You talk to any one in the film industry, and they will tell you: it is hard. It is hard what we do as actors, and it takes a long time. You hear so many stories of A-List actors who didn’t get their big break for 10 or 15 years… but they stuck it out, kept working at it, and made it.
Personally, patience has always been a trait I struggle to embrace, and I know many actors (if not most) can relate to this. We spend a lot of time waiting. Waiting for the next audition, booking, and sure, you even get on set and shoot something, and then you find yourself waiting again for it to be released.
I think that’s why the actors who take matters in to their own hands and create projects stand out. I just love that attitude. We all know it is hard to break in, so when people are just like, “hey, I want to be working, so I’m going to make my own work”, I applaud them.
That’s why Nia Vardalos is cool.
I was browsing through The Daily Actor, an actor-friendly news source I visit regularly, when I stumbled upon an interview with Miss Vardalos. I didn’t recognize her name off the bat, but as soon as I started reading, I realized she was the writer/actress from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Apparently, she was so frustrated that she couldn’t get work in Hollywood, that she decided to write a screenplay, and when she couldn’t get her screenplay read, she decided to turn it into a one woman show.
I didn’t wait for the phone to ring, anymore, I created my own work in Hollywood, and I got on stage and did my own show. So what I learned was that the goal was to get the screenplay made, but the experience of it made me creatively satisfied.
After good reviews, Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks ended up seeing her show and suggesting she make a movie out of it.
If I had not had that screenplay written who would have known where Tom and Rita’s minds would have been in six months… The fact that I had the screenplay with me made a difference. I tell people all the time, take your acting classes, get your headshots ready, have one in the car all the time, you don’t know when you are going to run into Quentin Tarantino.
Um, so cool? I think yes.
And in one final piece of advice:
So sometimes you have to tell yourself that the frustration that you are going through is because sometimes there is something bigger around the corner. So don’t get down and keep your mind open.
Words of wisdom.
I am totally inspired by her story and hope to follow in the footsteps of Nia and other successful self-starters, like Brit Marling , Tina Fey, and Miranda July.
And to any one with doubts; if movies are truly you’re calling, don’t give up. Be prepared and make things happen for yourself.
Read the full interview at: http://www.dailyactor.com/2012/03/nia-vardalos-actress-interview/