Why Do You Want To Be An Actor?

byCharlie Sandlan

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Charlie Sandlan is the Executive Director, Head of Acting at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. In this video, Charlie discusses the most important question that he asks students during their admission interview.

Why Do You Want To Be An Actor - Charlie Sandlan

Why Dp You Want To Be An Actor – Charlie Sandlan – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Why Do You Want To Be An Actor?

Before I decide whether or not I am interested in teaching someone, the first question I ask is, “Why do you want to be an actor”. I don’t think this is a question that most people really confront when they talk about their dream of pursuing an acting career. Our pop-culture is quite superficial, and to paraphrase Emerson, democracy descends to the lowest common denominator. We live in a society where fashion, money, and fame dominate. Our politics and social media traffic in lies and twisted untruths. It’s very challenging for an aspiring artist to weed through the superficiality in order to illuminate the truth of the human condition. Professional acting is an incredibly hard business. 70% of all SAG/AFTRA and Equity actors earn less than $16,000 a year, actually obtain health insurance, or contribute to a retirement plan. Most actors need other jobs to survive, often throughout their entire careers. There is no guarantee of work, no promise of security and stability. It is an incredibly competitive, and money driven business, where artistic integrity must be forged like steel with a deep fire of grit and resilience. It demands sacrifice, the missing of weddings, birthdays, funerals, and vacations in order to pursue your craft. The majority of actors who move to NYC or LA have no clue about acting as an art form, they invest cheaply into their business with little or no training, bounce around for 3-5 years and then quit and do something else with their life. The odds are stacked against you. So why do you want to act?

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"The majority of actors who move to NYC or LA have no clue about acting as an art form, they invest cheaply into their business with little or no training, bounce around for 3-5 years and then quit and do something else with their life."

Charlie SandlanExecutive Director, Head of Acting

I believe the answer must begin with shaping the vision of the actor you want to be. This requires insight into what makes acting so beautiful, and why we revere the best among us. If your answer is “I want to be on TV, I want to be a movie star, and I want to be famous”, you should stop now and pursue something else with your life. I believe the answer must lie in your understanding that acting is an art form, in your deep wish to be a true artist, with a fascination for human behavior, and courage to bare your vulnerability, empathy and humanity to an audience so they can live vicariously through you. A need to challenge us to think more deeply about how we relate to each other, to hold a mirror up to us to reflect back what makes us human. If your answer is “I love the human condition, I want to step into as many different shoes as I can, I want to illuminate humanity. I want to master the art of acting, and I’m willing to bust my a** to do it”, then you might have a chance.

If you want to be an actor, then ask yourself, what’s my contribution? If you have a voice, a desire to add something of value to this beautiful art form, if you believe you have talent, then do right by it. Train yourself. Dedicate yourself to an artistic life. Yes it is hard and challenging, but the rewards are immense and truly satisfying.

So make sure this question is pondered with the respect with which it is asked. Search yourself for the truth, not what sounds cool.

Why Do You Want To Be An Actor - Charlie Sandlan

Professional Actor Training Programs – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Learn More About the Acting Programs at the Maggie Flanigan Studio

The acting programs at the Maggie Flanigan studio are for actors who are interested and committed to creating the foundation that they need to have long professional acting careers. Students who are serious about professional actor training should visit the acting programs and acting classes page to learn about the programs and to apply for admission (https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com/). Students who have questions about the actor training and programs at the studio can call during studio hours at (917) 789-1599.

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