The ‘Lana Turner’ Myth

This is a guest post by Anthony Meindl

It’s a great story, a story that has entertained the imagination and hopes of all aspiring actors at some point in their lives:  A 16 year old girl gets discovered sipping a strawberry shake at Schwab’s pharmacy in Los Angeles. (Actually, it might be a myth-within-a-myth because some people say she wasn’t even at SCHWAB’S. See how illusions prosper!)

Anyway. That story creates the unhealthy myth association within each actor’s psyche that when they move to LA they’re going to be “discovered.” And then when a few years go by and that hasn’t happened yet, the actor thinks it’s never going to happen. That they’re doing something wrong. That they’re talentless. And they stop trying.

The reality of a life in show business is to Just. Keep. Going.

And actually, that’s life. Period.

I was at a restaurant the other night and started talking to this woman, Judy, who sells a new line of tequila. She told me how she’s competing against these larger companies and brands that are more established and that she has to keep hustling and work hard to get her product to different bars.

So you see? You think having to forge forward and overcome obstacles is specific to your life. Or to being an actor.

All people in all walks of life are faced with the same challenges.
Rejections are part of life no matter who we are.

So stop sitting around waiting for someone to discover you. Get out there and start getting rejected. It’s all numbers. That’s how careers are made. Harrison Ford says it best:

“There is no way into acting; it’s impossible. I knew that from the beginning. It’s statistically impossible to make a living as an actor. You have to love it, and even your love for it is not going to make it happen. What is going to make it happen is luck and tenacity. I never made a living until I was 35 years old. I came out here when I was 24. But one thing I knew and recognized was that people all around me were giving up and going home. I just, quietly, never gave up.”

 

Anthony Meindl is an award-winning writer, producer, director and actor whose first feature screenplay, THE WONDER GIRLS, was the Grand Prize Winning Feature Screenplay in the Slamdance Film Festival Screenplay Competition in 2007. Prior to this accomplishment, Meindl was responsible for the production of an array of award-winning projects. His background in acting, training, and performance has afforded him the opportunity to create what has become a thriving artist community in Los Angeles.

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