Wise words from the talented Smokey Cambell who I met during my classes at The Second City in Hollywood.
What was immediately apparent to me was that Smokey and I both saw eye to eye in the BUSINESS side of acting. You have to take it seriously. You have to take control. You have to be a participant. It is YOUR business and if other businesses took to their business like most actors they would all be shut down. If you want to be a hobbiest, then that's your choice, but don't moan about the industry if you're not willing to be a full participant. Agents make a percentage not 100% so don't expect them to do all the work.
I take to acting like a professional athlete; I train even when I'm not playing. I take to it like a new surgeon. Would you hire a surgeon that didn't train? That doesn't have any credentials. My belief is that actors need to work even when they aren't getting "booked" or "paid". I'm always working. Working on that script, working on the craft, working at auditions it is ALL work. It's all relative. You need to change your mindset and that of those around you.
Most of all, educate yourself on the business, respecting the changes and the economical side of it. What does the business demand right now and how can I contribute? Get off your arse and contribute or make a damn difference. By make a difference I mean, sure there's going to be things that you just don't agree on. So make that powerful statement of change, but if you sit on your arse I have no will to want to watch you on stage or on screen. Get into the business or get out!