms begging for change. They're typically attractive and have been told for years that they should be in the movies because of their looks. That's not enough, by a long shot. Have you ever heard the term "Hollywood ugly?"
    It's pretty much the realization that when you arrive in LA, the playing field consists of all the prom queens and handsome bartenders that have been told they should be in movies. In Iowa, your gorgeous. In Hollywood, you're a number among thousands.

    If you truly believe you want to be an actor, you can balance your studies with some local theater work. Placing balance in your life of any kind is the most productive and enriching. Down the road it's also a great asset to see that there's an actor in line for a part that's taken his life seriously and has a degree. That and a string of shows he's been a part of along the way. Commitment and passion are great selling points.
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    Jan 08, 2011 5:48 PM GMT
    I bombed out of college the first year I went, so I took a couple years off and worked instead. I just started up again this last fall and I'm doing much better now. Maybe you just need a break?
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    Jan 08, 2011 6:06 PM GMT
    Don't most colleges and universities have theater groups that put on pretty high caliber productions? Honestly, since I didn't hear you mention any involvement in what could already be available to you, then I do wonder whether you are being realistic right now. Acting like any career has to be built with patience - you need talent, skills, and a network. It's rare that someone will suddenly "discover" you. Also, I don't think there are many actors who rely on acting as their sole source of income. The ones that do get a prominent place in our society as celebrities, but I would venture a guess that there aren't many of those people compared with people in other careers. Therefore, you need to have something to rely on for income, and a college degree is simply the best route for that in my opinion.
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Jan 08, 2011 6:13 PM GMT
    Get a job, go to school part time (don't quit), and get yourself an amateur or semi-pro acting gig with a local theater.

    Don't move across the country to prove your family right. Rather succeed in your acting, succeed in your school, and succeed in making money all at the same time. You are right to follow your dreams, your family is right in that you need an education, and you can both be right - GOOD NEWS!
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    Jan 08, 2011 6:41 PM GMT
    Part of life is sometimes doing things you don't want to... its called "bite the bullet and get over it."
  • mybud

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    Jan 08, 2011 6:47 PM GMT
    Dude.... A good college background in drama gives ya experience and a edge later....You admitted you partied and didn't take school seriously...now you want to run away from any responsibility....Years from now you'll be working in a dead end job..hating it...thinkin about what if's....Man up....stick with school...They can't take education away from you after its earned....BUD
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    Jan 08, 2011 6:50 PM GMT
    Everyone here has the right idea and is giving you great advice. I'm L.A. born and raised. I have a ton of friends in the entertainment industry, many of them actors, and they all struggle to get a paying job or two a year, if they're lucky. I can tell you that pretty faces and hot bodies are a dime a dozen here. The running joke here is when you meet someone who says he is an actor, the response is "Oh, so where do you wait tables?"

    You should absolutely follow your passion and work to build a career as an actor, but don't move to L.A. thinking you're going to be able to just do it out of sheer determination. Maybe come here for a visit for a week or two, try to meet some people in the entertainment industry, try to go on a casting call or two, try to meet with an agent, get a feel for the city and the business you want to get into.

    Lifecast makes a great point--there's a difference between being an actor and being a star. If you really have a passion for acting, take acting classes, do workshops, get involved with local theater productions. Once your grades are better, you might look into going to a college with a strong drama program.

    Bottom line, follow your dream/passion, do what makes you happy, but do it in a smart way, with a plan that makes sense. As soneone else here already said, build a strong foundation for yourself and your career, do the prep work. As you do that and remain commited to your goal of becoming a working actor, things will fall into place and you'll find a path that's right.

    Oh, and you should post some pics here! Get that face out there.

    Best of luck to you.
  • prime02

    Posts: 236

    Jan 09, 2011 5:00 AM GMT
    being born and raised in LA, and having a couple friends pursuing the industry... it is extremely hard. keep your head up, and go for your dream.. but having a college degree to fall back on is always something you should keep in the back of your mind.
  • AaronEcstasy

    Posts: 33

    Jan 09, 2011 5:12 AM GMT
    What vetteset said basically. A college undergraduate degree in acting or performing arts won't nescessarily guarentee you a job, but it could definitely help. You have to be realistic about your goals and not just drop everything to move out there immediately--it could be a terrible financial move, and will probably just end up discouraging you.

    A lot of aspiring stars also don't nescessarily land the path they originally considered--many wannabe comedians end up being actors, actors become models, etc. Just do more research, explore the various options and the business itself. And don't give up on school! Whether it's what you're looking for long-term or not, an education is always valuable.
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    Jan 09, 2011 5:14 AM GMT
    Several issues are working here.

    College is not for everyone. Tradesmen are very important. Carpenters, Barbers, plumbers, electricians, etc. And I am being very very serious. Learn a trade..a create a trade that will allow you the freedom to "go for your dream".

    Now: Reality; Acting is rough...jobs are few and don't pay that well on a yearly basis.
    Performers are different than actors: What are you?

    Be specific. find your niche..Study. Compete to win but keep your graciousness. Who you meet climbing up you will meet climbing down. And market yourself and those you know as you would a major corporation.

    Good luck