There are many people who would love to be famous actors, known directors, great singers and dancers, popular models, creative artists and so forth. They want all the success, attention, money, fame, opportunity, chances… They want for their work to be recognized and become valuable. They want. but what do they do in order to achieve it? To want does not equal to commit; it’s not your dedication to success, it’s just your wish, a dream.
One of my favorite acting quotes of all time came from Mr. Spacey when he was asked by a member of an audience on the Inside the Actors Studio about the very beginning of an actor’s career: “Could you talk a bit about the early process? How can we appreciate this early experience, these lean years, these very difficult years leading up to the ultimate prize?” Behold…
“There is no prize out there. The only prize is this one [points at the chest]. And what you feel, and what you want to accomplish… I very often watch a lot of young people meander around without any idea about why they’re doing what they’re doing. I mean, to want, and to be ambitious, and to want to be successful — is not enough. That’s just desire.
To know what you want, to understand why you’re doing it, to dedicate every breath in your body… If you feel you have something to give, if you feel that your particular talent is worth developing, is worth caring for, then there’s nothing you can’t achieve.
You are going to grow up with your colleagues. You’re going to watch them have success and watch them have failure, and watch how they deal with it. They can be as much a teacher to you as anybody here, or anyone that’s privileged enough to come here and speak to you.” – Kevin Spacey
Dedication to Success — Do You Have It?
Now let me ask you a question. How much did you do for your acting career today? How much did you accomplish this week, this month, maybe this year? Did you accomplish all those things from your New Years’ resolution list for developing your acting craft further and marketing yourself extensively? Do you feel you have that dedication to success that we all so desperately need instead of just a simple desire to be somebody?
All people want something out of life. Some of them do more, others — less. One person might put up their headshot on a casting website and wait for calls rolling in, while another will do everything in their power to meet people, network, use every acting opportunity on the way and achieve something, even if just very little.
Dedication to success means commitment to your dream career, whether it’s acting, filmmaking, singing, dancing, producing, directing or anything else. This type of commitment makes the person go out and take acting classes, always stay in training, market themselves online and offline, going to gatherings and networking the hell out of them.
Dedication to Success and Honesty
We all must ask ourselves: are we doing everything we possibly can at this point in our career? Did we move to that big city where there’s more opportunities for meeting people and getting gigs? Do we spend an hour a day working on our accent, our body, our voice or possibly making connections online and submitting to projects? Most importantly, are we pushing everything to the limits or do we just show up to do the least bit of work while at the same time waiting for something to happen or someone to show up and make superstars out of us?
Entertainment industry is the most competitive field there is on the face of the planet. If you want success, you have to earn it. Dedication to success means that whatever you have done is never enough, you always feel you could have and should have done more. As an actor, you should always ask yourself to go beyond the normal limits and do more than is expected from you. You’re not making anybody rich for nothing — it’s your own career, invest in it!
It’s understandable that we all sometimes get distracted by things happening on the side. There could be many reasons for why you didn’t show up to an audition yesterday, or haven’t been to any of your acting classes lately and haven’t even opened your email inbox to check what roles can you submit for. People get frustrated, scared, sad, depressed, going broke — this happens even to the best of us. But when we have dedication to success and to achievement, when we are passionately committed, there will never be any regret.
All you have to do is to be honest with yourself. Think of what your goals are and what have you done to achieve them. Are you passionately committed to this lifetime project of yours? Have you been giving it all you can? Are you still motivated to pursue this career? If not, maybe you need to rethink your goals for life, maybe there’s something better for you out there, something that you’re more passionate about than acting. At the end of the day, it’s your life and it’s your choice: make this decision count this time.
To inspire your dedication to success, here’s a video of Kevin Spacey giving the advice above. If you can, find and watch the full clip.