I’m sitting here at my desk looking out the window at The Hollywood Hills, wondering why I was crazy enough to agree to write this blog. I’m very boring and I doubt anyone really wants to hear about my life but here we go.
I have been living in Hollywood for almost three years and have been lucky enough to be working as an actor almost that whole time. I love my job and what I get to do for a living. I have wanted to be an actor since I was three years old and there are still times when I don’t believe I’m really here doing what I always wanted to do.
While acting can be very rewarding and a lot of fun it is a very hard life and a very unfair business. Hollywood is not for everyone and this town can, and does, destroy a lot of people if you let it and aren’t strong enough.
Acting is more than just fancy parties, glamorous premiers and being recognized by strangers. That’s just a small part.
There is a reason why it’s called show business. As actors we spend almost all of our time submitting to projects and sending headshots and resumes to casting directors, agents, managers and publicists. We go to thousands of auditions, dozens of callbacks; most of these roles we will never get and that constant rejection can eat at people and make them hate acting and grow bitter. We spend so little time actually acting.
When we are lucky enough to act we have to memorize lines, create a living, breathing, believable human and be able to turn our emotions on and off at the snap of a finger. We must also maintain those emotions for many takes or live performances. That can be draining, especially if you have an early morning call, a night shoot or an eighteen hour day.
It can be hard to have a relationship too. If you date someone in the business there is the risk of jealousy or resentment growing if one partner’s career takes off and the other’s doesn’t. Someone outside the business may not understand why you pursue the dream and it can be hard to watch the love of your life do a sex scene or make out with someone or be naked in a role.
I would say that if you move to Hollywood because all you want is fame, lots of money and to be a “star”, save yourself the money and heartbreak and find another career. It takes years and lots of hard work to be a star and famous. No one is “discovered” and there are no “overnight successes.”
So why do I put myself through this? Because I don’t want to do anything else. I can’t do anything else. I love performing and I’m lucky to be able to work, literally, all the time. And not just in front of the camera. I also work behind the scenes when I feel like I have to recharge my sanity. That’s another piece of advice I can give; don’t limit yourself. Do everything. You never know who you’re going to meet or what opportunities you can get. I became eligible to join SAG by working as a PA on a webseries. I got a co-star role and Taft-Hartlied.
If you are willing o do the work, have a thick skin and are tenacious, you can succeed and have a long and fulfilling career in Hollywood.
Thanks for stopping by,
Joe Filippone has been acting for almost twenty years, ever since he was a child. He has appeared on the TV shows 1000 Ways To Die, Childrens’ Hospital, Homicide Hunters and the webseries Shooting For The Scars, Fabulous High, Driving With Our Eyes Shut. Joe has appeared in countless indie films and stage productions. He has also worked as a stage manager, director, casting director, sound and light operator, house manager and teacher. Joe is also a dancer, singer and writer whose work has appeared in nearly thirty anthologies. www.joefilippone.webs.com or www.garlandserotictales.webs.com