The day after LA County reopened the trails since Covid shifted our “norm”, I was hiking with a compadre in the Los Angeles National Forest. The term “Forest” is a misnomer. ANYONE from almost ANYWHERE would agree but we Angelenos like to do things differently so even our “Forest” is less green trees, pine cones, and squirrels and more rocky mountains, desert cacti, and lizards. Different? Yes. Majestic? For sure. Scintillating conversation and fresh air was just what the Doctor prescribed to treat the Quarantine Blues. The only problem? Every time I looked up to converse or enjoy the view, I’d trip on a rock or stub my toe at the risk falling off a cliff or worse, looking like a total klutz. The trail was so jagged and pattern-less that watching the placement of every step was the only option to keep pace with my friend. We joked about turning back but were determined to continue to the waterfall at the end of the trail. Boy, was it worth it!
I think the pursuit of our Acting career is much the same. Wherever you reside, if you are truly in the game you know that Rhinoceros skin is a prerequisite to make it here. There will be rejection. Wait, did you get that? Let me say it again. There WILL BE REJECTION. And a lot of it. But simply having Rhino thick skin won’t cut it anymore. Like everything, our industry is evolving, and we Actors need to evolve with it to be like Chameleons, ever adaptable to changing climates, social mediums, self-taped auditions, streaming platforms, zoom sessions, yada, yada, yada. The path is jagged and there is no discernible pattern ahead. What worked for Robert De Niro to break in will not work for you. More recently, what worked for Margot Robbie probably will not work for you.
The point is, keep your head down, focused on the path, always with a clear destination in mind, and keep moving forward. If you can visualize a clear destination, you’ll be able to adapt to any unexpected obstacle along your journey, global pandemics not excluded.
Disclaimer: After reading the above two paragraphs you might consider going it alone. Clinging to the idea that people will slow you down, or worse, distract you. Though they CAN be a distraction and we must be very selective with our inner circle, much like our hiking compadres, they can also be a great source of strength along the journey. Remember the point that I made earlier, not once but twice? There will be a lot of rejection and having someone great in your corner will cause you to keep moving forward when the road gets tough more than it will slow you down. However, if you are still concerned, I have two simple solutions for you. Number one, learn to chat with your head down to maintain the relationship while still going further than most. And Number two, when you’re getting tired, find a picnic table, take in the view, and share a PB&J. Learn to rest not quit. That’s what we did!
Wil Crown is an actor, screenwriter, producer and director.