Photos of Conan in Movies

Conan's Career As At Jan 2011

Thursday, 06 January 2011

Just recently a good friend suggested that I put a deadline on my acting career, a cut off date where if I had not made it by then that I should give it up and go back to Australia to build my future the traditional way of swapping hours for money in what some people call a real job.

Funnily enough a mutual friend of both of us called last month and said to me, when I was a feeling down,  "Look how far you have come in the last 5 years - Imagine where you will be in 5 years time."

Or should I follow some previous advice and get the heck out of the third world? 

All very good sets of advice so which do I take? Which would you take?

That depends upon where you would believe your career is at. Here's what I am doing.... 

But before I cover that let's have a good look at exactly where my career stands right now. I'll even take off my rose coloured glasses - reality smashed them to pieces several years ago to be honest, but I continue to have an overall optimistic outlook. Why? When my goal to become a mainstream actor has been such a struggle? (and still is)

Well it is because all the events leading up to this point in my life were not random, I am not where I am through sheer luck, in fact bad luck (a knee injury ended my Pro basketball aspirations, nerve damage ended my Pro Wrestling career) is more responsible for where I am at present. 

As a journalist friend who is writing a story about me for the Australian Media said recently in an email regarding my time at University:

Seems like you were training all the way back then for your role in Game of Thrones.

Yes I was. I joined the University Infantry Regiment (army) to learn small scale tactics and weapons handling and I joined the SCA to learn medieval weapons and tactics.

It may seem like I have wandered off topic but it is all relevant, like a crazy person's waffling it will all tie together at the end.

Right now my career looks very good to those few people in the industry close to me.

Yes, I have now worked on "Game of Thrones" and will likely continue into future seasons (nothing is certain until it is in writing) and that alone is a big triumph but that alone is not the reason for my confidence, though it helps a great deal as it is my first "BIG" win.

The other major factor for my confidence is, to use an analogy, I have been admitted to the big league but I am still, currently, warming the bench.

I have had a few auditions over the last couple of years, and several more recently, and several more to come soon (I hope) for movies that are either big, or with me working directly in primary roles with big stars.

In other words Casting Directors and Directors are letting me on the field to pit my skills and my ugly head in major movies and I seem to be doing reasonably well with a couple of close calls (without going into details).

So even though "Game of Thrones" is the only role in a big production that I have so far landed I feel I am getting looked at by some of the best in the industry, if it paid to get 'looked at I'd be very happy right now.

Healthwise I am good, I am currently not huge but definitley big enough and sporting a 6 pack of abs so physically I am good.

Financially we won't talk about that, besides to say that due to my internet income from this website I still have the luxury of turning down small roles that do not suit my current career ambitions. I am trying to progress my career, suddenly leaping backwards 8 years for a little cash does not help perceptions.

But that is where my career realistically is right now. Year and years of preparation, a slow and interesting road. From the nebulous dreams of a 16 year old schoolboy to become an action movie star to todays current reality - hardly an overnight success but worth it all the same.

As far as my journey is concerned I am right at the steps of achieving my initial goals of appearing in major International cinema release movies and then leveraging that experience to work in movies that I like or in character roles that interest me - say a lead villain in an action movie for instance, thus achieving my long standing dream.

Lastly I have to mention that an actors pay advances are exponential, where in a 'real' job the pay raises are linear. Meaning that in a normal job you get small pay raises semi regularly throughout your career, as an actor, musician, sportsman, etc things work differently.  We get little money for most of our careers until we "make it" and become famous or popular then at the top of the game we get paid well more than the average wage earner. Here:


Red Line = Normal Job  /  Green Line = Actors Pay 

I hope that illustrates the point, I am now standing on the curve below where the red and green lines intersect, as I become 'famous' or more valuable to movie Producers so too does my pay increase. Now you can see that if I were to 'give up' now (mentally it is not an option for me) then all the time building my career would be wasted before I could reap the rewards.

Remember if I had a real job I could be earning quiet good money in good conditions in the computer field, as an actor I have foregone 20 years of regular employment and thus 20 years of pay. In a purely economic sense to make the career as an actor financially viable you'd expect to be able to recover that 20 years of lost pay at some stage. After all most of my friends with jobs or businesses back in Australia already own or nearly own their house, many are much better off.

To wrap it all up, so as to only appear to have only mildly crazy wafflings, my career is about to explode in all ways (as a stunt actor that might not be the best analogy), maybe it is better to say that my career is about to go through the roof (when? when I am prepared enough)

2011, I do think it is going to be a good year for me. Today I seem to have my teachers hat firmly on, I hope this has been informative and not too 'Conancentric'.

And my friends advice to put a deadline on it? Actually very good advice, would have been better if he had told me AND I had listened 15 years ago. Putting a deadline on things would have got me here sooner rather than me taking in the distractions and enjoying life when I should have been more focused but then again I hadn't planned on nerve damage setting me back 10 years either.

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