Bonnie Gillespie on fame and redefining success

Charlize Theron on the red carpet

In her post Defining Success on the Showfax blog The Actors Voice, author and casting director Bonnie Gillespie writes about new actors lusting after fame.

Here are some excerpts :

Those who do become household names? They’re talented. Yes. That’s a given. Being even moderately successful in this industry requires a baseline of talent. Done.

These folks are also filled with charisma. They ooze it from every pore. You can’t take your eyes off them when they enter a room and you never will be able to figure out exactly why.

They’re charming in interviews, they’re quick-witted or smart or so goofy that you forgive that they’re neither quick-witted nor smart. And they love what they’re doing.

They are enchanted and mystified by the road they’re following.

They simply love getting to work. They have a blast just being who they are, every minute. Or at least that’s how it looks most of the time.

They’re almost never in it for the fame. That fame thing is just something that happens because of how talented, how good-looking, how charismatic, and how lucky they are.

Bonnie GillespieBut when an actor comes to Los Angeles with his or her eyes on the prize of fame, of “household name” status, of being stopped on the street for autographs and stalked on Robertson for photographs, I want to ask that actor to redefine success.

For his or her own sanity.

Because success — when it’s measured in autographs and red carpets and stalkers and paparazzi and private jets — is too far away.

When, instead, it’s measured in “straight offers” and “straight to producers” or meetings to strategize which project will be next of the many from which you’re choosing, and handlers who tell you at which mics to stop as you navigate the red carpet (not as the film’s mega-watt-star but as one of the many wonderful, working actors whose work everyone loves), well, then you’re getting warmer.

And even better, when success is defined as you, being happy, pursuing the work that you love in the place that you love surrounded by people that you love and who love you, seeing measurable progress over the years, as your name moves up casting lists in more and more offices, while you remain gratified and fulfilled by the work you’re doing, well, that’s the bullseye.

That’s success you can attain.


Bonnie Gillespie specializes in casting SAG indie feature films and provides career consulting services to actors.

[Photo from]

Her books include:

Acting Qs: Conversations with Working Actors

Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business.


See more posts on fame.


Article publié pour la première fois le 23/04/2015