Where Does Fulfillment In Your Acting Come From?

It’s come up recently that it’s possible for us as actors (as people, really), to never be quite satisfied with where we are. At what point are we fulfilled as actors? I’ve certainly felt that “if I only had this part in a series, then I’d be happy” or “All I want is to get the chance to audition. Is that too much to ask” feeling many times myself. But I also know that there are many actors, who have “made it” who are still not happy with where they are. The series regular part that leads to type casting, where you don’t have enough scenes or too much work or not working with the right people or you’re away from home too much or you’re not making the kind of money that you should be making. As we look for what fulfills us, if you’re looking to something outside of yourself, you’re probably looking in the wrong place.

In our discussion in class the other night, many students brought up that just being in the moment, at the moment of creation, is fulfilling for them. That’s a wonderful feeling. Sometimes you hear it referred to as being in the “zone”. If that is where you get your fulfillment as an actor and an artist, then you’re putting yourself in a position to be fulfilled quite a bit. Because being in the zone, or being in the moment is something that is within your direct control. There is no casting director, director, producer or other acting partner who can prevent you from being in the moment. Maybe a certain project that you’re on is shitty. It happens. But the experience of the moment can and does transcend any over-arching shittiness. And by taking your fulfillment from the moment, you side-step the potential disappointment that results from external forces: money, production difficulties, personal issues, etc.

You also set yourself up to get fulfillment from every experience of acting: rehearsing, auditioning, sharpening your craft, performing, and even working on the “business” of acting (networking, marketing, etc). You can be in the moment for all of that. And it is in your complete control.

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