ana1821 asks: I come from Albania and I’m worried I won’t make it in the acting world. I really want to do it, but I’m so afraid to try. My parents think that I’m too young to act and they would never let me do it. I don’t know what to do. Please help me figure this out.
Hi ana1821 –
It sounds to me like you have two problems at the moment. The first is that you’re afraid to try acting, and the second is that your parents don’t want you to do it.
With the first, of course, you just simply have to find a way! If someone said to you that they wanted to become a mathematician but were afraid of math problems, you’d tell them they were crazy, right? Well, I know you’re not crazy, but the same problem holds here. Acting is a very difficult profession. The only people who succeed in it are those who looooooove doing it. Note: there are numerous successful actors who aren’t all that good at it – but they still have to loooooooooove doing it!!! So if you don’t love it, you simply have to not be an actor!
Now with the second issue, of course that’s not up to you at all. If your parents absolutely refuse to allow you to act, then it’s hard for you to get into shows or movies.
HOWEVER… there are literally innumerable ways for you to act that don’t break your parents’ rules. And, conveniently, I think there’s a really good chance you’ll find that they are less scary for you as well! Here are a few suggestions:
1) When you’re with your friends, put on a show. Even if it’s just with them and for them. Write short scripts, use a room in your house as the setting, and direct the other kids while you play a really fun part yourself. All you’re doing is playing, right? You’re not breaking your parents’ rules by going out and getting into a professional arena.
2) Does your school have a speech class, a debate team, or a singing program? Do any or (better) all of those. The skills you’ll learn in public speaking, debating, and singing are all great for acting. In fact, to a large degree you will be acting as you do those things. You might have to pretend you’re angry with the speech you’re giving, or pretend to believe a point of view you don’t actually share when you debate. And of course great singing always involves acting. Do you think Adele is really all that sad every time she sings one of those songs? No, she has to act it!
3) Does your school have a dance class? Take it! Great actors are almost always great dancers, as both involve self-expression with one’s body. Again, you won’t be breaking your parents’ rule, but you’ll be building up your acting skills nonetheless. And if your school doesn’t have dance, does it have gymnastics, fencing, yoga, or even swimming? All these involve getting in touch with your whole body, and are just great for actors.
4) I mentioned above that you could write little plays for yourself and your friends. But even beyond that, writing is terrific. Make up characters, and imagine what they’d say and do. You’ll be acting them out while you sit at your computer keyboard!
5) Be patient, but be persistent. Your parents are likely frightened that being an actor will make you less of a success in other areas. But the older you get, the longer you’re a good student, the more you’re a good person, the less they’re going to worry. And maybe when you’re a bit older, if you’ve kept (mildly) pressuring them about how much you want this, they might give in a little, like letting you act in school, or in a local theater they trust. And from there, if you really love it, you can spread your wings a little more, and maybe do some student films, and then some professional plays, and then… who knows! Just realize that they mean well for you, and keep working to help their minds shift.
Good Luck, ana1821! I hope this helps!!