How To Become an Actor: Getting Into Acting vs. Staying With Acting




Dan:I want to be an actor.

James: Ok. Go act!

Dan: Yeah, but I want to be paid to act. I want to do movies and television shows.

James: Don’t we all? You share the same want that every other actor in the world has. Except, the only difference, is that they’ve gone to school, paid for training, attended workshops, auditioned, gone to master classes, read books on acting…

Dan: That sounds like a lot.

James: Were you expecting something different?

Getting into acting is easy, staying with acting is hard. In The Karate Kid, Daniel is bent on eliminating his bullies’ power over him but finds his training with Mr. Miyagi challenging and, at times, pointless. Acting is more about practice than performance. Since most of an actor’s time is spent practicing, that means that most of his time is spent not being paid to act. (Let us take this opportunity, as there will be many more to come, to state that if one is looking to acting as a reliable, if not overwhelming, source of income, they are looking into the wrong field.) Once one realizes that “getting into acting” doesn’t make him an actor, but “staying with acting” makes one a practicing actor, then the conversation about what that individual wants to accomplish can take place.

At the end of The Karate Kid, Daniel fights in the All-Valley Karate Tournament; his many months of spending grueling hours and practicing karate have brought him to this one moment. Fortunately, Daniel performed well in the tournament and won the grand trophy. Whether he decides to keep practicing karate the next day or start working towards performing in another tournament is a very similar to the decision an actor has to make throughout his career.