“You should be in the movies.”
It sounds like a compliment, and it’s definitely something lots of us would love to hear. But from many accounts of famous actors, being in front of the camera isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Still, some made it big and seem to be living the life you dream about. Are fame and fortune worth the potential consequences?
It is possible to be successful and live happily ever after—if you’re strong enough to withstand temptation and keep firm boundaries in place.
Before you decide to put other life goals aside and pursue an acting career, make sure you’re able to handle these four disadvantages.
1. The Paparazzi
You’ve heard of Britney Spears and Princess Diana. These two famous women made it clear that being pursued by the press all the time could have dangerous—even fatal—consequences.
Decades ago, journalists had limits. They would press for an interview or go a bit out of their way for a good picture, but they respected a celebrity’s boundaries.
Today, celeb photos and gossip are lucrative industries for the first person to leak the info. There is no limit to what some journalists (or anyone looking for their 15 minutes of fame) will do.
You might think you can handle it, but your friends and family aren’t off-limits. Being in the constant spotlight takes a toll on relationships. Think Nick Lackey and Jessica Simpson, or Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet.
Remember that if you make it to the big time, you’re not the only one who will be affected. Your loved ones will want to support you. However, you’ll be dealing with the hands-on part of acting while they’ll be dodging nosey press and having all their secrets aired to the world.
2. Demands on Your Time
Do you enjoy having alone time? Are there hobbies and passions you aren’t willing to give up for your career? Do you have family and friends you will miss when you’re on the road for months or years at a time?
When you’re hired to play a role in a movie, there are long periods when you won’t have a personal life. You may be required to fly across the globe to a place you have never been, where you know no one but the film crew.
You’ll be expected to promote and market your previous and next movies between films. Everything from what you wear to who you date will be scrutinized and judged.
It’s easy to lose yourself in the hectic pace of juggling expectations. Start with firm boundaries, then refuse to compromise on them, even if it means losing a gig.
3. Exposure to Dangerous Habits
With all the pressure mentioned above, it’s no wonder that countless celebrities have turned to bad habits to get through the stress.
Drugs, alcohol, sex, and other addictive possibilities are everywhere when you’re famous. You may be expected to work 20-hour days, so you start by taking some uppers to boost your energy. Then, you can’t sleep, so you switch to sleeping pills in the same 8-hour stretch.
To “fit in” with the A-list celebrities you want to impress, you do the drugs or drink the alcohol you’re offered. Only, it’s new to you, so your body can’t handle it, and you end up addicted.
This might sound extreme. Yet, many celebs end up in an LA recovery center because of this exact progression. You can avoid it by sticking to your morals and holding onto that willpower you started out with.
4. Hidden Agendas
One last major disadvantage famous stars complain about is that everyone has a hidden agenda. It’s hard to know who has your best interests when they all want their share of your fame.
Not knowing who to trust and getting betrayed by those you thought were true friends leads many celebs back to the vicious cycle of addictive behaviors.
Remember who was true to you before you became famous, and do everything you can to keep those relationships sacred.
The life of a famous actor looks like it’s perfect. Mansions, sports cars, homes on the ocean, endless wardrobes … the list goes on and on.
But the deadly damage that can be part of this lifestyle isn’t worth the possible benefits. You can pursue an acting career as long as you know what you’re getting into and never compromise on your boundaries.