According to a study published in Nature, just 2% of actors are actually making a living in the profession, with 90% out of work at any given time. While the odds of becoming a successful working actor may seem insurmountable, you might have a leg up on your competition if you have these desirable qualities.
Most successful working actors, those that stand the test of time, are passionate about what they do and aren’t in it for the potential to make a boatload of money. They show up for their work and are responsible and committed because they love what they do. They can also move on from the pain of rejection and understand that their talent exists outside of that moment, which helps them remain motivated despite the difficulties. While there are some that may experience fleeting success thanks to youth and good looks, it’s usually not enough to sustain their careers.
Without talent, there will be no work. Actors have to be able to memorize lines and speak them loudly enough so that others can hear them. While some have natural talent, it is possible to develop it through workshops, acting classes, and other training. In fact, many great areas go back to class for help with certain roles.
Lots of Energy
Acting is a lot of hard work – even when taking acting classes you’ll need to exert a lot of energy through both vocal and physical exercises, which is why being a naturally energetic person is a good quality for an actor to have. Performing on camera or on stage requires a certain amount of expressive energy so those with a high level of energy and the ability to translate it on-screen are more likely to be successful. Think about one of the most famous actors from Michigan, Kristen Bell. The Good Place star is naturally energetic and it shows – not only is she constantly working but she’s raising two young children too.
Having a good level of self-confidence is beneficial, especially during the early stages with frequent auditions, criticism, and rejection. Being confident in yourself and being able to get through those tough times will serve you well. Any audience wants and expects to be greeted by happy, confident faces. Even if you attend the best acting school and acquire immense skills, it’s useless without confidence. Nerves and anxiety often come from a lack of self-confidence, but as you develop your abilities through lots of practice, the more confident you’re likely to become. The more you act, the more you will feel secure in what you are doing and the more your self-confidence will grow.
Most actors have incredibly vivid imaginations. While you may be able to use some of the realities from your own life when acting, sometimes actors have to totally immerse themselves in another reality they know nothing about which is when their imagination must take over. They have to use their imagination to create their character as the script is simply a point of departure from which the director and cast hope to create a complete, finished work of art.