How to Convince Your Parents to Support Your Dream of Becoming an Actress

by Anthony Smith

Cute little girl smiling

The more informed you are and the more intelligently you can talk, the greater your chances your parents will support you.


Not long ago, a young girl told me that she was having a difficult time convincing her parents to support her wanting to become an actress.

This was my answer to her:

What do you think would really make your parents start to take you seriously and support you?

Do they know what actors do? REALLY? Do they know what it's like being an actor? Do they know what you really have to go through to become an actor?

Do YOU know the answers to those questions? Do you know what it's like and what the issues actors face, what it's like to work on set, what your chances are of just getting work, how hard you'll have to work, how much you will have to invest of your time and energy to study, to do mailings, to write cover letters, to submit yourself for auditions, to prepare for auditions, prepare your monologues, bone up on your cold reading skills, take specialization classes, travel, etc.

Do you know what the average earnings are of an actor these days? Do you know how many days on the average an actor works. Do you know why business skills are so important for the success of the average actor and do you have them? Do you know how to get an agent? Do you know what the main reason is that some actors get discovered? Are you aware of some of the scams that you need to watch out for? Do you know what it takes to become an actor and do you have what it takes?

That's a lot of questions I know and I asked them on purpose.

Why?

Because if you can start to answer all those questions, maybe you will be more convincing. I know you're young, but you have to get started sometime. Some teenagers have someone who is an adult and who supports them in their goals. If you don't, you can either keep butting heads with you're your parents or being afraid to approach the subject, or you can start to find out for yourself about this career path you want to embark on and show them that you are really serious.

In other words, the more information you have, the more informed you are about what you say you want, the more you can talk about it intelligently and demonstrate that you know what you are talking about, the greater your chances of being able to convince them to support you. If they have just as much information as you do, then you are on an equal playing field. They are your parents. They are bigger. They are older. They win! At least until you're out of the house or until they no longer foots your bills!

Is that the way you want it? No? Then get a move on and start doing your homework! :-)

Does doing your homework mean that you will get what you want in the end? Does it mean that you will be one hundred percent guaranteed to get their support? Not necessarily. Your parents are certainly taking into consideration your best interests. But even if you don't get them to support you, you will know a lot more than you do now about the profession you say you want to pursue.

Stay tuned for future articles and we will address the questions I mentioned above, one by one.

Good luck!
Anthony Smith left a successful corporate career as a senior manager in Nike and Levi's after 15 years to follow his dream of becoming an entrepreneur, writer, motivational speaker and actor. While enjoying success in his "new" life, Anthony shares his business insight and acting experience with young actors. Aside from acting work, he has created www.actingcareerstartup.com and his first book, "Acting Career Start-Up: Four Key Factors For Success," is available now.

Copyright © Anthony Smith. Used with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or distributed.
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Reader Comments

heylow, Iam Rose, Iam Tanzanian Girl, 19 years, who dreaming day and night to be an actress, designer, singer, model, but the problem is i don't have any support from my parents or to anyone, and i don't know how to speak english frequently because our country we used Swahili to communicate, but i hope to reach very far if i have support, and i want to continue studing while am continue to grow my talent career, i real need help, I would like to learn korean, tagalog, indian language so that i wouldn't end up acting only holywood movies but other movie from other country in different language and so that i can be seen in different point of view, please if any organization see this don't leave it behind and take some action and GOD will bless you none stop.

Posted by Rose (2014-05-16) 6787

Wow. So, i want to do modeling, not acting. And I know EVERYTHING you can find out about the industry. i have talked to models with experience, done ALOT of research, and i have become totally passionate about the entertainment industry. But my mom STILL won't support me. Because of school. She says once you start doing this theyre gonna want you there all the time. I understand that that MAY happen, or there might not be a need for my look. i never know. And I'm not even asking her to do much, i have an adult who would go with me, I will have transportation so LA from our Orange County home. All i want is for her to be supportive and WANT to help me. Everytime i bring it up she just says she wants nothing to do with it. And, even though she says that, I am still going to go after my dreams, even if i have to get another guardian to sign papers and stuff for me. It just hurts that she doesn't even CONSIDER it. I know she thinks she is doing it for the best, but honestly, why cant a parent support their child through EVERYTHIGG. even if its a mistake. people have to make mistakes to learn, so parents, SUPPORT your kid. even if you know she/he is doing something wrong. All we want is to feel like we are good enough for you. And honestly when you don't support us we feel like we're doing something wrong and were not good enough. and when you support your child through that mistake, when they find out it was a mistake you HELP them get through it and learn the lesson. Please.

Posted by Whitney (2013-02-13) 6416

hi im waad and im 13 years old.i live in khartoum sudan but i was born in springfield il. i literally love acting and try to act around my friends at school.my biggest problem is that no one in my family wants to support me and they think my dream is stupid. i want to act really bad and i want to prove to people that muslim arabs can act like anyone else and that they can make it to hollywood.

Posted by Waad Osman (2012-01-21) 5400

actually .. i might b th weird 1 among all those nice kids !!
cuz am 20 years old girl from iraq .. and u can say tht am a " one in million " girl tht i luv actin soooo much and i did open th sub wit ma dad once bt he rejected anythin i said of bein an actress .. and his reason is js tht in our comunity we consider ths as big deal ... bcuz of wt actin scenes might force me to do such as love scenes and etc .. so plzzz wt way do i hav to use 2 convince ma dad !! and if i becom an actress .. will i hav th choice to do th parts tht i want and reject others .. !!? ths is goin to be good supportiv answer with your help .. plz !!

Posted by ruru (2012-01-06) 5343

hi im madison and im 13. I really want to be an actress but my mom doesnt support me. she says "Your're such an unrealistic child." I really love acting with a passion but the problem is she wont support me. She says money is an issue. but I do cheer right now and from what i've found on the internet cheer costs more than acting. I am very willing to give up cheer to persue my dream as an actress. she says its all in my head and i just want to be famous for attention but that isnt true. I love actiong if I could it would be my life. I love the freedom of being on stage and in front of the camera. Acting to me isa way to express your self through your character. I know it takes dedication and im willing to work hard and do what ever it takes to fulfill my dream. If someone knows a way to convince my mom to let me act please let me know. and if you could please give me some step-by-step ways to begin my career. location is also a problem for me because I live in Enid,oklahoma. the nearest acting school and stuff like that to begin training is at lease hours a way. PLEASE HELP ME CONVINCE MY MOM!!!!! my dad i think i can at least get his suport my prob is mom . please please please help me

Posted by madison neahring (2012-01-02) 5326

I have wanted to be an actress for a reallreally long time and please can you support me and find me an auditon? ps i go to boarding school in the uk.

Posted by Milan (2011-08-02) 4122

My name is Michaela Sawyer i live In Deleware and I want to Be a star on disney channel i really want my own show is there any way you can support me and get me an auditon

Posted by Michaela Sawyer (2011-07-24) 4089

i want to be on Disney channel i have been sending letters and my mom is supporting me i just want to no do you have any ideas for me. i answered all those question. please help can you just reply on this website thanks.

Posted by Lila (2011-04-26) 3024

Ever sice I was little i have wanted to become an actress I have written several plays and some movies but no one supports me I need a movie producer that will support me and that will not charge a lot plz plz plz help!

Posted by Eve Garcia (2011-03-22) 2970

hey, i love acting and i have an audition this Saturday! I'm going to be the next big child star!!!!

Posted by Amber Ikeler (2011-01-13) 2832

Hi my name is alexis I am 14 I feel your pain my mom does not tack me seriously ether but one thing that I remember is that it does not really mater what other people think it only maters what you every time I think about that it macks me exited about I got in-store. Alexis Queen tomorrow's future.

Posted by alexis (2011-01-01) 2821

my name is amber, and i live in a very small town where it is hard to become an actress. I would like to start off in tv shows or have small parts in movies. I have a friend who is a actor but i really don't talk to him. please help find somthing to work for me! just give me somthing to learn and i'll do. i understand how hard it is but i've been in huge crowds and people already ask mr to sign their things and i'm not even acting yet! i'm sporty so i can be in a sport movie or show. please help:) thanks get back please.

Posted by Amber Zapata (2010-10-10) 2742

Hi my name is lakota. Im 14 years old and my birthday is on december 5th. ive been asking some questions that noones answered can you help? if your parents are poor and cant travel very far (because of gas prices) and you live in a small towncant you send videos of yolu acting out the parts to auditions? and does an agency get you auditions far away from where the agency is, or do they just get you auditions around them? can you have an agency represent you from anywhere (even if youre not near them)? i think i am a good actor and i know i can do this, buti need to know more aboutit before i start, thats why im reading all these articles. ie been talking to an agency online and they said they need my headshot and resume. ive found a photography studio and im gonna take the pictures soon. but how do you do your resume? what do you write in it? and how good will it look even if i havent been in any state plays? (if ive just been in school and church plays.) and how long will it take before im able to join those acting groups that make you more money? i know you have to pay $2,500 butdo you also have to be in a certain amount of movies/commercials/tv shows?

please answer my questions and email me.

Thanks,
Lakota

Posted by lakota cloud (2010-05-16) 2528

Look, all I care about is acting. Every millisecond of every day and night, I am thinking about Hollywood. I have confronted my parents several times and they say that we can't just move because I still have grandparents that need help being taken care of and we can't just move. So, I suggested that we could go out there for an extended period of time. They have agreed, but I am not sure that they will follow through. But see, I am completely relentless. I have bought at least 7 different books about how the industry works and the answers to all the questions you asked above. I have been taking acting classes for an extremely long time and I have done as much acting as I possible can in my community. I am ready to start my career in Film/TV. I also have several books on the art of acting that I read religiously. I study Meisner, Hagen, and Strasberg in class and on my own time. I need help. I am not trying to get famous. I am trying to do what I love to do which is act. Please give me advice on what more I should do. I can't imagine myself doing anything else but this. Please, I need it! The issue with my parents is not the support. They support me 100%. I just need them to realize that I have a dream that I will not wake up from until it comes true and it can't come true unless we live there. Thank you very much for this blog and I hope to receive an e-mail from you as soon as possible. Thanks again, Sam (14 year old aspiring actor from MD)

Posted by Sam (2010-04-15) 2477

hi. im 12 and i REALLY want to be an actress on disney channel. today i just told her that i REALLY wanted it, but she said that i have to have professional training and experience and that all the disney channel stars had that and thats how they got there and who's going to take me to california if i do get it. i live in idaho falls, idaho, so theres not much acting opportunities around. i've been looking around alot on the internet for auditions and i finally found one, and the only problem is my mom. but i havent told my dad yet, but i know he'll go with my mom. what do i do? help!

Posted by so so sad (2010-04-06) 2470

yeah! everyting you wrote is true but my parents have never support me in enything I wanted and sometimes they get me really dow that I even start to cry 'till the next day but I got sick of that and started to not pay attention to what they said about my dream but I still wanna know how to make my dream come true if I live in another country in South America it's really difficult, I mind the permanent residence, auditions, classes, school, money, and so many other things..
PLEASE i REALLY NEED SOME ADVICE! TELL ME HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN IF I GOT ALL THIS QUESTIONS IN MY HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by kelly (2010-03-31) 2454

hi, this is meenakshi.....i m 15 years old n i want to be an actor, it's really hard for me to convince my parents..i have told them a lot of times that i just want to be an actress but they don't understand my dreams especially my father n brother..they think that i don't have the talent of acting n think that acting is not a good job..it's tough n struggling but i have told them that i am ready to work really hard and struggle......they say that daily hundreds of people go to try their luck in the field of acting but only 2 out of those are selected n they think that just by seeing those 2 i am getting attracted but it's not so...neither i am attracted to glamour n nor to the successful people i see on television.....i want to learn acting n be an actor....they demoralize me n discourage me which a father should never do n to which i fell irritated...i cry till late night just because my father dosen't support n the biggest support i actually need is of my father only plz help convince my parents.....else i will never be able to turn my dreams into reality...n i would like to give my heartiest thanks to you for opening this blog..thnx

Posted by meenakshi (2010-03-19) 2439

hi, this is meenakshi.....i m 15 years old n i want to be an actor, it's really hard for me to convince my parents..i have told them a lot of times that i just want to be an actress but they don't understand my dreams especially my father n brother..they think that i don't have the talent of acting n think that acting is not a good job..it's tough n struggling but i have told them that i am ready to work really hard and struggle......they say that daily hundreds of people go to try their luck in the field of acting but only 2 out of those are selected n they think that just by seeing those 2 i am getting attracted but it's not so...neither i am attracted to glamour n nor to the successful people i see on television.....i want to learn acting n be an actor....they demoralize me n discourage me which a father should never do n to which i fell irritated...i cry till late night just because my father dosen't support n the biggest support i actually need is of my father only plz help convince my parents.....else i will never be able to turn my dreams into reality...n i would like to give my heartiest thanks to you for opening this blog..thnx

Posted by meenakshi (2010-03-19) 2438

Hi i'm 14 and ive been wanting to pursue a career as an actress since i was 12. When i was twelve i asked my mom if i could act we were all set and i was gonna try to get an agent and then my mom apologized and told me she couldnt support me because she didnt know if i was any good aor if i knew what i was getting myself into. For the past 2 years ive been trying to find ways to start a career but i found nothing cause everything i needed my parents support. Today i found your page here...thank you. I answered everysingle question you asked in detail on a piece of paper to prove to my mom i knew what an actress does and the stress of being one. Tomorrow morning i am going to ask my mom again about acting but this time im going to write a letter to her explaining how dedicated im willing to be if she would support me the tiniest bit but attached to the letter im going to put everysingle question and my detailed answers to prove i know my stuff. I really belive my mom will help me now. but i had to say thank you

Posted by Riley (2009-11-07) 2173

yah, ive asked my mom so many times about what it takes to act. she told me that I dont have the attitude. then she asked me with an annoyed or supprised voice if that was really what I wanted to do. someone at my church said that they think I would be good for it in front of my mom so mym mom said in this positive voice Then prove it! Go to drama! I audition for the school plays but i dont over act enough so I cant get in. Im too natural. My mom says natural acting is for tv. i have some hopes though cause my friend has an agent.

Posted by Pinkystar (2009-10-13) 2144

Hi.I tell my grandmother that I want to be a actress and singer, but I really don't think she takes me serouily(sorry,bad speller). I'm 14 and live in a really really small town in Alabama. Their aren't really any acting things here unless their musicals.I get get depressed because i keep trying to find some stuff so I can get some experince but their isn't anything.Can you help me? I know that that is what i want to do and i'm pretty sure I could it. Their arn't any agents here either.Just a few weeks ago I started to cry in the car when i was singing along to a CD, because i was thinking about not being able to do it. I've known for years that i want to be a professinal actor,in movies, and mabye a singer.Please help me.

Posted by Elizabeth Street (2009-09-06) 2050

omg. i keep telling my mom i wanna be an actress, but she wont take me seriously. I think thats be cause ive mostly had my mind set on being a veternerian.but really she should support me because ive always auditioned for schoolk plays, and ive even attended the local thesbian convention. but shes not, she thinks i should stick with being a veternarrian. i might do that, you kno if acting doesnt work out. sigh. can you help me convice her.

Posted by fustruated but determinded (2009-08-11) 1939

Right first yeah ur parents will sopport you yeah but sometimes you have to go and get want you want of you wanna be an actress go out and get it! I am a 13 year old girls and i love to sing and act i live in a village so it is hard for me to travell to go to acting classies and singing classes but it dnt stop me from pratsin! so get wat you want in life ! :D add me on facebook Gemma Sharman the girl wiv sort blond hair and a strippy top on thank you! :Dx

Posted by Gemma Sharman (2009-06-20) 1621

Im am 15 years of age & I would like to persue an acting career but my parents arent really to exciting about me wanting to become an actress. They think that I should do something more smart and constructive like becoming a doctor but I dont think the medicine field is something I would enjoy.
I also live in a country where acting is not common and acting schools are extreemly rare and are hardly found. What should I do?

Posted by I.Rodgers (2009-05-17) 1455

I've always wanted to be a actor. My parents keep telling me yes I can do it but that's it. I don't have headshots, resumes, or an agent. I want to be on Disney channel and for the last few months since I found out about the different websites where you can find auditions, and I've been researching everything you need to know about being an actor. I've asks my parents so many times that now I'm to scared to ask. Please help me figure out what to do.

Posted by Trinity Hairston (2009-04-12) 1285

my mom wants me to be a scholar, but she doesnt relize that my true dream, is more on the creative scale, i want to be musician,and make art,and photograph still life.
she says she thinks im good, but she thinks im not good enough

Posted by mlw (2009-03-25) 1198

hi,im only 11 but turning 12 in 2 weeks i really love singing and acting,its just I never supported my parents would never take me to some big city for acting its my passion i cry so many times a day because no one supports or helps with my dream they say pssshhhh thats what i wanted to be trust me it wont work out.
i live in laporte indiana where there is no possible way for me to find someone!have any suggestions?

Posted by JoyNaomi (2009-01-03) 757

I agree with the first, your articles are very inspiring.
But what if your a 13 year old girl who has always dreamed of being an actress?
whos mother does not believe you have what it takes to become an actress?
who lives in a small city in Canada? what then?
If I could get started I really don't have any doubt in myself with being able to keep up.
Sure, I may need to take some classes on cold reading and such, learn more about getting an agent, getting good headshots.
But before I even worry about headshots and lessons I just need to know I'll get the chance to chase my dreams.
But all in all i wrote this to get it off my chest, i won't even bring up the subject of wanting to be an actress to my mom shes told me "I'm too shy," reality im not really "shy" at all, but either way I live in a smaller city in Alberta Canada so theres no chance for me.

Posted by Kassie (2008-12-12) 655

this is so hard for me to be on tv I'm 11 years
old sometimes I cry in my sleep because
I can't be on disney channle in the suite life of zack and cody
please let me be on disney channle

Posted by deshay (2008-07-24) 151

youre articles are very inspiring

Posted by miguel nieves (2008-07-19) 140

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