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The Industry
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Performers attending the Casting Directors’ Guild Awards share the best advice they’ve ever been given

We asked David Morrissey, Naomi Ackie, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Daniel Mays, Daniel Monks and Jonah Hauer-King why they pursued a career in acting and what advice they could offer to performers.

Watch the video:

Here are their 12 pearls of wisdom for any performer pursuing a career in acting:

1. Don’t be afraid

“There can be a lot of fear in self-employment, particularly in acting, and that fear can infect all corners of your work so don’t be afraid”. – Tracy-Ann Oberman.

2. Grow a thick skin

“Grow a thick skin so that the things people say about you just bounce off. But you also have to keep yourself very open, emotionally. And sometimes those two things can fight each other. So you just have to take the rough with the smooth”. – David Morrissey

3. Practice, practice, practice

– Naomi Ackie

4. Gain life experiences

“As an actor, you draw on life experience, relationships and human experiences and it’s impossible to do that if you’re only focused on acting. Surround yourself with people who inform and enrich your life”. – Jonah Hauer-King

5. Live your life

“Don’t let this job or the pursuit of what this job could offer you overshadow you actually living your life because life informs art”. – Naomi Ackie

6. Tell your own stories

“If the industry feels inaccessible to you, then don’t let the industry tell you where and how you belong. Tell your own stories because no one has a monopoly on storytelling, it’s a human expression”. – Daniel Monks

7. Get to know your craft

“Get to know your craft outside of the idea of ego, really hone in on what makes it special to you”. – Naomi Ackie

8. Learn your lines

“Whatever audition you go into, if you can, make sure you learn all the lines so you’re completely off script”.- Daniel Mays

9. Leave it in the room

“Leave it in the room. That’s the best piece of advice I can give you. Don’t ever leave an audition and think maybe I should have tried that. Just do what you got to do and just leave it all there”. – David Morrissey.

10. Make your mark

“Make sure that you put your own stamp on the particular audition that you’re in for and your own interpretation on it”. – Daniel Mays

11. Be persistent

“Persistence is a big one!” – Naomi Ackie

12. Don’t give up

“Once you really understand what the craft is and what you can offer to it then there’s no need to give up… you might just have to tailor things a bit”. – Naomi Ackie

Read more acting advice or watch videos from casting professionals and actors.