Hey, high school seniors. You’re probably graduating soon, and maybe some of you are going off to college in the fall as an acting major. I’m happy you’re pursuing your dreams, and I’m sure the economy will pick up by the time you start job hunting four years from now. Just kidding, you’re an acting major so the state of the economy will make no difference to you. It’s just as hard to book a Sprint commercial now as it was during the Clinton Administration.
No need to worry about that just yet, though. This is all you need to know right now (from someone who went through it):
1. Teachers are going to make you do weird, weird stuff that you can’t tell your parents about. Mom and Dad won’t understand why writhing on the floor to a Celtic Women CD in a Jabbawockeez mask for 2 hours twice a week is relevant to acting or worth $40,000 a semester (because sometimes it’s not, actually).
That happened to me. I spent a semester breathing into masks shared by two other classes, and only by God’s grace did I not contract pink eye.
You will also be forced to cry a lot during those weird exercises. You’re going to have to play the mirror game at 2:30 in the afternoon and make yourself cry. And you have to do it because I’m pretty sure teachers deduct a tenth of point from your grade for every day you don’t give them at least a lip quiver.
2. Straight girls, venture out of your major and meet new people to date. I know you won’t even listen to this until you’re a senior and it’s too late, but I’m just warning you, you’re going to date the one straight guy in your class who will date all the straight girls in your class. Get all those ladies together and have a fun bonding experience with a group STD testing at the campus health center and then– cocktails!
Straight Guys: Congratulations! This is what it feels like to be the last man on Earth! Enjoy sifting though the enormous amount of desperate women that are totally out of your league, yet willing to date you because there’s no one else around. You only have 4 years of this, so make the most of it.
Homosexuals: High school might have been hard for you, but now there are so many of you in one place. And same-sex dorm rooms! Consider it proof that God really does love you.
3. You don’t get to skip class. You don’t get to show up to a lecture hall still drunk at 8am and text until its over. You’re going to have to show up 10 minutes early. And then you have to cry.
4. Prepare yourself for the reactions you’ll get when you tell someone your major. Some people will admire you for following your dreams and think you’re this charming little free spirit. I mean, Manic Pixie Dream Girls certainly don’t major in aerospace engineering… amiright, Kate Hudson in Almost Famous?
Other people will do you the favor of finally spilling the big secret that acting is an unstable career choice. And they will always enjoy doing it.
5. You are going to meet sooooo many crazy people, but they are the worst kind of crazy because the only thing these people love more than watching themselves cry in the mirror is to have a lot of attention on them.
These are also crazy people paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to essentially learn how to lie effectively. So good luck dealing with that!
Fun anecdote about crazy people: I once dated an actor very briefly, and somehow we ended up fighting about whether or not he was funnier than Amy Poehler. When he stopped seething, I told him that I thought that if I ever pushed the wrong button with him, that he could just suddenly snap and kill me. He instantly soothed my fears by telling me, “I would never kill you. I want to be famous and that would ruin my career.”
He had a great point!