Jae Benjamin first fell in love with acting at the age of 6 and has since starred in various commercials and continues to participate in New York’s Film/Television scene. Jae was featured in Affluenza, played the role of Curtis Seth Davies in 2050, and has served as Executive Producer on the upcoming movie SUBWAY.
He has several other projects currently in the works that will be released in the near future.
It’s a well-known fact that the film industry is not easy to get into. There are many challenges and obstacles that need to be overcome, so it takes time for an actor to succeed.
With few opportunities for new actors and even fewer chances of success, it can be difficult for young people to carve their path within the industry.
Jae shared 5 tips to help the next generation of actors interested in making it big in the industry.
• Never Accept the Word “No”
• Stay Creative
• Never Listen to the Naysayers
• Push Yourself Constantly to Evolve
• Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Tip #1 – Never Accept the Word “No”
“No” is a word you’ll hear a lot in the industry, especially when you begin on your journey towards becoming an actor. Do not get discouraged, and keep pushing yourself forward.
“‘No.’ Get used to it, but never accept the word.”
Jae also encourages actors to keep pushing themselves forward, no matter how often they are told “no.” It is helpful to ask why you are being told no and what you can do to improve in the future.
By doing so, new actors can develop their skills with guided feedback and grow their niche in the industry.
Tip #2 – Stay Creative
As you continue to practice your craft and get more opportunities in the industry, you’ll quickly discover which skills set you apart from others. Develop these skills, educate yourself, and seek personal growth.
To be the best writer, actor, or comedian, you need to be creative. You can’t just be one type of actor. Nor should you put yourself in a box.
Seek out different opportunities and challenge yourself. Stay creative, stay open to new experiences, and always try something new.
Tip #3 – Never Listen to the Naysayers
“Everybody’s a naysayer, a relative, a parent, a sibling, your friend.”
Naysayers are everywhere, people who will try and discourage you or push you away from your goals. Jae encourages you to ignore them! They are everywhere, but you can find success if you keep pushing forward with your goals in mind.
Listening to unwanted feedback can take you down a dark path. You begin to compare yourself to others. In the film industry, there will always be people with more experience than you.
“This person got that role. I could have done it better. Or, why didn’t they cast me? I’m so great…”
If you fall into that pit, you’ll never get out. Carve your path with your creativity and natural talents while developing new skills and creating a unique position for yourself in the industry.
“You have to shine on your own, and you can’t be afraid to allow people to see you shine.”
Tip #4: Push Yourself Constantly to Evolve
Success is largely derived from your ability to adapt to sudden changes. Take every significant change with stride, adapt, and push yourself to evolve as an actor.
Life likes to throw wrenches in your plans, but you can’t let that get you down. You can have your goals be affected by sudden changes. Human instinct is to want and reschedule plans, to back down and process what has happened. But in doing so, many opportunities are lost forever.
It’s not easy. Life comes at you fast.
If you miss an audition or show up, but your head isn’t in the game, you can fail big time. Even if you don’t get the role, you never know who else might be in that room with you and what opportunities may arise from your involvement in the audition.
Life doesn’t always go the way we plan. Bad news or a sudden change of plans can sour our mood. Our instinct is to reschedule or back down as we process these changes, but that approach is never beneficial.
“It’s essential to pushing yourself, push yourself. Don’t listen to the naysayers; stay creative, understand you live with the world. Know it, respect it, but don’t accept it.”
Tip #5: Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Everyone makes mistakes in their life. And you will make many when you get into the industry. Learn to have fun despite any setbacks. You will meet many people in the film industry, many of whom you have always wanted to meet. Have fun, but be respectful.
“And you have to remember, people are people, and not everyone is going to dance to your drum, and you will get disappointed sometimes. But that doesn’t take away who you are and where you are going.”
Seek out the challenges, push yourself, and have fun while you move forward. Don’t cut yourself out of opportunities; learn to love the process, evolve, and have fun. The instant you stop having fun with all of it, your chance of progression as an actor is over. This is not an easy industry to involve yourself in – you have chosen your path, and you need to see it through.
“Have fun and be able to laugh at yourself and allow others to laugh with you.”
Thank you again Jae for joining us on our Industry Insights series to provide your tips and suggestions for new actors in the film industry. Watch the video below!
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