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Why are so many aspiring actors so depressed and gloomy?

This applies to working actors too who aren't famous or notable. The type that appears in plays, short films and sporadic episodes of TV show like 'Law and Order'. Are they hungry for fame and riches, or simply unsatisfied creatively? Constant unemployment with no long-term colleagues to socialise with must play a part in their mopey demeanour. What do these people even do when they're not working?

The same goes for no-so-popular indie musicians who only play gigs every now and then.

by Anonymousreply 68December 12, 2022 1:06 PM

Because they work in narcissistic industries, and majority of celebrities/actors/public figures are narcissists. Narcissism is the antithesis of happiness.

by Anonymousreply 1November 11, 2022 8:33 PM

I can only speak for myself--ad it took me a very long time to realize this--performing became a career choice because it was the only time I was happy due to the adrenaline surge. Anytime I was not "on", I was decidedly off.

Moreover, like any junkie, once the brain chemistry was rewired, the highs got higher and the lows got much, much lower.

Learning to be content without the artifice of performance continues to be my biggest challenge.

by Anonymousreply 2November 11, 2022 8:48 PM

R2 So performing made you feel alive? What did you do during stretches of unemployment?

by Anonymousreply 3November 11, 2022 9:06 PM

Either I didn't explain that well or you're caught in a romantic notion of what performance is.

I'll say it this way: think of performance less as some grand, noble calling than a scripted interaction wherein I got to make choices but (for the most part), the trajectory was set and the audience supportive. "Alive" is an overstatement. The feeling was more akin to a glass of water when you're thirsty...relief.

Ok, so it's me not making sense...

I don't know how to really explain it except to add that going back to the embedded premise in the OP question, performing was not about getting higher from normal but a balm to soothe an unrelenting depression.

by Anonymousreply 4November 11, 2022 9:26 PM

R2/R4 What do you do when you don't have a paying performance opportunity? How do you mitigate the lows? Do you have other work that you put your energy into?

by Anonymousreply 5November 11, 2022 9:46 PM

I work behind the scenes. Their life IS depressing. Hustling and hoping for an audition or a part, managing your side gigs (everything from personal training to real estate to Onlyfans).

I love working in film, but I'm SO glad not to be an actor

by Anonymousreply 6November 16, 2022 1:23 AM

R6 Who was the most desperate actor? You don't have to give names, just describe their behaviour.

by Anonymousreply 7November 16, 2022 1:26 AM

R7 no one specific comes to mind as "the worst". It's just a grind. Every day hoping and praying and hustling for a big break, while doing whatever you need to get bills paid

by Anonymousreply 8November 16, 2022 1:31 AM

Who would want today’s fame? It includes zero mystery and they aren’t respected. They’re gimps these days.

by Anonymousreply 9November 16, 2022 1:32 AM

R9 Fame isn't glamorous anymore but it's easier to make money if you're notable.

by Anonymousreply 10November 16, 2022 1:33 AM

They are competing not only against other talented actors of "normal" backgrounds, but against nepotism/trust fund babies with varying levels of skill. I would be disheartened too to constantly audition with the deck stacked against me to such a degree.

by Anonymousreply 11November 16, 2022 1:35 AM

The ones who just want it for the fame or money are the most damaged. They're also the least interesting to watch on screen. The ones who really make it, as corny as it sounds, are usually the ones who are really doing it for the art and joy of it. If they weren't successful professionally, they'd still be doing it at a local community theater. It's something they have to do. In many ways, it's like a calling of some sort.

Yes, untalented ones sneak in all the time due to nepotism, looks, great networking skills, or because they know how to kiss ass and suck dick, but most of those types don't last very long in the grand scheme of things.

by Anonymousreply 12November 16, 2022 2:07 AM

Yes. Didn't Sharon Stone remark that you can only blow your way to the middle?

by Anonymousreply 13November 16, 2022 2:15 AM

R10 are there any glamourous industries left? Who lives a life like that in the public eye, these days?

All I can think of is being the wife of a sports star, or something.

by Anonymousreply 14November 16, 2022 2:21 AM

The deep, dark secret that no one in Hollywood wants you to know is that Hollywood is a piece of shit industry. So many people want to work in Hollywood either as actors, directors, producers, editors, etc and everyone thinks they are going to "make it" whatever that means anymore. I have many actor friends and even more director friends and of them, only a handful ever get work. It's very rare to have a career in Hollywood that is consistent, pays well, and has any type of benefits. Most film sets work you to death. And I mean that literally. People working 22 hours on a set and then driving home have been killed when they fall asleep at the wheel. The problem is, Hollywood uses people and spits them out and it gives no fucks how much or how little experience you have. My friends who are lucky enough to land roles in tv shows or films are usually guest stars for one or two episodes and then they don't work again for years. Most of them have side gigs...one takes headshots for other actors, another is a plus sized model on the side, another one did Insta Cart during the pandemic lockdown just to survive. I have one friend who is semi successful and she is so tired of auditioning that she decided to try to become a producer and so far, she's doing fairly well at it.

The others make short films that they hope will open doors for them...most shorts don't. Even if someone makes a film that gets into some film festivals, that's about all that ever happens. And most film festivals are scams where you pay them $ to review your film and maybe it gets in, maybe it doesn't. Either way, the success stories you hear of someone being discovered at a film festival are very very rare. I would say out of 99% of actors out there, maybe 3% of them get work and only 1% get enough work to actually make a living.

It's a shitty industry run by shitty people and when you are the commodity, you better hope there is a demand for whatever it is you bring to the table. If not, there are thousands of others who also believe they have what it takes. Their lives wouldn't be so gloomy if someone in their life had the balls to tell them they are not as great of an actor/writer/director as they think they are.

by Anonymousreply 15November 16, 2022 2:28 AM

In many other artistic professions your personal work can be seen, read, or heard on the street by others.

Most actors,, on the other hand, have to be lucky enough to get into a room, almost “intuit” what the people in front of them want them to be, and become that. Few people can handle years of rejection, unless, as R12 says, the thing they are doing makes them happy in and of itself.

But such happiness does not equal food; and perpetual hunger can lead to depression.

by Anonymousreply 16November 16, 2022 2:44 AM

Based on r15's post I'll repeat what I said once before on this site - given the thousands upon thousands of people trying to break into acting, it frankly surprises the shit out of me that I ever see the same person twice on the screen! I'll bet they could film every episode of every show and every movie from now until the end of time, and never use the same actor twice.

Instead we have to keep seeing the same people over and over, because stupid people have their favorites and nepotism and blah blah blah. Ugh. I'm so glad I've pretty much gotten sick of watching fiction lately, and just stick to YouTube videos starring nobodies, which is what I've found I prefer.

by Anonymousreply 17November 16, 2022 4:31 AM

the average actor gets turned down on more jobs in one month than I have been during my entire life. The amount of disappointment is shocking.

Imagine auditioning for a role, going back multiple times, taking the job in a different city or country that barely covers your expense or barely pays at all and then find you've been chopped out of the movie altogether. Or have been edited down to a few lines and you can barely be seen on screen. And this is the best career victory you have all year

by Anonymousreply 18November 16, 2022 7:06 AM

I know a failed actor who can't even watch movies or tv shows anymore because he's too jealous of the cast for being working actors. He used to love movies, but he's too bitter now to enjoy them. His dream was to be a movie star, and it really kills him that he's never been in a movie. I've seen him act in plays and he's actually rather talented, but he's short, unattractive and can't afford to move to New York or LA (factors which he believes held him back)

by Anonymousreply 19November 22, 2022 1:41 AM

R19 if he never even moved to NY or LA, he only has himself to blame

by Anonymousreply 20November 22, 2022 1:43 AM

R19 he doesn't live in NYC or L.A.? That is very strange. So it seems like he never actually pursued his dreams to begin with.

by Anonymousreply 21November 22, 2022 1:51 AM

R20 He lived there for a while when he was younger, but was completely broke after four months and no acting jobs, so moved somewhere cheaper--the midwest.

by Anonymousreply 22November 22, 2022 2:28 AM

Vaccine-induced depression and gloom?

by Anonymousreply 23November 22, 2022 2:31 AM

I find that many actors are vain, attention-seeking narcissists. If you fail to be a movie star, then your talent and life is wasted because nobody praises you, nobody appreciates you. Starring in a movie immortalizes you, in some way. No matter what, that movie will always exist, people will always know that you existed, long after your death. If you don't star in at least one movie, then it's like you never even existed.

by Anonymousreply 24November 22, 2022 2:59 AM

[QUOTE]Why are so many aspiring actors so depressed and gloomy?

They are tired of sucking old Jewish dick and getting fucked up the rectum for marginal roles.

by Anonymousreply 25November 22, 2022 3:35 AM

With iPhones and editing software so affordable these days, more actors should learn how to produce their own work instead of waiting for someone to give them a shot. If you're aware of what your talents are, write something for yourself that showcases those talents.

by Anonymousreply 26November 22, 2022 3:53 AM

R26 And release it where? Who will the audience be? It's not the same as the cinema.

by Anonymousreply 27November 22, 2022 4:04 AM

There's often mental problems with actors, then add in substance abuse, there you go!

by Anonymousreply 28November 22, 2022 4:13 AM

Most actors are (for various reasons) not comfortable in their own skin—this is why they seek out a profession where they can spend their time pretending to be someone else. To some degree, I do believe it's a form of escapism. It is also a way of sublimating emotions and problems. Unfortunately, you have to be both very good and VERY lucky to have the kind of success that most actors strive for—it's a road that leads to a lot of disappointments. Combine the two (not comfortable being in your own skin, and not being able to make a living in your chosen profession), and you have an emotional recipe for disaster.

by Anonymousreply 29November 22, 2022 4:21 AM

I have to laugh at the original post.

by Anonymousreply 30November 22, 2022 4:26 AM

And then you “make it” and read what people say about you on social media and can’t believe you could ever be so hated.

by Anonymousreply 31November 22, 2022 4:32 AM

R31 = Anne Hathaway.

by Anonymousreply 32November 22, 2022 4:48 AM

I'm one of those actors, but I'm rarely depressed or gloomy, nor are the vast majority of my actor buddies.

by Anonymousreply 33November 22, 2022 5:03 AM

[Quote] People working 22 hours on a set and then driving home have been killed when they fall asleep at the wheel.

You don't have to tell us.

by Anonymousreply 34November 22, 2022 7:49 AM

Hollywood life has always been depressing and gloomy. The mainstream just believed the PR hype in magazines, which was the only way to read about Hollywood stars back then (Hollywood controlling the public perception of stars and Hollywood itself). With the internet and social media sites like TMZ paint a pretty accurate picture of how trashy celebs, even the credible ones, are. Not to mention the personal accounts shared by social media users who met celebs while working their jobs like waiters, staff and crew members, agents, journalists, sales people in stores, etc.

by Anonymousreply 35November 22, 2022 1:31 PM

Miles Heizer comes to mind

by Anonymousreply 36November 22, 2022 5:45 PM

R36 honey, he passed aspiring a long time ago

by Anonymousreply 37November 22, 2022 5:46 PM

R35 Even though I know Hollywood is trashy and sordid, something about it seems "magical" to me. Like, even if things go wrong, it would be cool to experience.

by Anonymousreply 38November 22, 2022 6:31 PM

R38 like going to rehab?

by Anonymousreply 39November 23, 2022 7:21 AM

I once read a book by a no-name actor, about the business of being a no-name actor. The author said something that came back to mind all these years later, something like "All actors really just want to be somebody else, that's why they do what they do. when they have to be just themselves they're unhappy".

Maybe that's true of a lot of actors.

by Anonymousreply 40November 24, 2022 12:25 AM

In order to actually find success as an actor, do you have to be full of yourself and narcissistic? I can't imagine going through all that rejection on a constant basis, and still believe I deserve to be a star.

by Anonymousreply 41November 24, 2022 3:01 AM

Since much of the business is based on looks and youth and very shallow, actors get very depressed about time passing. They know they are on a clock for how many years they reasonably have to make it. Once they are in their thirties, not much time is left to become a commodity or to break out in a big role, if they aren't already famous.

by Anonymousreply 42November 24, 2022 11:42 AM

I think many actors are drawn to the profession because they are very unhappy being themselves, so acting gives them a way to be someone different.

by Anonymousreply 43November 24, 2022 11:47 AM

You should watch The Bubble, OP.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 44November 24, 2022 12:01 PM

R42 What if a billionaire attempted a movie career at 50? Let's say Elon Musk. He writes, produces and funds it himself. Started his own film festival for the premiere, and his own streaming service. Do you think he'd have a chance at movie stardom?

by Anonymousreply 45November 24, 2022 4:52 PM

Let's face it, to get your foot in the door to "acting," you've got to be extremely physically attractive. Unless you have a plastic surgery overhaul, that disqualifies 90-99% of aspiring actors.

To be rejected because of your looks is a kick in the stomach. Multiply that by __X__ and you're depressed and drinking alone in the daytime.

If you hit the lottery and you *are* extremely physically attractive, then you're competing against a ton of others who also won that lottery. Then ... the time factor. You're aging, your looks are aging, there are younger, prettier people on the horizon. Look at Zac Efron and what he's done to himself. Sad.

by Anonymousreply 46November 24, 2022 5:09 PM

R46 It seems miserable either way. If they "make it", they have to worry non-stop about losing it. If they don't make it, then they'll be bitter with FOMO.

by Anonymousreply 47November 24, 2022 5:16 PM

I've noticed that quite a few YouTube influencers are former drama majors. That is another way to perform, control your own content, and potentially make a lot of money if you can find your audience. Of course, YT fame has its own downsides, but they are no greater than those experienced by aspiring actors.

by Anonymousreply 48November 24, 2022 5:29 PM

A lot of naive people, kids and teens most of the time, look at entertainment and think "well, I could do that way better than these no talent hacks!". Then they convince themselves that Hollywood is clearly desperate for some real talent to knock at the door and that's when they pack up and leave their homes to make it in Hollywood only to realize that Hollywood isn't looking for talent, it looks for slaves, cannon fodder, yes-men, etc. and with every rejection at an audition their dreams and ambition get crushed more and more until they try to do the networking thing and see how horrible these Hollywood types are and that there is no chance to get to the top with talent or confidence alone.

by Anonymousreply 49November 24, 2022 5:34 PM

R24 Most of today's biggest stars will be tomorrow like Kay Francis and others who were huge stars way back then, but only folks who watch TCM will know who they are. Even though Kay Francis, made tons of movies, was lovely and was actually very good in them.

by Anonymousreply 50November 24, 2022 5:55 PM

I feel a little bad for silent icons like Theda Bara whose entire oeuvre was destroyed decades ago and their legacy lost.

One of the reasons Chaplin has retained his fame is that he was canny enough to save and preserve his own work, so we still have all of his films.

by Anonymousreply 51November 24, 2022 5:58 PM

I'm very happy to work behind the scenes

by Anonymousreply 52November 24, 2022 6:55 PM

[Quote] Of course, YT fame has its own downsides, but they are no greater than those experienced by aspiring actors.

YouTubers have batshit stans and can't be protected the same way celebrities can.

by Anonymousreply 53November 25, 2022 12:57 PM

Acting aside, if there’s one profession in the world anymore depressing it's singing. That's become the only profession in which you have to pay to do what it is you. Anyone with even superior vocal ability who: (1). Doesn’t sing opera (2). Isn’t a musical theater queen (under 30) with supreme fuckability and superlative skills in dance. (3). Isn’t a self-contained musician who can expertly read music like you’d read the Daily News and play like Les Brown and Oscar Peterson. (Good looks don’t hurt). (4). Born into a multigenerational theatrical or musical family with tons of connections. ( 5). A trust fund brat who can afford to sink a fortune into self-promotion and musical expenses. (6). A whore (worth having) proficient in anything under the sun who will gladly put out in exchange for a gig, DO NOT expect to be hired for your vocal wares.

While You Tube and I-Tunes have enabled independent artists to self-produce, it has also impeded more important labels from signing unknowns, where they would get the promotion, backing, and tour bookings to enhance their chances for success.

A singer (again, one who does not write or read music, or play a musical instrument) who’s doing everything he can just to live in a place like New York will often not have the cash to pay musicians the extraordinary money they charge (because they’re also struggling) let alone the cash to pay for arrangements, recordings, and promotion. Social media helps but it’s not a panacea. In years past, jazz clubs, (which are now restaurants that play jazz), would audition new talent and HIRE the singer with its built-in audience. Of course, the artists were welcome to invite friends and family. If the singer was a hit, they were asked back and sometimes received regular bookings with pay. Some of these bookings in 1960, yes, 1960, were upwards of $150 a week. An unknown singer wouldn’t make anywhere near that today!

A singer is now expected to fill a room, ask everyone they know, living and dead, to attend, pay a cover, purchase two drinks, and must often pay a lighting and sound fee as well. They are then relegated 100% of the take after paying musicians, makeup artists, if needed, wardrobe expenses (unless you’re borrowing from Edith Piaf), and rehearsal time. If this is a 99-seat house with a steep $20 cover, that’s about $2000, minus musicians, easily $500-$1000, a $100 tech fee, rehearsals, usually $50-60 an hour, some $200 bucks depending on the time spent, the cheapest outfit and makeup, $200, promotion $200, the singer will walk away with at best $500, and that’s assuming a full house, which it often isn’t. So cut that amount in half. Wouldn't even pay for a closet in NYC.

Yes, there are open mike nights for which you are required to buy two drinks or order food, and even pay a “music charge.” Otherwise, you could be the young Barbra Streisand, you will still be shown the door. I remember when singers who proved their stuff got tipped by the pianist. (Marie Blake was one of them). Now don’t dare not tip the pianist. They were also given a drink on the house (at least) and sometimes a meal, if the club served food. Now you must pay. Forget the karaoke bars, which opened up the playing field to every incompetent slob from here to Peoria, where they can revel in alcoholic fuckery and launder money. The music scene has devolved into a sewer of lousy tribute bands, has-beens that never were, and tragically some fabulous talent that will never see the light of day.

An actor can at least work for a sandwich. The real singer should just cut her throat.

by Anonymousreply 54November 25, 2022 1:31 PM

R54 Yeah but a singer owns their own music, they have something to sell. An actor has nothing and has to work on somebody else's project.

by Anonymousreply 55November 25, 2022 5:11 PM

How the fuck can you be a singer who can't read music? I must misunderstand.

You're a Karaokist.

by Anonymousreply 56November 27, 2022 6:13 PM

Want to hear an actor complain?

Give them a job!

by Anonymousreply 57November 27, 2022 6:21 PM

Because they never got the love a child needs baby!

by Anonymousreply 58November 27, 2022 6:26 PM

Ever eat with one?

by Anonymousreply 59December 11, 2022 2:19 AM

Being an actor who isn’t famous is a life of rejection. For every 20 auditions, you get 1 job.

It’s not a “feel good” daily life.

by Anonymousreply 60December 11, 2022 3:20 AM

Actors feel things more deeply than the rest of us.

Normies just don't understand.

by Anonymousreply 61December 11, 2022 12:21 PM

[quote] [R54] Yeah but a singer owns their own music, they have something to sell.

That is not true. Like actors, singers perform what others wrote. Songwriters own the music, with song producers and record companies owning a (massive) share as well.

That is why someone like Dolly Parton is called singer AND songwriter. A singer might be allowed to sing their most popular songs, but the residuals of these songs go to the songwriter, not the singer. A singer makes money from touring (ticket and merch sales) and public appearances.

by Anonymousreply 62December 11, 2022 12:55 PM

R61 is right. We'll never truly understand their pain.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 63December 11, 2022 1:20 PM

It's a shallow life. Everyone wants to be on top, and for the few who get there, there is only one way to go -- down.

by Anonymousreply 64December 12, 2022 8:19 AM

One of the most difficult jobs psychologically is sales. Actors have it worse than any salesman because they have to constantly sell themselves.

by Anonymousreply 65December 12, 2022 8:20 AM

Because deranged stalkers like DARKGEMINILORD constantly troll them.

by Anonymousreply 66December 12, 2022 8:48 AM

It's a business full of rejection. People are often not who they seem. Everyone wants something from you and friendships made after a certain point tend to be shallow. You generally have to be a certain kind of person to make it big. Most people aren't that kind of person. Even then it all comes down to luck.

Every actor I know reassesses whether or not they want to continue down the path they're on every now and then until one day you realize, oh shit. You must do something else or you're going to be an old broke person.

The smart ones, that do it because they love it, also have other careers that let them have the time to do it.

[quote]Are they hungry for fame and riches, or simply unsatisfied creatively?

Actors are actors because they like pretending to be other people and because being themselves makes them/(formerly us) nervous/sad/some negative emotion.

People who are hungry for fame and riches don't often make it because it's very disappointing for them. They'd do better to be anything else. At some point they realize that.

[quote]Constant unemployment with no long-term colleagues to socialise with must play a part in their mopey demeanour.

While working on a film, tv or any kind of production is like summer camp (spend a lot of time together then go your separate ways) you do occasionally make a friend who started as a colleague. You also do tend to run into the same people over and over again until one day they disappear.

Hot girls marry up, hot guys use those looks to get a great job outside of acting and the people in between probably already had something else going.

[quote] What do these people even do when they're not working?

Your other job. You take classes. You teach. You write. If you're married, maybe you stay home with your kids.

The reason I ended up with a top agent/agency is because I met and stayed friends with a woman in one of my old acting classes but it was pure luck I was there the day she was there. It was luck I got to do the scene I did that impressed her. I helped her do a lot of stuff and she helped me out tremendously.

by Anonymousreply 67December 12, 2022 8:51 AM

Most of us are depressed and gloomy, but thanks to celebrity culture, we are more aware of celebrities being miserable when they seem to "have it all".

But, you see, celebrities are really just like us and they are just as miserable as we are when we cheat to succeed. Or when we feel regret, remorse, or resentment. Actors can't hide these things forever, just like the rest of us.

by Anonymousreply 68December 12, 2022 1:06 PM
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