I recently spoke with a young actor who's new to Los Angeles, and very new to the acting world itself. As I normally do, I walked up to him, and asked him how well he is fairing in this new profession that he decided to take up. He said, and I quote, "it's a numbers game, and I can't complain".
This indeed is a profession where rejection is common place, we all know it, so I thought that this topic was done, but then he asked me if I wanted to know the stats for his first year. Stats? Well that's something new, what kind of stats? Apparently not only was a new coming actor, but also a numbers geek like myself. Here's what he told me:
I've been in LA for 11 months, and since I came here, I hit the ground running. As I reviewed each job posted online I incremented my pocket counter, as I applied for each job I incremented another pocket counter, here's what I have...
He pulled out two small counters tied into his key chain - I was impressed and immediately took out my phone to note the two numbers. 2812 was the number of the casting ads that he saw online on multiple websites. The second number said 792. That was the number of times he thought the job was interesting enough to apply for.
He added, I only have two counters, but of course I keep a tally of how many times they called me in and of course how many times I was hired. These numbers were 129 and 18.
That's it, so let me rewind this for you and show these numbers again:
- 2812 positions
- 792 possible matches
- 129 call backs, and
- 18 success stories
If you look at it from a negative perspective, he was told "no" 774 times. That's a little over 2% success rate, but you know what? Three of those gigs paid out more than he did in the entire year in his previous career, while the rest of them improved his resume and got him some side income.
So, what can we take out of this? If you get up every morning and try, try your best, you will get your "yes". Get enough of these, and not only are you doing well financially, but you also build important relationships with the people you work with.