WOW, a few weeks back,my 15 year old daughter sent me a message stating that she really wanted to pursue an acting career. I knew she loved acting and that she wants to go to a high school where they teach acting as part of the curriculum. But in the message she seemed to make this her career choice for life. I was not sure if it was the thought of Hollywood that drives her, or just her love for acting. So we had to sit down and figure this out.
Being an actor and making a living of it, is hard work and needs drive and determination, so my analytic brain started working. She needs a plan. A strategy for how she will get there. The first and biggest question (and maybe hardest to answer)<, what is the main goal that she wants to reach by becoming an actor? What is her northern star, if you like.
Once she has figured this out, she needs to outline the path to get there. If the end goal is to win an Oscar (as the first norwegian actor) then she has to define all the goals that will lead to this. She will not win an Oscar for playing in the school theater, nor for playing in a Norwegian film. So what is the path forward?
Our talk discovered that she knows that it is hard work, and she has always been determined to work hard for what she wants, so she made it clear that this was not a problematic issue for her.
The mapping of the route forward began, the northern star defined, she started working on the path towards it.
Northern Star: winning an Oscar as the first Norwegian actor
Playing in a commercial
Playing in an international commercial
Moving abroad (London, New York or LA)
Getting an agent (approved by mom)
Making sufficient money to support living abroad, either by acting or other job
Land a part in a film or series
Be casted for a minor character
Be casted for a major character
be nominated for awards
Of course, this may seem like to much for a 15 year old to grasp, and it is hard to see all the hurdles that may lay in the way for the chosen path. But by setting goals, and working towards them, it is easier to reach them, than if they are not defined upfront. By just saying that you want to be an actor, and that you will work hard, without any plan you are doomed to fail (unless you are extremely lucky).
I do not know if she will manage to become the first Norwegian to win an Oscar for best actor (hopefully it will be gender neutral by then), but I am so looking forward to following this journey that she has started. I will cheer her on along the way, whether it leads to stardom or something totally different. This is the path she choses today, and I’m proud of her for giving it her all!
first published on medium.com/some-of-mari