The Right Reasons?

Here’s one from the archives…

Originally posted on a meager acting website I had way back in two-triple-aught, before I even reserved my own domain name.

I’ve gone through a lot of changes in six years, though my basic feelings remain the same. I may have had that “fresh off the bus” twinkle in my eyes & spring in my step when I wrote this, but I’m still loving the path I have chosen, still in it for the long haul. And as you read this, you’ll see that yes, even then, I was a bit of a rebel.


I got to thinking about the many actors with whom I’m acquainted, and their reasons for getting into the business vary as widely as the way they each approach a role. In fact, recently a bunch of us were talking about someone we knew who got into acting because it seemed like a lot of fun, but wasn’t planning on sticking with it if it took more than 3 years to find success. We all felt that putting a deadline on yourself like that was probably not a good idea, but then the subject of this guy’s reasons came up. So I asked the others what they thought were the “right reasons” for becoming an actor. The responses mostly fell into the category of “You’ve gotta do it for the art,” but being the rabble-rouser that I am, I dissented a bit from that opinion.

I think it’s fine if your motivation is riches, or fame, or power. If you’re one of those who shouts, “I’m in it for the sake of the art itself!” – that’s fine, too. Just don’t expect all your fellow thespians to have such highbrow motivations. And certainly don’t blame them if they are decidedly more materialistic than you.

But to all the Material Boys & Girls, I have this to say: whatever your motivation for performing, don’t do it unless you love it. If it’s not where your passion lies, you’re not only wasting your own time, but unnecessarily glutting the market.

Frankly, there are more than enough people in this business that, for the reason listed above, shouldn’t be in it at all. If you can see yourself not being an actor, and yet being completely happy with your life, then for your sake and ours, get out.

But if you’re serious, and you’re in this for the long haul, no matter what, and every fiber of your being is telling you that you are following the perfect path for you, then … welcome. You are my brother, you are my sister. The dramatic world can only be enhanced by the energy of your presence.

One dedicated soul will feed all the others, who shall then feed the world. And the world will be wooed, seduced, and enthralled by the beauty and purity of what they see.

We are a union of souls, bound not by contracts nor SAG cards, but by our purposeful and shared aim to simply speak the truth. Or, to speak the truth, simply.

© 2006 DJ Holte

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