Social Media: One Part of the Picture
Social media is a great thing. We are able to know information about our friends almost to the minute it’s happening. People are constantly updating their Facebook pages with announcements of what’s going on in their lives. If you’re an actor or have any friends who are actors, those life updates include many statuses announcing when your friends book acting jobs. At any given time, someone is always being offered a job or starting an exciting new contract. But if you’re auditioning and struggling to find a job, after a while it can start to seem like all your friends are having so much success. You start to wonder, is everyone booking but me?!
No. I am here to tell you that is never the case. Yes, your friends might be booking jobs. But you are far from the only person who isn’t getting cast (at the moment). The fact of the matter is, statistically, there are always going to be more actors auditioning than roles for them. This will never change. Especially in New York, there are always so many people auditioning and trying to “make it” that it would be IMPOSSIBLE for even the majority of them to get cast. So don’t beat yourself up. You aren’t in the minority at all, you’re just experiencing a regular part of life as a performer.
The issue with social media is this: we are so attached to social media that often we start to view what we see online as reality. But it’s not. It’s far from it. When your friends post about getting a job, that’s all you see: the good news. You see the carefully worded and edited version of their story they want to present to the world. You don’t see how many months they auditioned without any success. You don’t see the times they messed up in a dance call or flubbed a lyric. You don’t see the callbacks they went to or the parts they almost got. You only see one end result. And because that’s all you see, it’s easy to judge yourself or to give yourself a hard time, saying things like, “He seems so successful – he’s booking all the time.” Maybe he is, but chances are, he’s probably working just as hard and struggling just as much as you are, but in this instance, his hard work finally paid off.
So here’s my advice: stop being glued to social media. Don’t let it rule your life or your career. To use social media as the basis of how you look at the world would be as foolish as thinking that the whole world looks like your own backyard. I promise that if you free yourself even just a little bit, your outlook towards success will change and you’ll stop putting so much pressure on yourself. By all means, look at your friends’ good news, but please keep a healthy dose of realism as well. It’s just part of the picture, NOT the whole thing. Celebrate your friends, congratulate them for their good work and success, and one day they’ll return the favor. Support them, be happy for them, and know that if you keep working and persevering, it will happen for you too.
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