Friday, October 05, 2007

ON ACTING: Genes, Hard Work and Luck

Acting success--like much success in life in general--is primarily a matter of three factors: Genes, Hard Work and Luck.

Most of us can't do much about changing our genes (that is, so far...who knows what stem cell research will eventually uncover and develop; the gene replacement to include genes for acting excellence?...but...sigh...until then...).

You can't do much about luck; except perhaps be as prepared to take full advantage of it when it occurs.

Which leaves us inevitably and directly to the third factor: hard work. The 'Serenity Prayer' for Alcoholics Anonymous has application here for actors as well: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

In terms of acting, the 'prayer' implies the following: You cannot change what you cannot change: genes or luck. So, accept that dual fact with serenity. Which leaves (and this is the important thing when it comes to a successful acting career) wise enough to know the thing you can change; which is--if you have the courage--the amount and quality of hard work--effort--which a smart actor is willing to expend to learn and practice how to improve their acting craft beyond the given gene factor while you wait for luck to strike.

Genes and luck are an uncontrolable givens; but all other changes and improvements are possible with hard work.


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