Acting Advice

Ask Me!: My parents won’t let me act!

askerabsent-ballerina asked: Hi, I’m in a bit of a dilemma. I’ve wanted to act my entire life. My parents supported it when I was younger and allowed me to play small roles in theater productions. Now I’m 19 and I’ve told them I intend to move to NY when I graduate uni so I can audition for the actors studio but they’ve made it pretty clear they will more likely than not leave me to fend for myself. Now have to choose between my family and happiness. I guess I want to know what you would do in my situation?

What DID I do?

This is a tricky subject matter for me to answer. I don’t really have enough information on your situation to advise you well so you should take what I have to say as a mere suggestion based on my own experiences. What I recommend you to do is of little or no consequence, really. It will come down to you and your family working through this togehter. And I think you should reach out to someone in your life who can help you navigate the situation. Even a councillor or therapist would be a good start .

You said you’re 19, to me that means you are old enough to make up your own mind.

I’m not sure what “fend for yourself” means but if its purely financial then I’d say you will have to make a very strong play for a scholarship if you want to go to college. That or talk to schools about financing options, in addition to school loans. It’s the very privileged few who get full financial support in life beyond high school (others not even that) so you’re not actually in that odd of a situation. So I’d start looking into survival jobs to help supply you with the money you need to get everything you want education-wise – that financial independence will ultimately be very liberating.

I put myself through college and my entire performance education – and I was an alien awaiting US work-approval status for 90% of that. So, if I can do it… ANYONE can!

I’m sure it’s disappointing to not have the support of your family in this area (my own father was not exactly thrilled at the prospect of the acting path for me) but it’s up to you to get what you want and what you need. It’s of absolutely no consequence to them in the long run what you do with your life. You’re the one who will have to live with the choices you’ve made in the long run, so make the choices you want. Although it’s probably a good thing to remember that your family probably have your best interests at heart even if it seems they don’t. After all the path of an actor is by design very complex. Even though it feels like they want you to be unhappy, I guarantee that’s the LAST thing they want for you. Probably a hard thing to hear right now, but I’d give it some thought.

I made the choice to follow my bliss. It wasn’t the easy path by any stretch of the imagination except that I love what I do and I love the people and the life it led me to. So I wouldn’t change a thing about my decisions – accept maybe I wouldn’t have taken some stupid legal advice about my work status and I’d’ve gone back to England to work on my craft there in freedom rather than squander my youth on the broken immigration system of the USA!

I really do wish you the best of luck.


Need acting advice? Ask the NYC Actor a question. 


About The NYC Actor

Angela Dee is a professional actress working in Film, Theatre, TV, Commercials and Voiceovers. She currently lives in New York.

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