Acting : "wannabe actors" by Jennifer Bailey

Jennifer Bailey

"wannabe actors"

I actually hate this term. I don't believe you'd call a doctor in training a "wannabedoctor"or a training lawyer a "wannabe lawyer" I have seen this term thrown around even here where we are industry professionals. rookie or not, I think referring to young careers as wannabes is extremely rude. just a thought.

Paul Sumares

That term should refer only to those who want all the rewards without putting in the work. Almost by definition, the folks here are not wannabes because at least they're reaching out to connect and learn.

CJ Walley

I agree that it's a rude term. I also don't like how those pursuing an acting career are sometimes dismissed as doing something lazy and easy. Most actors I know work incredibly hard in a brutal environment.

Mark Heartford

the wannabes want the fame, the wannabe actor trains from the day they decide to be an actor, if you want fame , be on a reality show, if you want to act, learn to be a actor, I think that actor training starts from having the thought, a normal job does not suit the artist in me, does not fulfil me,

No Le Picante

if they're not taking the proper steps to learn the craft, if they're not studying vocal techniques, facial expressions, tongue twisters, improvisation, or not looking into some theatre training, not considering any future vocal or acting training, rehearsing to have their roles memorized then they are wannabes. Turning on a camera and acting is not taking the craft seriously. It is rude to call somebody a wannabe, but it is disrespectful to see other people act and say "Oh, I can do that!" I do stand up comedy and it make me mad when people see me do a performance and then say "I can do that" when I know they can't!

Gavion E. Chandler

yes it 'wannabe' is a slight and I agree that we as artists must respect one another and that talent that one has to offer But 'wannabe' actor, artist, poet, I do understand the term. It is that 'thought of fancy.... 'wouldn't it be wonderful or so cool to be a poet, dancer, artist mentality.' You are an artist, actor, playwright, poet because it is a passion, a way of life and thinking. You live and breathe it everyday like pain medication and you can't imagine doing anything else. As Mark Hartford said, 'The normal job does not full fill me.' in fact it leaves feel hollow and half emptied. Should the term be slung around like cotton candy and with no thought of regard or respect? No, but it does convey an idea of those who claim to title to something they do not begin to dream to comprehend. just because one pens a line does make one a poet Just because one draws a line does not make one an artist, Just because one knows a few cords does not make one a musician. It is the reason, thought and spirit that makes one pen those words, that makes one bring that vision to comprehension, one who brings words and song to life in soul that makes one a journeyman in the arts. Just my thoughts~ Gavion E. Chandler~ 'Man is his own devul.'

Tom Proctor

there is those whom run around claiming to be actors yet do nothing to work their craft, get an agent or anything but say they are actors Those I do call wannabe's

Ruthelisa Munoz

so is "aspiring actor" a better term to use than wannabe? wannabe sounds amateurish?

Barry Brown

In my book I explain about the wannabe rodeo cowboys. Their a joke!

J Tom Field

Wannabe is certainly a derisive term the implies that it's never going to happen. Aspiring is a much more positive term which indicates that the person is actively working to achieve their goal. Whether your working or not, you are an actor to the extent that a doctor will always be a doctor. The difference is a doctor must have a degree to prove it. The bar for actors is more amorphous.

Richard Trombly

A doctor or a lawyer or engineer or whatever is the result of intensive training. When actors are on that road and have put in the time and solid training , they are aspiring actors, when they think that because they did a highschool play and was a deep background extra that they are a pro--- that's a wannabee.

Richard Trombly

It is like when a guy buys a 35 mm camera, finds this DSLR has recording ability and suddenly claims he is a cinematographer. Wannabee as opposed to aspiring videographer. A real DOP has spent many hours shooting and learning lighting.

Jonathan Alexander Green

Jennifer you shouldn't let that term bother you so much. This goes out to those who are using the term "wannabe actors". We all have to start from somewhere and that is something that they have to remember.

Amanda Leishman

We have drive and potantal to successed, Do not give up on yourself or take comments to heart,they fear replacement, we are not wanna be actors we are upcoming actors, seeking guidance and oppertitys from more expreanced preformers, here, I am looking for just that

Richard Trombly

So the lesson is perhaps .. don't be wannabee.. Be an aspiring actor. Work and study is the distinction.. not the length of your actor bio

No Le Picante

thx

Michelle Fang

Here in China, the acting industry is treated with contempt mostly because they think that you can make it if you're skinny and have a pretty face. It's disheartening because being exposed to international theatre and cinema I know that acting is an art form! To truly act out a tragic scene can even be emotionally draining to the actor/actress. Just because most of us enjoy what we do doesn't make it 'not a real job'.

Richard Trombly

it is hard in China . most actors are delivered as commodities by "agents" only the stars are actually managed properly by their agents .

Janet Elizabeth Swainston

I agree ... you are either an actor or not...you either identify with that role or you don't.....you might say wannabe pro? But that is still not very good.

Mary Dallas

I couldn't agree with you more, Jennifer. That term is insulting & degrading. Next time someone refers you as a 'wannabe actor" you refer him/her as a "wannabe human"! =)

Robert David Kelso

The people who say things like 'wannabe actor' are usually the ones who with scorn ask you if you have been in anything they have seen. There isn't much you can do to educate these people in what it is to be an actor, they will just never know. Don't hate them for being ignorant, pity them for being small minded. You can always send them a copy of your first movie.

Barry Brown

Its differant in rodeo. In my book I use the word as there are 100's of young guys who think they want to be bull riders, but after getting stepped on or a bulls horn to the ribs. They return home never to be seen again. These young cowboys just thought they wanted to be rodeo cowboys. Like i explain in the book... To be able to be a rodeo cowboy you gotta be tough...take pain...if you cant pain you will never make it in rodeo. These types are wannbees!

J Tom Field

I don't think that's different Barry. You wouldn't refer to a hopeful as a wanna be. Wanna be is what they're called after they wash out with no real success. Maybe that's the same with acting as well.

Rick R Miller

"Aspiring Actor" is a much better term

Mary Dallas

I was called that recently & my response was, "I don't 'wannabe' an actor, I am an actor."

Deryn Warren

I teach a class for professional actors in LA and none of my students are wannabes. They have a solid technique, they have trained for years, some of them make a good living in this business. They know how to conduct themselves in a casting room. They can hold a script and after a minute you will forget all about it because they barely refer to it. They can repeat. They use energy and humor and Risk! They make exciting choices. They know all this and yet they come to me for coaching before a big audition because they know a third eye can add to their choices. They read acting books and they keep learning and come to class to work on great materia four times a nightl. I have a huge respect for actors, the professionals. DerynWarren.com

Angel Matheson

I agree with all of you

Deryn Warren

Once when I was directing a feature and it was going late I had an actor who was fussing about getting to his bartending job. He thought that films had set hours? Needless to say no one every hired him again. He was a bartending wannabe actor.

Stephanie Gilbert

If you do the best for YOUR acting career under YOUR circumstances, call yourself an aspiring actor. If you do the best for YOUR acting career under YOUR circumstances, AND you're getting booked, call yourself an actor. Paid or unpaid, I don't think, it matters. You got the gig, you're an actor. Boom! You don't have to have an agent. Some people can't. Again, it depends on your circumstances. I'm a single mother with a handful of a child and shared custody. I had more than one opportunity to get an agent and in the end I declined. Why? Cause if I don't want to lose my custody, I just can't drive 3-5 hours to Philly or New York three times a week, cause an agent wants me to or threatens to drop me. I'm sorry, but I love my child and I'm assuming, that I speak for most here, when I say, I won't give up on my family for acting. If you really want to be an actor, there are other ways. I've done very well on my own, because I'm a role hunter. I schedule auditions and shoots how I can afford it in my schedule and not an agent telling me to. It just isn't possible at this point and moving would cost me my custody. So it is, what it is. But don't call me a wannabe actor, just because I refuse to have an agent at this point. I'm doing my best, reading acting books, going to classes, training my voice, and even went to film school to be a director. So just because I don't have an agent I'm a wannabe actor? That us not true.

Angel Matheson

Connor it sounds to me like you are an actor. Great success to you. I believe if it is your destiny even if you do it all wrong it will still be yours. My instincts for acting were better before I started taking classes. With classes I started over analyzing everything and became self conscious. I will continue on as I am sure it will work itself out but everyone's path is different. When the naysayers start putting doubts in your head say no to them. Find the people who will encourage you. Stay away from the others This is your journey. You are an actor!! Enjoy!!

Deryn Warren

What is the difference between training and workshops in your view Alle? That is interesting. In the Los Angeles classes I teach, the actors work four times a night. They already are good when they come to me as I don't take rank beginners though I sometimes take super talented actors who have the right instincts. But actors do have to be trained how to hold the script at an audition, how to not be upstaged, how to grab the words off the page as if they are not using a script, to get rid of habits like sighing and saying uhms or frowning. THEN they have to LEARN to make exciting choices and get every ounce out of the script. For example if the lineto a kid is. "Well, I don't know, maybe." DON"T say it all the same. Learn how to use humor and play games with lines. "Wellllllll, (silence with suspense) I don't know. ----- Maybe!" You have to serve the script of course but you can learn to add these games and make discoveries and use silences and create images for your partner. Acting is a technique as well as a talent. I would never hire an untrained actor unless I had no choice. Trained actors have the freedom to be big, to make unexpected choices. New actors are scared to overact. They are self conscious. They are so worried about how to hold the script, for example that they are not free to soar. Also every actor no matter how experienced can be made better by a third eye. Some of my students work all the time in film and TV, but they appreciate the workout of a class.

Mary Dallas

In my experience, there's a lot more to being an actor than memorizing lines & showing up for auditions. Acting classes &/or workshops help an actor hone their skills. A football player has to practice every day in order to be on his game. It's the same thing for an actor. If you don't 'practice' you can't be the best that you can be. Also, don't let anyone deter you from going after your dream. Labels do not define who we are. How we see ourselves, is most important. Positive thinking, determination, & humor are the best ingredients for a successful recipe (career)! I want us all to succeed! Now, get out there & book some roles people!! ;-)

Mary Dallas

I forgot the most important part! HAVE FUN!!! =)

Deryn Warren

In a class you shouldn't be told what to do. You should learn the basic technique but the point is every actor should do a scene differently because he/she is using himself/herself in the scene and each person is different. But basic craft should be learned by every actor. THat allows them to be their best selves.

Deryn Warren

Connor, I read the interview. Great! And you are getting some great footage for your reel. I love that you use humor and use yourself in the role and that you are quirky. That is what I teach. Using the fun charming part of yourself that is full of vitality. I am sure I could also teach you to make your images more specific, how to hold that script, how to make the most of every script and how to Risk. You have the raw talent and you can build on that.

Deryn Warren

Alle chasing a dream means to most of us, going after your goals. So you can do that if you are motivated.

Angel Matheson

Connor, that is a great article. Congratulations.

Angel Matheson

Alle, any industry is like that. An engineer will join a company and learn to do everything the way that company wants it to be done. If they join another company they will learn a new set of rules. Life is journey. Classes and workshops are intended to keep us stimulated while we are trying to find the "role." We do what we need to keep us motivated and energetically moving forward. There are some great teachers and there are some not so great teachers but even the not so great teaches teach us something if we are willing to see the lesson. As individuals we need to keep growing and evolving,. Which is the case with any career we choose but this is not rocket science it is an art form so even the best teacher may not be able to bring out the artist in an individual. Enjoy the process but don't take it too seriously because when you do you lose the art. It has to come from the heart.

Mary Dallas

Perfectly said, Angel! I concur.

Stephanie Gilbert

Connor, I loved the article. Congratulations on the gig! You're doing it!

Angel Matheson

Alle, I went to one of the best teachers in the industry and started to become self conscious. I went to someone less known and was able to explore and became more confident. Personally I believe that if you are being encouraged you will grow. If you are being discouraged even by the best you will regress. There are many ways to have an acting career. Wannabe is a discouraging tem. Aspiring is encouraging. Also, television shows all have an element of conformity to them. The characters though with distinct personalities all act in a certain way that is similar to each other that keeps with the feel of the show.

Deryn Warren

In my class I hope to free everyone to be themselves and dare to RIsk and be the opposite of cookie cutter. The person who comes in to the room and makes new and exciting and energetic choices is the one who gets the room's attention and gets the job. My class is fun and hard work at the same time and very very encouraging. That is why so many of my students work steadily. They use themselves and not a character, they have excellent technique and everyone falls in love with them because they are never boring. That is why my book is called HOW TO MAKE YOUR AUDIENCE FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU. Check out the first chapter at DerynWarren.com. The head of HBO casting said in a quote on the cover, "I wish every actor who auditioned for me had read this book first. "

Angel Matheson

Deryn, I have no doubt your class is amazing. I will eventually check into taking classes with you but have a different path at the moment. From you writing I get that you are positive and motivational person/coach.

Barry Brown

I rell about wannabe rodeo cowboys in my book. But I do explain what makes em wannabees!

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