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Austin Actors
Luis Olmeda

How Do I Keep the Passion in Acting?
by Luis Olmeda

December 2001

Losing Passion for Acting...?

Pas€sion (p_sh´_n):
A powerful emotion or appetite. Ardent love. Boundless enthusiasm.

We look at others from a distance, to those who have accomplished some of the goals we set for ourselves, such as, the Director, Writer, Producer...Robert Rodriguez, and Actress Renee Zellweger, both from Texas. Have they ever suffered a loss of passion in what they do best before they reached the stature they currently enjoy?

Not getting any roles, rejection after rejection after rejection, can get anyone down, but I found that taking small breaks sometimes helps.

When nothing was coming my way, when I didn't have enough money to produce pictures, when other parts of my life besieged my acting career, those are the times when I just wanted to walk away from the whole thing, but instead, I took a small break, a breather. I looked back at what I have accomplished so far, and realized how much I have succeeded. I pat myself on my back, and move on to the next audition, feeling real good.

My coworkers will sometimes ask me if I had been doing anything lately, and with a proud look, I share with them my audition experiences. Did you get it? They would ask. No, but I did a good audition. And that's important. Many veterans in this field will tell you to do your audition, then just let it go, don't dwell on it, move on with YOUR LIFE. Easier said then done, but in time, you too will let it go, and feel good for having performed a great audition. And, if it's a bad one, which I have done several times, try to remember the good ones. Keep your spirits up.

So how does an actor, with nothing coming his/her way keep the passion?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Get involved with entertainment organizations, clubs, and groups such as this one. Go out and mingle with people. You never know what can come out of a conversation.

  • Audition for local plays, from small venues such as a local church to large productions.

  • Take acting classes. A great way to keep the blood flowing.

  • Write short or feature scripts, and join a writers group.

  • Take up extra work. When times are slow, I do that. Recently, while being on the set of Spy Kids 2 I actually witnessed two extras bumped up as stand-ins for Mr. Banderas, which not only means more pay, but more experience. I was studying Robert Rodriguez and Antonio Banderas in action, and it was inspirational. Watching the pros at work made me feel like doing the next step...

  • Get together with other actors and produce your own work. That's right, get a small group together, write shorts (rewrites are essential to a better script), get a hold of a DV camera, unless you can afford film stock, and go out and make movies. I find producing shorts don't take a lot of your time and money, and many film festivals are now accepting shorts produced on DV.

  • Become a producer at the Austin Community Television (ACTV). Once trained you can create your own show, and air it, or have a series.

So, there you go, a few examples to keep your passion alive. Come to think of it, I never really lost passion for acting, but I did lose interest at one point and time.

In_ter_est (In´tr_st, -t_r-_st)
Willingness to give special attention to something. To cause, to become involved or concerned.

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