Anyone else dream of just waking up one day, quitting and following their passion?

I have always wanted to be an actor since childhood and always had some kind of talent for it, but never bothered to pursue it because I adopted the mindset my parents taught me: study hard, get good grades, get good job, have good life. I have many an acquaintance who did the stereotypical "fine art degree into fast food worker" path because they wanted to work their passion.

With some perspective, I really can't complain; I have a brilliant lifestyle that 99% of people would love. But the thought of not at least giving it a serious shot and going my whole life without trying is quite uncomfortable to me, despite me not having the first clue of where to start (the odds for success here can very reasonably be described as a million to one).

I know it likely sound ridiculous to many of you, but would be good to get some thoughts anyway.

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Comments (14)

Jan 13, 2022 - 2:01am

What you need to ask yourself is would you actually enjoy the process of trying to become an actor, all the struggles, pitfalls, and stress that comes with it? Or do you just like the "idea" of becoming an actor and being this famous guy everyone likes?

Jan 19, 2022 - 9:44am

Well you don't really know what that entails from the sound of it so before quitting your job and going full throttle at the acting life going up against kids that just graduated from 4-year acting programs in college, start off by taking classes at a theater company or studio on weekends. See what it's like and if you have a knack for it, and if you'd like to continue, just do baby steps by getting headshots and start submitting for student/indie films and try to get to a point where it makes sense to quit and pursue acting full time

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Jan 20, 2022 - 12:19am

If you chase your dream, I think you will find some level of fulfillment assuming you fully and consciously acknowledge that it may not turn out as you envision (in fact, almost certainly reality will be worse than your idealized version in your head).

Personally, I have a hobby (intentionally vague here) that has an associated side business generating meaningful income (but nowhere near enough to support me, at least, not without me devoting significantly more time/effort to it). When I left finance, I took some time off and spent maybe 20-30 hours a week on this - what I found was that spending that much time in this area kinda sucked and making it more like a "job" than a hobby honestly killed a lot of my enjoyment of the hobby itself. A good analogy here might be golf - playing golf once a week is good; twice a week is amazing if you can swing it, but the returns diminish from there. For most people, playing golf every single day isn't actually that great (no matter how much you might think you like golf) especially if you HAVE to play golf because it's your job.

So I guess you could say I dipped a toe into exploring a dream, and then quickly found out it wasn't for me. That doesn't mean I don't daydream about it from time to time, especially when work is rough, but I guess it is comforting on some level to know that there isn't this full blown "what if" out there in my life.

  • 6
Jan 24, 2022 - 5:07pm

Do you go to auditions? 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:31pm

Every single day. Although it's more the feeling that I am wasting my limited time on earth doing something that is almost entirely meaningless. In theory, I'd take a substantial pay cut to be able to enjoy what I do on a day to day basis. In practice, it is very difficult to leave a reliable (and relatively high) income.

As Nassim Taleb has said, "The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary". I like my carbs, but I agree with the other two. 

Jan 25, 2022 - 4:40am

I've been making a good amount of music over the past two or three weeks as a vocalist, always was something that I was interested in doing, I've had ideas for songs for years, but I finally started giving it a go here recently and it's been a lot of fun. I'm surprised by how few people there are trying to make stuff even in something as mainstream as music. Makes me feel like I could honestly 'make it' if I stick with it, work hard enough at it, and get lucky at some point. With the internet it's possible to do a fuck ton of online projects at the same time, the odds that one of them takes off are low but it's definitely viable to be a part of many different online projects at the same time, if I just choose the right projects - ones where the music is commercially viable and the collaborators are both talented and more importantly motivated - then that increases my odds of a single success.

Jan 25, 2022 - 4:49am

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