I’ve always been a little bit thankful that my desire to become an actor faded rather quickly in my twenties. It was something I thought I loved instead of something I truly love – like writing. There’s nothing like turning your life upside down for something you really never had a true passion for. And I’m doubly glad I never had the bug to go to L.A. while I was thinking I loved acting. I’m pretty sure L.A. and me would have had unkind words for each other.
Every time I’m in a classroom, every time I’m at a conference I see someone with that thought, though. That love. That passion. That star in the eye. That bug. That notion that they’re going to be the one to go to L.A. and make it. Make it big. They won’t be one of the thousands who get tossed to the wolves. L.A. may be bad for some, but it can’t be all that bad…. can it?
I believe if you truly love something, you have to go after it. You have to. You can’t sit around and wait for a passion to come to you. If you truly love acting, and movies/tv are the thing that float your boat well you can’t sit around in a place that has no access to getting on camera. You have to go to the mountain.
Having said that, it’s important to be aware of the reality pursuing a passion. In this case, the reality of L.A and what’s expected. Specifically, the reality of body image in L.A. And that for the most part, the way you look trumps talent. The size of your body trumps talent. Not always, not for every actress, but enough. Enough that the odds are pretty good someone is going to say “lose weight.” And the question is, how do you respond? This is not about saying (with a wagging finger too) “Don’t go to L.A! L.A is bad!” It’s about being aware and making choices out of that awareness.
Have a read of this blog post from actress Madeline Bertani and her thoughts on LA and being a size zero. For her, it’s all about finding a balance….