Can you imagine being an actor? You live a life full of glitz and glamor, or so everyone else thinks. You have fans that scream your name as you walk down the street, you attend fancy parties and award shows, and sometimes, you might just win something at one of those award shows. But what everyone doesn’t know is how much work you have to put into playing the part of their favorite character in a movie.
Months before you take on a new role, you begin preparation by becoming the character you will play. Sometimes, it takes changing your physical appearance by way of losing or gaining weight, growing out your hair or maybe even cutting it. Other times, there are more psychological changes you need to overcome. Maybe your role involves playing a person who can’t make direct eye contact with another person because of their social challenges, which means you need practice that in your every day life. Sometimes, these preparations just involve learning a new skill. Maybe you’re going to play a ballerina. If you’ve never danced a day in your life, you need to learn how to perform ballet in a graceful manner that makes it look like you started dancing from the moment you could walk.
Each day brings a new challenge, as there is no “typical” day in your life. Some days, you get to sleep in, hang out with friends, watch TV, eat out, and go back to bed at the end of the day.
Sometimes, you have to go to early auditions. This involves you getting up, reading a script while you grab a quick cup of coffee, and putting on clothes that match what the directors are looking for in the particular part you are trying out for.
When you’re on a job, you have a whole other schedule. The schedule depends on the shoot. If you need to shoot in the night, you could up until some ungodly hour in the early morning. If you have a regular-like day, you might need to get to set around 7:00am. Once you’re there, you might grab a quick bite to eat from an on-set caterer.
Then, it’s off to the hair and makeup trailer. Your makeup artist has a particular look in mind that stays relatively the same from shoot to shoot, and the same goes for your hair. Most of the time, nothing too extreme happens in either of those categories, but obviously sometimes you have to change it up depending on what scene your filming and how your character progresses.
You film for a few hours each day, filming different scenes, sometimes even out of order. Then, the day ends and you get to go back to your usual life, hanging out with friends, eating meals, maybe even heading to a local trainer to get a workout in after a long day on set.
Eventually comes the day when your movie has finished shooting. Shooting, on average, takes around a month or so but post-production takes much longer. It could be six months before you see the final project.
Once that six months end, you must attend the premiere. The process of getting ready is an extensive process. Sometimes, you begin your day with a facial or other beauty treatments. Then, you have to get your nails done. A sharp looking manicure and pedicure is a must to look and feel your best. After, it is time to start getting your hair and makeup done. Your hair and makeup artists, or as some call them, your “glam squad”, have been preparing your look for weeks and have an idea of exactly how they want it to turn out. Finally, it’s time to get dressed into your outfit, whatever that may be for the day.
Then, you’re on your way! As you arrive, you hear fans cheering your name. You are ushered down the red carpet; stopping to pose for pictures every so often and listening to photographers direct you on how to stand. Finally, you’re in the venue, and you sit back to watch the final film.
The film ends. You hear applause roar through the auditorium, and then you realize that another project is over and it’s time to move on to the next one.
Can you imagine?