Think of your favorite actors from the 90s and 2000s. Who comes to mind that you wish would make another good movie or get another shot on Primetime?
Out of respect, I won’t name mine but chances are we share more than a couple names on that list.
I always wondered what happened to them and why it seems like they never acted again.
It’s fascinating to look at someone’s career, who has been at the top of the industry. There is a lot to learn from them.
If you have been around Boost My Star for any length of time, you know that I’m a big proponent of doing this.
Typically, people study those that are still at the top.
While that’s phenomenal, there’s a lot to learn from those that have retreated from the industry too.
In fact, their careers can yield even bigger insights.
When someone gets to the top of the industry, there are few other people around for them to get advice from about what to do next.
This is what “It’s lonely at the top” really means.
So they are forced to make educated guesses.
Sometimes they get lucky and make the right moves. More often they try and fail.
Often, there is more to learn from those that are down and out. It is basically a recipe for success, when reverse engineered properly.
Remember, when asked about his failures in making a light bulb, Thomas Edison stated “I didn’t fail, I figured out 9,999 ways NOT to make a light bulb.”
This is how you have to approach these actors as case studies.
If you see someone (anyone) doing something and it goes badly, do the opposite.
Diametric-opposition to failure often has a better chance of success than following the blueprint of someone who has succeeded.
See, it’s hard for us to retrace our steps accurately and we often tend to omit certain parts of our story that seem insignificant to us but that may be crucial points for someone else.
When we study an actors career that has stalled, the story is much more “honest” and told more accurately.
Again, I don’t want to name anyone in particular out of respect, so think of an actor that has a stalled career. Compare what you know about them.
I can think of a handful, but one that comes to mind was a teenage heartthrob. He starred in a film franchise that was significantly important for an entire generation. Though he was not, in my opinion, a world class actor, he was more than good enough to have a fantastic career.
It has been several years since we’ve heard of him.
He attempted to continue in the role of “heartthrob” long past his peak. When it came time for him to evolve, he was persistent in his pursuit of roles that were the old him.
A few years older and a couple pounds heavier he would have been perfectly suited for different things and I often looked at a cast list and thought that he would have been perfect in that production.
The key takeaway there, is to evolve at the right time instead of fighting to keep things as they were.
Thinking of an actor who competed for roles with him and had a similar career, that was every bit as accomplished, it’s more difficult to pin down the point at which he made the leap and evolved.
With our subject, it’s easy to see his desirability going south quickly.
If you were to track his career, you would easily see that after the franchise wrapped, he went on to star in another film successfully. It was in the same category and the film performed well.
After that, he tried another film in the same category. That one did OK but was a disappointment.
The third one should have been the nail in the coffin of that category. Not only was he now awkward in that role, the film tanked at the box office and the critics (both professional and everyday moviegoers) were brutal about it.
He could have resurfaced in a rom-com or every day comedic production with huge success…
Instead, he went back in for more and tried his hand at the heartthrob action hero again.
As time went on, the studios that produced the films he starred in and the budgets got smaller and smaller. Before long, he went from nationwide releases to “playing in select theaters,” then straight to DVD releases.
Let me be clear: there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of that. However, the order should go DVD releases, select theater releases, and finally nationally distributed films.
The industry has a way of pushing you upstream if you allow it to.
So, when you feel the currents shifting and like your swimming upstream, it’s time to evolve in your category or choose a new one.
That’s a big thing to take away from studying this actor that was at the top of the industry and could have had a decades long and highly fulfilling career.
A big problem that many actors face is simply getting traction in their career. You have to be prepared for the industry to notice you but the actors that make it to the top have forced the industry to take notice.
See, when the powers at be can quantify your industry reputation and literally see that you are a star on the rise, what is there to stop you from achieving everything you dreamed of and more?
The industry is becoming more risk averse everyday, so you must to prove to them that you have star power, even if you are only reading for bit parts right now.
We’ve all watched a commercial or have seen someone perform a one liner masterfully and we just knew that they were going to be big.
We tend to be right about stuff like that because one good actor can spot another one a mile away.
That’s why I put together a way to help with your career. You can get the details on that here.
Shoot me an email or leave a comment below with questions about this or anything else that’s on your mind. I’ll help however I can because my goal is to…
See you at the top,