Actors get fired too! Don’t let it happen to you!

More people have contacted me this week asking me if I could help them in contact with a talent agent or casting director. When I asked if they had any experience acting they all told me “no”. They went on to say that they just believed that they could do this “acting thing” if they could only have a chance.
Actors get fired too!

Don’t let this happen to you!

A lot of people think that once you get an acting job, that it is automatic that you will keep it. We hear about people with regular jobs sometimes getting fired, but no one ever talks about actors getting fired from their jobs. It happens more than you might think.

3 Reasons why actors get fired
Here are some of the reasons why:

1. Inability to take direction from the director, which my research tells me, is often due to a lack of acting skill and acting technique that enables the actor to get into character and make adjustments as the director requests.
2. Unprofessional behavior on set or on stage. Professionalism extends from being punctual, respectful of other actors working or preparing to following the rules the production company and/or the director has imposed, etc.
3. Can’t remember their lines. It’s that simple. Knowing your lines must be second nature. That frees up mind space for the next most important thing, which is listening to your scene partner and to what’s going on around you in the scene, so that you can react naturally and be present in every moment.

Actors get fired: A true story

Once while working on the set of Law & Order, a supporting actor had several scenes in which he had to interact with the main actors. He was obviously not prepared and had a difficult time remembering all his lines. They had to cut the scenes time after time and start over. At first the director and the main actors were very understanding and encouraging. After a while, they started to get perturbed, then they simply got upset.

By that time, the actor was under so much pressure that it only made the situation worse. He was done. He was befuddled and the director finally called for a break and called the actor in for a talk. When the director returned, the actor was no longer with him and we never saw that actor again. The scene schedule was rearranged and they hired another actor for that role.

Actors get fired: How to keep it from happening to you!

It happens. That’s why I always say, get trained first before you start looking for acting work. Even though a casting director usually is able to pick up on an actor who is not ready to sustain a role, sometimes they slip up too. You can bet that the casting director who casted that actor was under some pressure too, not only to find another actor for that role asap, but more importantly to make sure that something like that never happened again.

Just because you get the acting job, that’s no guarantee that you will keep it. You need to be able to get through the audition, but then you need to be trained well and able to “carry” a role, which means to be able to do it justice, perform it well.

Time is money.

If you are on set and make the director waste time, which ends up meaning wasting money, because you are not prepared, you not only risk being fired, but you also risk making a bad name for yourself in the industry. News travels and unfortunately for that actor in the true story above who got fired, the news wasn’t good.

Don’t let that happen to you. Learn the craft of acting before you start looking for acting work. Contrary to what a lot of people think, actors do get fired. So going back to what I wrote at the top of this page, don’t look for a chance to start your acting career until you are ready to take advantage of that chance. If you are looking for a talent agent or to find acting auditions before you have gotten any training, then I strongly question your motives for wanting to embark on an acting career.

Do you know what directors expect of actors while working on set?
Do you know the terminology that directors and crews will throw at you while working on the set of a film?
Do you know proper etiquette while working on set or on stage?
Are you prepared to start working as an actor?
Do you have an acting technique you can fall back on?
How are you at taking direction and making adjustments to your performance?

All those things I just listed here above are part of your preparation. If you are really serious about wanting to become an actor, then you will want to learn all those things and more, before you start looking for a talent agent and acting work.

Also remember what I said in this video about 3 things you need to know about starting an acting career:
1. Learn the craft first!
2. Do it for the right reasons.
3. Learn the business!

Take heed to that advice and you’ll see how you start to make things happen in your acting career.

Your Acting Career Mentor
& Creator of the first-ever
Acting Career Quick Start
Home-Study Course

12 thoughts on “Actors get fired too! Don’t let it happen to you!

  1. Well said! You just answered my questions one by one… I always wondered if you just have it or you don’t… Just like a calling for acting… I always say that acting chooses you and not the other away around… I’m way over my time for an acting career, but I still like the idea of training for it even thought I don’t get a gig… I just want to improve my skills as to look natural on video for online marketing… I figure at my age it’s not as simple as it would be at 20… but I can still learn the craft of portraying skills… right!.
    See I always love the movies and fascinated by the industry some way or another.
    Now that I’m getting older looks seems to be a barrier is some cases… I still haven’t invested in the course, but I’m going to be and affiliate of it… It seems like a great course


  2. My dream is to become an actor. I want to start my own acting career but I dont know who to contact and ware to start. Can someone please help me?

  3. I find all this information to be revelant and important being new I have meet a few actors and have learn why some don’t become permanent workers from lack of learning a technique and knowing the business side to acting.

  4. Hi Tony,
    Love your presentation. Right on the money. I have only been involved in acting since I retired in 2002. Since then I had the oppertunity to Joined Sag and the Aftra. Went on to get elected to the Sag Council in New England. When we merged with Aftra we became the Sag-Aftra Board.
    I’ve been Lucky, I’m not in it for the Money, but the Fun. And I had lots of it with meeting people and Stars, and yes making a few bucks along the way.
    In the meantime I have developed a list of both Union and Non-Union Actors that I provide Mixed Media for Castings etc. dealing with the entire entertainment busniess throughout the country at No Charge.
    I have passed your programs along to to everyone on my list in hopes they will take advantage of your offerings. I get excited when I come across information such as yours. We all can learn something New every day .Lessons to be learned even for me.
    Would love to stay in touch and continue passing on your experience and information to all that might want to take advantage of it.
    My to groups are ‘Gig-R-Us (non-Union) and ‘The SagAlongs’ (Union).
    Looking torward to hearing from you as time goes on. “Good Luck” and Thanks for sharing

    Sincerely, Pete

    Peter M. McSwiggin
    The SagAlongs
    Founded 6/19/2006

    • Hi Peter,
      Boy, thanks for the shout.
      I appreciate your support and enthusiasm for what I’m doing.
      I love sharing and helping as well.
      If you are passing along the word, you might as well get paid for it.
      Go and get yourself an affiliate link and send people to that so you can
      make a commission.
      Yes, let’s do stay in touch.
      Thanks again Peter,

  5. Thank you for sharing this is wonderful and insightful information!
    However, what about the Actors who have training AND experience, and are having a hard time seeking an Agent? (such as me?)
    I have valuable answers to all the questions you asked, and i feel prepared and confident, PLEASE GIVE ME SOME DIRECTION!

    -Miss De’Jong Monique
    Dedicated and Professional Actress and Model

  6. Thank You for this valuable info. It is very true. I have been fortunate enough to do some commercials & a movie. My director said he loved my acting and said he would like me to consider reading for his new upcoming movies in the future. I was just doing this as a hobby but, plan to do it as much as possible starting in October. My drama teacher said I was her star pupil and I was a featured talent with several talent agencies….I don’t know why this comes so natural for me, but, I LOVE it…….Leanne Evans Thomas on fb and Leanne Thomas with my agency…….ISLANDGIRLLEANNE@YAHOO.COM

    • Keep on going Leanne. Something will happen for you.
      You have to work hard and persevere.
      Stay connected with and while it is so important to
      learn the craft of acting, don’t forget the business side as well.
      It’s sooooo important!

  7. Pingback: Audition for acting jobs: Question: How to audition for acting jobs? | Your Acting Career Mentor

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