So you want to be an actor or actress?
Founder Rob Cummings will share a little with you about the business.




"Few understand what it's
really like to be an actor or
actress in Hollywood. I'll give
you a little insight from my
experience there."

Rob Cummings/Essentuale's Founder

I live about 55 miles South of Hollywood in California.

For the past ten years I have been one of the people who you see meeting the actors and actresses (recording artists also) on the red carpet at the televised Awards Shows - The Golden Globes, The Soap Opera Digest Awards, Daytime Emmy's, Blockbuster Awards, Grammy's, MTV Awards, etc.

I've done this for Britney Spears at the 2001 American Music Awards. Also Jane Seymour, Goldie Hahn and Kurt Russel, Rod Stewart, Tom Hanks, Jimmy Stewart, Lou Gossett Jr., Mariah Carey, Frank Sinatra, Pam Anderson, Kid Rock, and many others too numerous to mention. I've been backstage and talked to practically every star (we call them 'talent') you can imagine. There are probably very few you can think of who I haven't been backstage with since they are all at the Televised Awards Shows, and most of the televised Awards shows are in the LA/Hollywood area.

At each Awards Show my job is to meet the talent, take them through the Show, backstage, onto the stage and stay with them throughout the entire Awards Show until I finally take them back and into their limousines - or to the parties that sometimes follow.

If they have pre-Show rehearsal days I meet them for those as well. The good news is most are very nice people... almost all of them. There are a few I cannot name who are 'difficult' but they are rare.

From this I know a little about the business and how it works. I've also taken acting classes since I want to act, but only in TV commercials. Essentuale takes up all the rest of my time.

If you want to be an actor (or actress) try this:
You should carefully watch TV Shows, Movies and Plays and observe. Definitely remain a straight A student if you are in school. Get involved in the drama classes if they have them at your school. Take acting classes if you can find good ones. Good ones are taught by those who have had real acting experience. Do everything you can to learn how other people became actors. If you have Bravo or the 'E' channel sometimes they show Actor's stories. You might also buy some books on acting or get them from your library.

Have another career in mind.
Since few actually become full-time actors, always have another career in mind. Many have had difficult lives so you should know it's not all a 'fairy tale' world for them. It's a very demanding business very different than you probably imagine.

You've probably already seen actors that are doing great one year, and nothing the next. The funny thing about actresses and actors is if you don't see them in a recent film or on TV or in a play, they are probably out of work. 

That's why I recommend always having a back-up plan. Keep your dream but just in case, have interests in other things as well. Acting for most, if they can get paid to do it and become an actor, is normally not a lifetime career. Most are actors for a little while, then later go into another business. You should think about what that 'other business' might be for you and study this and get good at it.

'Entertainment Weekly', the magazine, might be good for you to read or see http://www.ew.com . From the actors and actresses I know, it reports the real stories. Don't believe what you read in 'People', 'Us' or 'National Enquirer'. These are not always entirely true. I often ask the actors and actresses I meet at the Awards Shows and know this.

Hollywood is not what you might think.
If you've been there you know that Hollywood is not really paved in gold. It takes some sacrifice to live and work there. I was amazed when I first moved here. It's old, run down, kind of dangerous, and there are a lot of poor people living on the streets. I know that seems hard to believe. Even the Studios I work at are old and run down for the most part. They are charming and historic but not extravagant and not normally in the nicest neighborhoods.

I would not want to live in Hollywood but LA actors have to. Some who have to work nearly every day (like sitcom and soap opera actresses) live in the Hollywood Hills - by that big HOLLYWOOD sign. The funny thing is they have to drive down into Hollywood to go to work with their doors locked.

Actresses and actors typically are successful because they are talented, determined, have studied acting, watched lots of others in film and TV and were in the right place at the right time. They've watched others and also have learned about the business of acting which is very different than other businesses. Few are overnight successes. Most have had small parts in plays, or as 'background' (those people who are not the stars in film and TV); or have been to hundreds of casting calls where they were not selected. You have to be very determined and not be hurt if you are not chosen. These casting calls, even for a small part, often include hundreds of other people competing for the same part.

You should consider the life of an actor or actress. Yes, it can be glamorous and exciting, but you also lose some of your freedom. For instance, if you're famous you can't go out in public as much because everybody recognizes you. At first this might seem great but after a while you may wish you chose a less 'public' life. This is something to consider if this is your dream.

Yes, if you have talent and determination, (and a little luck), your dream to become an actress may one day come true!

And if we feel you have what it takes, we may write a Feature Story about you at Essentuale. We like to help people achieve their dreams.

Rob.

Go back to the modeling and talent page