From my experience, here are the top five tips I would tell an actor who is pursuing a career in the entertainment industry:
Don’t Stop Training
Athletes constantly need to train while they are in competition. Musicians are always practicing their instrument to improve. Actors need to train themselves in the same way in order to stay on top of their game. Acting has a physical, mental, and emotional nature to it. Using these parts of yourself together requires constant training and practice.
As an actor you must know that you will hear criticism about any performance you do. Don’t let it kill you. Everyone has an opinion and you have to respect that. Think about the feedback and see if it would improve your performance. Not all feedback is good for your performance and its okay to disagree. Be aware that they’re giving you an outsider’s perspective and could be pointing out something you’re not aware of.
Being an actor requires you to put yourself out there emotionally. It’s important to guard yourself and not seek validation from everyone. Be confident with yourself as an actor and self-critiquing. Only ask the opinion of people you respect as artists. If you are constantly seeking the praise and validation of others you are going to torture yourself emotionally. Empower yourself as an artist and don’t let people take that power away!
Be a kid again. You get to pretend and imagine that you are somebody else, living someone else’s life. Enjoy that. Being an actor is hard enough. If you are not having an absolute blast while you are doing it, it’s not going to be worth it for you.
Don’t forget the reason you became an actor, whatever that may be. This will keep you focused and give you the right perspective on what you do. You will deal with a lot of disappointment as an actor. Remember why you made the crazy decision to pursue acting as a profession.