If you were in a show and no one came to see it? Would you still be happy you were an actor?
Think about it. Close your eyes, no wait… don’t. Keep reading and imagine it.
You’re backstage in the dressing room. Your street clothes are hanging on the rack and your in your costume. Ready to hear the Stage Manager come over the speaker and say “Places”. Some say “Actors to your places.” Some will be really nice and say “Places, please”. But they shouldn’t have to. You should know when you need to go on, right? You’re a professional. They’re not your Mom.
Now you’re off stage and waiting for your cue. The moment comes and you Enter. You feel the lights on your face, your feet on the stage. You open your eyes and get ready to say your first line and see no one is in the audience.
What happens next? Because what happens next can define your character. Not the character you’re playing. Your actual character.
Do you go on?
If you don’t, why?
Of course, there are unions that have set down rules from on high to say you don’t have to go on if there aren’t enough people in the house. If the ticket sales haven’t reached a certain dollar that the house won’t open. If you built it and they didn’t come, you don’t need to be out there. That’s not the question.
The question is a philosophical one. If an actor stands on a stage and no one is there to see the performance, does it go on?
Are you an actor only to be in front of an audience and get the applause and praise? Or are you an actor because it’s like breathing? You have to do it, or you’ll die.
I heard a quote from Whoopi Goldberg once, “Do you want to be an actor? Or do you want to be famous?”
Any chucklehead can be famous. Look at all the “Reality” TV stars out there who have us all scratching our heads, wondering what it is they actually do. Are they doing it because they love it? Or because they want to be famous?
Fit in any creative career. Writing. Directing. Painting. Blogging. Editing. Dancing. Architecting. Okay, that isn’t a thing. But you know what I mean. Fit in anything that takes an imagination, creativity, passion and dedication and find out how badly you want to do it, and what are willing to do it for.
Look at what you’re doing, or want to do, and ask yourself, “If no one showed up, would I still do it?” Because if you love it, you will already know the answer. If you know the answer, you can then ask the real question, “What am I waiting for?”
“...the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs