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Perseverance: The Diary of an Actor Going After Her Dreams

 

I feel like I may need to rename my blog, “The diary of a struggling actor going after her dreams.”

As I now transition away from training mode – which is the only phase you all have ever known me – into the real world, my life is going to revolve around auditions, hope, prep, rejections, auditions, hope, prep, rejections. This blog of mine may very well serve to document the life of an actor going after her dream and all the friggen hard pitfalls it entails. A little inside look at the unglamorous life. A place for my own confidence boosting, if anything else. 

perseverance actor

Today I met with an agent. A reputable agent who had seen me perform in my last show. I had talked to her after the show and our conversation was great. She was lovely, she was impressed, she said she’d have me into her office to chat more. So that chat came today. 

I was feeling hopeful and positive about what could arise from this meeting. 

She said everything you would want to hear…

“You are definitely ready.”

“You have all the skills.”

“You’d do very well with an agent.”

and even

“You have the right look for what is shooting here!” (meaning television series etc.)

 

And then it came…

 

“Unfortunately we already have someone that looks exactly like you.”

 

Bam. My freaking curse in this damn industry. 

 

I’m blonde. I’m caucasian. I’m thin. I look exactly like the other 9oo million girls trying to be actors in this city. Er, world. perseverance actor“It’s a shame,”

she even said. 


“We would be sending you two out for the same roles and you just can’t have that kind of competition in an agency.”

It makes perfect sense, don’t get me wrong. She’s right – you can’t. And she was very, very kind. 

But what killed me most, I think, is when she said,

“You shouldn’t have any trouble getting an agent!”

 

Um…..

 

I have submitted myself to probably 20 agencies in the last couple months and I have heard back from 2. 

TWO. 

Shouldn’t have any trouble? Stab

 

perseverance actor

 

I’m talented. I’m mature and skilled and very proficient at my craft. More than a lot of actors out there… I know. But without an agent I can’t get into those audition rooms to even be SEEN. And yet I can’t get an agent because ‘image’ trumps talent. I need someone to give me a chance. I know I have so much more to offer than what my picture shows. 

 

perseverance actor

 

I was upset. I felt defeated and hopeless. “My one chance at getting an agent before graduation…” I thought. “You shouldn’t have any problems getting an agent,” I repeated as I recalled the mounds of sent emails in my outbox that remain entirely unanswered. 

But then I got fierce. 

I got strong. 

I got determined.

I told myself this is only going to make me work harder. This is going to make me MORE determined. I am going to keep fighting and one day I will prove to someone how badly they should take me on. One day when I make it I will look back and remember all this shit I went through to get there. And I will be proud. 

I went home and submitted to auditions. I pulled out some old monologues to get working on. I made a to do list focusing on ways to keep my drive and practice alive and made a new determination to make this a part of my every day. I will send out another batch of agency follow up emails next week for my upcoming show. 

….I also may have listened to some Destiny Child’s “Survivor” a few times….

perseverance actor

If I could choose another profession knowing it could make me happy…. I would. It hurts to be this passionate about something. But its everything I have and everything I want. So I will use this to just fight harder. 

Perseverance: The Diary of an Actor Going After Her Dream #perseverance #dreams #goalsโ€ฆ Click To Tweet

Tell me,

When have you had to persevere? 

 

 

29 COMMENTS

  1. chasetheredgrape | 21st Mar 17

    That’s why it’s hard. Because you want it so badly. And anything you want this badly is worth fighting for my lovely! You keep your head he,d high, stay fierce, stay strong and know you have your tribe here behind you – helping you, motivating you and cheering you on every single step of the way!
    I’m almost 4 years into trying to make what I do a career. It’s so hard. But when I get defeated I feel it, then stand up, dust myself off and keep pursuing my dreams. We are the brave ones. Our passion is at the forefront of what we do. We have to trust it to guide us ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cora | 24th Mar 17

      Agh nothing more to say to this other than smile smile smile smile. It is definitely the hardest work when we want something so badly, but at the end, it will be more worth it than even we can imagine.

  2. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 21st Mar 17

    Oh, girl. It is hard to be told that you are one of many, when you know that you are unique. Jenn is right on the money.
    You know what I am fighting for right now. And just like you, it hurts. To be so close… and yet so far. To finally have everything line up… and then to have it slip through your fingers.
    I love you. I am here for you.
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Giving Myself Grace (Dealing with Infertility and ADHD)My Profile

    • Cora | 24th Mar 17

      I’ve got to believe this is part of the plan. For you. For me. As hard as it is to accept, I believe we will both get what we want.

  3. Jamie@TheMomGene | 21st Mar 17

    Ummm so I’ve had almost the EXACT same scenario on the writing end. Wrote a book, and rewrote and rewrote and then wrote a proposal and then sent it all out to at least 50 agents. One was interested BUT had just signed another author with a similar themed work, so a no-go. I had the talent but somebody got there first. Lots of tears on my end. But, silver lining, I did sign with an agent (a better one) in the end. After a lot more hard work. You are on the right track!!!

    • Cora | 24th Mar 17

      Oh mannnn. Its the exact same. Us creatives do not have it easy. But… we do grow thicker skin and a kick ass stubborn head on our shoulders because of it. Way to keep going after what you knew you deserved!!

  4. danielle | 21st Mar 17

    wow just wow, i seriously admire you SO much. there are so many things that i wish i would have fought for or stuck with… i had my art. it was my life and all i knew for many years, it defined me. then i got told that i was ‘too advanced’ for an art school and they were looking for students more ‘moldable’.. or some shit, but for some reason and teenage angst i let that totally destroy my entire self esteem and self worth. i remember my art coach at the time even looking dissappointed, i felt broken.
    you are inspiring, seriously it takes so much courage to go after your dreams. just waking up and facing the day takes courage some times. i know.
    luckily i got over my art school rejection but there is still that part of me that wants to go back and just paint to paint, i still do from time to time.
    since then i have worked towards more physical goals because after i had my full spinal fusion, that became much more of a challenge. learning how to walk again, getting the courage to ride a bike.. i managed to do 2 ironman races and now i can say i’ve overcome my fears of crashing because i did a few times. i’m a live ๐Ÿ™‚
    each day is a new challenge, what can i do? today it’s being a mom to a rapidly growing girl. she is my wow.
    anyhow, you rock. keep on going, you’ve got passion and talent. that is ALL you need. i’d cast you in a freaking heartbeat if i could. i promise!!!!
    danielle recently posted…WIR sleep less play moreMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Mar 17

      Oh my gosh what a load of crap!! That would have been confusing and absolutely devastating to any teen.
      I hope you do still paint. It would be a wonderful creative and therapeutic outlet for you, I think? Even I know the wonders of picking up a paintbrush.. and I don’t have your talent in that department.
      You have conquered so many goals. Goals that you had no idea would be placed before you way back when. And you keep kicking ass and taking the path that life throws you. THAT is the true courage my friend.

  5. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 21st Mar 17

    You have the exact right attitude. Keep working, keep pushing, keep trying. I guarantee every successful actor was turned down at some point in their career. You got this.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: The Momentous Edition (#75)My Profile

    • Cora | 24th Mar 17

      Many a famous actor was turned away from theatre school. And Shakira was told she sung like a goat.

  6. Evangeline | 21st Mar 17

    Argh. That’s so frustrating. You’ve got the right mindset though. What sets you apart is that fierce spirit. Lots of people with promising ability get turned down by employers, colleges, etc, but the success stories are held by people who take all those road blocks and rejections and just barrel right on through them. They persist. That’s you.
    Evangeline recently posted…An Ode to the Y ChromosomeMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Mar 17

      Yep you are right. Most of the most successful people we see had their set up surprising set backs and rejections. Just gotta keep that head on our shoulders telling us we deserve it.

  7. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 21st Mar 17

    I think sometimes these moments are necessary, as hard as they are, to really show and teach us how much we want something! It sounds like you are still very motivated to stand out! I know your chance will come and the agent that does sign you will realize what a gem they have!
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…St. Paddy’s 5 Mile Mud Run Challenge RecapMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Mar 17

      That’s exactly it Sarah. As hard as this was, it has somehow grounded and refocused me on what I need to do going forward. Instead of deterring me it has actually made me more motivated and pushed me to work harder.

  8. Casey the College Celiac | 21st Mar 17

    Girl, I am so sorry but I am also so confident that when the right agent comes along, it will work out. And I know exactly what you mean when you say that comments like hers are hurtful…grad school rejection letters basically amount to “You and your writing are totally awesome…just not for us.” But, as my dad always say, perseverance gives us character…and I know we’ll both have plenty of that!
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…To Respect Me, You Need to Respect My DiseaseMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Mar 17

      Ugh. I know we need to take the compliment that is there… but when they throw in the last part its hard to hear it, isn’t it? We WILL both have perseverance. We will get what we want my darling. Just gotta keep showing them we will not give up.

  9. Ellie Pell | 21st Mar 17

    BLAH I HATE THIS! SCREAM! GET MAD! LIFT SOME HEAVY WEIGHTS!

    I think that as you move forward in your life and make changes inside yourself, they will reflect on the outside and therefore you will prove you aren’t “another talented female actor.” You know those people who are just infectious? We all have that inside of us and when we find the right situation (acting company etc) the pieces fall into place and everything is right. Together, we press on!
    Ellie Pell recently posted…Must Watch YouTube Channel: A Case Of The JillsMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Mar 17

      Baha. Best response ever… thank you.

      That’s a really insightful and interesting comment, Ellie. I have a close and very wise mentor/friend/past director who keeps telling me the most important thing I can do is to keep working at learning who I am and being able to show that to others (in the audition room). If they can see inside to who I really am – and if I continue to grow so that I know this myself – I think they would see I offer something more.

  10. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 21st Mar 17

    Aaaaauuugh! It’s a good thing I wasn’t there because I would’ve run after that agent and said some very rude and counterproductive things. The complete bologna about this situation is that they didn’t pick you because they already had an actress with a similar *look.* Like, you’re talented, you’re passionate, you’re capable, you’re hardworking, and they come along and say they can’t take you because of the way you *look.* There are a lot of barriers in the career world that are totally arbitrary, but that particular barrier makes me so angry for you! (Actually, it sounds like the agent did say some encouraging things. But I’d still be mad.) Cheering for you!
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…A Week of PeepsMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Mar 17

      Yassss Joyce my bodyguard! You’d kick some mean ass, I have zero doubts.
      It is extremely frustrating. Especially since I can’t do anything about the way I look. I can’t help that I’m white, blonde and look young. But it is part of the industry. And its the challenge that I have been given. I just gotta find a way to BEAT THROUGH IT GAH!

  11. Heather @ Polyglot Jot | 22nd Mar 17

    Im sorry, Cora! I’m glad that you are still aiming to work even harder after such a setback. My husband works in film (other end of the camera) and is constantly working toward the next job (he works freelance) and there have been many many set backs. ๐Ÿ™ Next time he has a major set back I’m going to blast Survivor–so appropriate! ๐Ÿ˜€
    I know you can do it! You are amazing! <3
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…When Things Donโ€™t Go Your WayMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Mar 17

      Ahhh yes he would know about this exactly! Us creatives sure have a lot of roadblocks put before us. But we just gotta keep going.
      I hope to hear about his bootylicious moves when you blast some Survivor. Maybe it can be your moving theme song!!

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  13. Lyss | 25th Mar 17

    you are keeping the right attitude which I admire So much. Setbacks just make us stronger. I always tell myself that. In our times of triumph is when we learn the most about ourselves too. Keep going girl <3

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      Sometimes setbacks can defeat us, but they can and SHOULD make us stronger. You are exactly right, my wise wise friend.

  14. Kristy from Southern In Law | 25th Mar 17

    Grrrrrrrr! That conversation with the agent made me mad for you because they were just setting you up for disappointment!

    You, on the other hand, totally impress me. You are so strong and you have the right attitude – and that is the difference between you and everyone else. Not everyone is made like that. I am sure many of those others will let the pressure get to them and fall by the wayside – but you have guts – and sticking power! That’s what really counts, in my opinion! xo
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: A Crab Hunt, Suck Ups and Ring CandlesMy Profile

    • Cora | 26th Mar 17

      Many of them will. I know this because this is what I did a number of years ago. It takes a lot of time and discomfort to find that sticking power. So thank you, Kaylee. Your recognition of this in me really means a lot to me. I’ve worked hard for it. <3 to you.

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