One of my favourite war films is The Guns of Navarone. The plot revolves around a group of soldiers who are put behind enemy lines in World War II to blow a huge set of guns that are set on a cliff face.
One of the men takes responsibility to lead the mission. He doesn’t really like the idea of leading the others but does it anyway. Halfway through the mission, one of the men questions why he is the leader. This is what he says:
‘Someone has to take responsibility to get the job done. Do you think that is easy?’
Every actor likes to think they are leading-actor material but few think about the reality of it until they have to do it.
Yes, there is kudos but with that comes great responsibility. As a leading actor you set the pace and standard for the rest of the cast. If you don’t hit the mark, it affects the whole production.
Everyone looks to you.
To be a leading actor you have to have the ability to lead yourself and others into and out of risky decisions and actions. You can’t wait for someone else to step up and set the standard; if you do, you are not the lead actor – they are. As a leading actor, you go first.
You have to get used to dealing with pressure. The reason there is pressure is that there is responsibility. Many people find it hard enough being responsible just for themselves – but as a leader you are responsible for others and the success of the whole project. No, it’s not easy. But if it was, then everyone would be a leading actor and that’s not the way it is.
If you want to become a leading actor, start by setting an example for others. Make sure you help the other actors you work with and set a high standard in your work ethic. Even if you don’t have the lead role in a production, others will feel that you are a leader in the making and one day someone will see this and give you the position.