Acting Demands All Types

I was talking to a man on the sidewalk the other day. He was telling me about how he was restarting his acting career after a decade of bad decisions and worse investments. He was probably in his fifties, overweight, and had a grey scraggly beard. I told him to go for it.

There is a demand in this industry for all types, all shapes and sizes, races and ages. No one should be discouraged from pursuing acting because of any one “flaw” or characteristic. This one thing could be exactly what a casting director is looking for. Filmmakers try to make their film as authentic as possible. They use background actors to fill a space so that when the two main characters are talking in a mall, it does not look like they are the lone survivors of some apocalypse where everyone else has been abducted by aliens. They use a middle-aged man with a grey beard to sell at a vendor’s stand or to play a genie. They use a disabled man to portray a wounded soldier. They use a ten-year-old girl to play a Girl Scout or a child playing at school. There is a role for everyone to play. I commend that man for persisting with his dreams, even after having struggled for many years and leaving them behind for a long time. He realized he loved acting and wants some involvement in filmmaking again. Pursuing acting also does not mean it has to be your whole career goal or that you are seeking leading roles. Acting can be a hobby or part-time creative escape from your everyday job. As long as you go for it in any degree you wish, you can find your niche (of course, if you are interested in making acting your career you should be dedicated to it one hundred percent).

Look at any show on television right now and you will see a multitude of variety: Lucy Liu in Sherlock; Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey; Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire. Each actor is so different and holds unique qualities that make them successful and in demand, regardless of age, gender, physical appearance, etc. No matter what you look like, somewhere in the industry, you are in demand (once you figure out your “type”, you learn learn more about building your reputation as an actor here).

The man I met said if I were ever in the area again or needed someone to run lines with, he would be around. After we said our goodbyes and parted ways, I felt a renewed love for the acting community, realizing that we are all in this together—the beautiful people and the weathered man on the sidewalk.

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lauren began her casting career as an intern for Sarah Finn Casting on films such as Captain America, Cowboys & Aliens, TRON: Legacy, and Faster. After her six month internship, she returned for her final semester of college, where she went on to become a casting director in Wilmington, NC on various independent films. She also spent over a year as a casting assistant with an independent casting director and acted in multiple films. She is currently working with Marcia Ross & Erin Toner Casting and also works as an actor and in production.

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