A Letter to the Out of Work Actor

A Letter to the Out of Work Actor

Dear Struggling, Out of Work Actor,

Being an actor is hard. Let me correct myself, being a working actor isn’t hard. Being a working actor is great, it’s fulfilling, it’s doing what you love and getting paid to do it. But being an out of work actor, struggling to get auditions and book gigs is what’s hard. Since I moved to Toronto it’s been a struggle for me to be seen by the Casting Directors here. While some have given me the opportunity (mostly for commercials) and I’ve been lucky enough to book a few of them… there are still so many Casting Directors that haven’t seen me or my work. Getting in that audition room when you’re the new kid on the block just isn’t easy. I’ve been through one agent, gotten 2 new rounds of headshots and still nothing. In February I moved to a new agent, and here I am, just having finished getting my 3rd round of headshots since I moved here 1.5 years ago. I’ve spent a grand total of $1500 on headshots, a couple more thousand on classes, and I continue to sit and wait, hoping some day soon these Casting Directors will give me a chance.

Getting into the acting industry we’re always told just how hard it is, how strong you need to be, and how you need to get used to rejection. But I guess you never really realize just how hard it is until you’re doing it. The amount of self doubt you build up after constantly being rejected and knocked down is astounding. The struggle to not only afford to live in a big metropolitan city while working a part time job, but then be able to also afford spending thousands on headshots and classes is real. Not only do you start to feel like a failure in your craft, but you’re poor to top it off. Not even poor, you’re in debt. In the negative. But you keep pushing on trying your best to stay positive and think that someday soon something is going to work out. You watch your peers succeed, book roles, keep busy, while you struggle just to just stay afloat. You surround yourself with positive and supportive people who lift you up when you’re down, and you keep at it. You study your craft, you get the new headshots, and you sign up for classes you can’t afford because if you’re not working on getting better you’re not doing everything you can to make your dreams a reality. And you wait. You keep faith because that’s all you really have to hold on to in an industry that continues to knock you down over and over. You believe in yourself, because if you aren’t going to no one else is and you have to believe that your time will come. And you just keep reminding yourself that it will get better, all this hurt, all this stress (both mentally and financially) will be worth it, you just have to believe.

This industry is tough. But you, resilient out of work actor, are much tougher. You’re not going to let this bring you down. Your time will come..  Just stick with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lately, I’ve been struggling with issues of self doubt, loss of hope, and just feeling overall kicked to the ground by the acting industry. Instead of letting it push me to quit, I decided to pen my thoughts in order to help me heal and regain my inner strength. I wrote a letter to myself and all the out of work actors out there, and whether or not you’re in the film industry yourself, I hope this letter was a small reminder to you that we must never give up on our hopes and dreams, no matter how tough the road. 

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What I Wore:

Dress – Taylor (via Winners) // Jean Jacket – H&M // Bag – Expressions NY (via Winners) // Sandals – Steve Madden // Sunglasses – Kate Spade

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xoxo

 

 

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29 Comments

  1. Kristin Wendlandt
    May 22, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    Chin up! You are beautiful and talented and have friends and family who love you. Your time will come and we will all be there applauding the wonderful actor/person you are.

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 22, 2017 / 5:27 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Auntie! Appreciate you taking the time to read.

  2. May 22, 2017 / 5:01 pm

    Hi Kirsten,

    I loved reading your letter and I must say it was very brave of you to write that down and share with everyone but I hope this is therapeutic for you too as you help and inspire others to never give up.

    I understand what it’s like to work at something and it seems like you still can’t catch a break. I’m not in the film industry but it’s one of those things you learn in life regardless of where you are and this weekend I was reminded that no matter the struggle, you have to hold on because change is coming. Your time is now and that big break is coming, so hold on and keep chasing your dreams. I’ll be praying for you!

    Sending lots of love from Houston.
    xoxo
    Chigi.
    http://www.chigisworld.com

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 22, 2017 / 5:27 pm

      Chigi, Thank you so much for all your kind words and for taking the time to read. You are so true that change is coming, and this is something we need to always remind ourselves of. It could be tomorrow, it could be a year from now, it could be in 5 years, but if we keep at it we will all get the outcomes we worked so hard for. We just have to remember the best is yet to come. <3

  3. May 22, 2017 / 10:58 pm

    One of my very favorite things is when I meet someone who isn’t afraid to be real! Real happy. Real sad. Just Real. Cause Real People make us all stronger, realizing that we’re all on a journey – sometimes moving, sometimes waiting. Thanks for an amazing post!!

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 22, 2017 / 11:18 pm

      Thank you so much Barb. It’s so true, being real is so important and it’s not always easy to be vulnerable and show our flaws, failures and struggles. But the thing is we all go through them, and in being honest about them we can ultimately help others who may be going through the same things.

  4. May 23, 2017 / 1:23 am

    Hello my friend. Please don’t ever give up. This really touched me cause I can relate, even though mine is music and yours is acting. It’s still in the same family of performing arts. Times will be hard for us in this business, but we must keep going, we must keep hope cause if we don’t stay strong. then we will break and all our hard work will be for nothing. You are an amazing girl, and I know one day soon, your stars will align and everyone will see you for the star all of us here already see you as. Never give up okay. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. As I say in the bridge of my song “Let The Music Be Your Guide” , “remember tomorrow’s a new day, every little thing is gonna be alright”
    I’m rooting for you.
    Love, Dom

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 23, 2017 / 8:34 am

      Dom, thank you so much for the amazingly sweet message. You’re absolutely right that it is the same for music, we didn’t choose easy paths but it’s about following our passions. It’s not always easy but if it were everyone would do it. Thank you for the kind message <3

  5. May 23, 2017 / 2:48 am

    You are so beautiful and I am sure you will make it. Thank you for sharing this. You inspire me not to give up.

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 23, 2017 / 8:32 am

      Thank you CJ. It’s so important to not give up even when things get hard. We have to keep in mind that with perseverance it will all work out in the end.

  6. Amy-Anne Williams
    May 23, 2017 / 6:01 am

    I really needed this. One of my greatest dreams is to become an actress, but I have no agent, and finding my own auditions is one of the hardest things. I live in London, so I would have thought it’d be easy to get a gig, but it’s so, so difficult. Let’s hope that one day we both get our big break.

    Amy;
    Little Moon Elephant

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 23, 2017 / 8:30 am

      It is honestly such a hard industry but you just have to stick it out and hold your head up! I definitely recommend getting yourself an agent, it will really help to lighten th burden. Being in this industry is hard enough without the stress of having to find your own auditions :). Best of luck to you!!

  7. May 23, 2017 / 12:22 pm

    Dear Kirsten,
    First of all, I read this three times since I first saw you had published something new. I’m always a huge fan of all your work and I want you to know I am truly inspired by your talent and extremely amazing ability to communicate. I just have this strong feeling that good things are on their way for you. Thank you so much for taking the time to open up. It helps me to realize I’m not the only one struggling!
    Love,
    Jennifer

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 25, 2017 / 9:12 am

      Thank you so much Jennifer, I really appreciate you taking the time to read it and for your beautiful comment. I hope good things are on the way for me soon <3. You are definitely not the only one struggling, and it is so important for us to be honest about our struggles rather than try to hide them 🙂

  8. May 23, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    I really feel your pain here, Kirsten. I can somewhat relate as I quit a well paid job with a secure future to go into blogging full time and only having done it for 2 months it’s been mostly uphill so far although I’m climbing as much and fast as I can, but in the beginning there are a lot of investments and sacrifices you need to make and instead of being on top of the food chain, you’re rather indebted and with an unknown future. I believe that self doubt is natural in a situation like ours and that it will lighten up as long as we keep fighting for what we’re passionate about. You’ve got all the prerequisites to succeed and I’m sure you will!
    Love,
    Thomas

    http://thomasfalkenstedt.com

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 25, 2017 / 9:14 am

      Thomas, you are absolutely right and I can tell you get exactly what it is like. The creative industry is weird in that we have to devote so much of our time, money, and effort into it for so long without any real payback at first. It can be be disheartening but we have to push through and know everything, all of our efforts will be worth it. You’ve been doing amazing with your blogging, and I always look forward to reading your posts. Have a great day!

  9. May 24, 2017 / 10:14 am

    I enjoyed this post! Thank you for sharing. Sending you lots of positive thoughts. I think you’re also doing such a great job at blogging and your style is impeccable. Keep at it! ❤️

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 25, 2017 / 9:14 am

      Krystle, thanks so much that is such a huge compliment coming from you! I really appreciate you taking the time to read xox

  10. May 24, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    This is beautiful. You’re right you have to stick with it if it’s what you truly want and you have to believe in the dream and yourself even when no one else does. Thank you for writing this. It’s really applicable to my life as well right now. I wish you all the best.

    White Silk, Black Leather
    http://www.whitesilkblackleather.com

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 25, 2017 / 9:15 am

      Thank you Masha, I’m so glad to hear that it was applicable for you! I appreciate you taking the time to read xox

  11. Aimara
    May 24, 2017 / 7:18 pm

    First of all you look so beautiful! This look is perfection girl!
    You know? I took acting lessons to practice my English a few years back and I realized how brave and strong you all are! This post is beautiful and made me think about the world of blogging as well.. I mean, they are very similar! A lot of rejection, a lot of no’s, and yet we have to still be strong and keep going.
    Major inspo girl! Really needed to read something like this, right now!
    Thanks for sharing and keep it up! Stay strong and don’t lose heart!
    XO
    Aimara
    http://www.waysofstyle.com

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 25, 2017 / 9:17 am

      You are so right that the blogging industry is very much the same. It involves a whole lot of work with barely any (if any) payoff in the beginning. You have to devote a lot of your free time, effort, and even money into it without getting anything in return. Sometimes it takes years for things to take off but you just have to keep with it and know that everything will work out in the end if you just keep at it. Thanks for taking the time to read <3

    • kirsten.wendlandt@gmail.com
      May 25, 2017 / 9:17 am

      And thank you for taking the time to read it Bernice!

  12. Coco
    May 25, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    Wow Kirsten thank you for opening up with this letter. I can only guess how hard it is, because I was not as brave as you, following your dream, and I settled down for a bor

    • Coco
      May 25, 2017 / 3:41 pm

      sorry I posted before I had finished writing.
      What I meant is I admire you for your strength and perseverance and for working so hard. And I wish you all the best with all my heart!

  13. May 25, 2017 / 9:45 pm

    This is styled impeccably! Love the sunnies with the purse xx

    M

  14. May 26, 2017 / 7:58 am

    Awe, I had no idea you were struggling with this since you’re always so hopeful!! I’m proud of you for writing this all down <3

    xo,

    H

    http://firsttimethings.com/

  15. June 6, 2017 / 11:59 pm

    Hey Kirsten, I know I am late but this letter was so raw, thank you. I know it’s hard to believe in yourself when you don’t feel the up beat of your hard work. Please please please do not give up! You got this! If YOU ever start feeling like this again always reflect to your own letter xo

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