How to Convince Your Parents to Support Your Dream of Becoming an Actress
by Anthony Smith
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?
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.