Charlie Sandlan (00:02):
I came across a couple of stats a few weeks ago that I want to share with you because I found them astonishing, to be quite honest with you. 30% of all professional actors book a second job, 30%. Less than 1% actually book 30 jobs over the course of their career. Imagine that. How are you going to make that happen? Today, we're going to talk to Andrea Osvárt. She grew up in Budapest, Hungary, started modeling when she was 14. She's been at it for over 20 years, and she's hit that 30 mark. She's hit the 60 mark, and we're going to talk about that.
We're going to talk about how this next chapter in her life that she's approached, coaching actors, helping actors become the best versions of themselves, and what she's learned along the way about pretty privilege, about the shame of success. It's a great conversation, my friends. Put the phone back in your pocket. Creating Behavior starts now. Well, my fellow daydreamers, how about those stats, huh? 30% of all the actors book a second job. That's extraordinary. You book that first law and order, those first under fives, and you think to yourself, "Okay, here we go." 30% of you actually book a second, and then less 1%, less than 1% book 30 roles over the course of their career.
Now, you got to figure, to book 30 roles you got to be at it for, I don't know, a decade, at least. A decade plus. A decade you're maybe booking two jobs a year, maybe three each year. But that means that's consistent shit right there. Three jobs every year for a decade. I talked about it last week. I've mentioned it before. If you're not willing to commit a full decade to your career, you're not willing to gut out 10 years, then you are not going to make it. You"ll be doing something else. That's why I think today's conversation is I'm so excited to share it with you.
Now, Andrea grew up in Budapest, like I said, and she was blessed with pretty privilege. She's beautiful. Started modeling when she was 14. It's interesting because I get a lot of models that come to the studio that want to train. Usually, what happens is that they sign with an agent, they get gobbled up, and then the agent goes, "Okay, now, you got to go get trained because before I can send you out, you need to learn how to act." Some of them are serious. They want to be real artists, and they are committed and they do good work, and they end up starting to carve out a career for themselves.
Some aren't that serious, aren't really in it because they want the artistry of it and love the artistry of it. They're into fame and celebrity and they don't usually end up finishing the training program for sure and they don't end up acting. Andrea, she knew she wanted to act and got herself trained. What I think is very interesting, and I think is a great conversation, is she's carved out an international career. A fully rich, diverse, award winning, I should also add. She won a European Golden Globe in 2012. She's won a number of other European acting awards.
Like I said, she's booked well over 60 jobs over the last 20 years, both here in the United States, she lived in LA for a while, and then all throughout Europe and primarily in Italy. For someone who grew up in Budapest, she's got the same insecurities, the same fears, the same dreams, and hopes that I think all of us as artists and actors have, wanting to be taken seriously, wanting to do good work. What's interesting with Andrea is that she does have pretty privilege. We talked about that. How do you get taken seriously as an artist when people just automatically judge you and make decisions about you based solely off of how you look?
How do you get past that? Now, she's added coaching to her career. You should go to https://www.andreaosvart.com before you dig into this conversation. I think you'll really appreciate not just the content she's putting out, she's really a prolific blogger. She has incredible things to say on her blog posts, and I think you might find them helpful. Let's just get right to the conversation, shall we? At the top of our talk, we were just discussing becoming successful as a teenager, at 14, and what happened from there. Please enjoy this conversation with Andrea Osvárt.
Andrea Osvárt (06:12):
My success came quite early. I can say I consider myself successful ever since I was 14 years old, probably, when I started modeling, and I started my modeling career and started to make money. It was definitely something different from my siblings and schoolmates, so I skyrocketed quite early on. But success today for me is definitely a long term phenomenon. I wouldn't define it as a peak of something or as a point of something, but rather a process, which is long, and it takes a lot of ups and downs.
Charlie Sandlan (06:59):
It does take a lot of ups and downs and most people, they bail out when the downs are just a little bit too much for them to handle. I tell my students all the time, and you actually had a very interesting stat, which I did not know, about 30% of all actors don't book a second role. It blew my mind.
Andrea Osvárt (07:23):
That's magic. That's absolutely something unheard of, even by myself before, and I was shocked. I think this is something to be taken seriously before somebody wants to enter the entertainment industry or the acting industry, because there's so many industry traps that people are not aware of. I think it would be high time to address it and make things clear. Of course, I'm not just referring to the Me Too movement and these kind of things, but there are many other emotional and mental and physical demands from an artist that one needs to have success in this business, in this industry.
Charlie Sandlan (08:14):
Well, it's in IMDB, I think you got it off of IMDB, this stat.
Andrea Osvárt (08:16):
It's a blog.
Charlie Sandlan (08:18):
It was a blog.
Andrea Osvárt (08:19):
It's a guy who is sampling stats from IMDB.
Charlie Sandlan (08:24):
Yeah. The other one that you wrote about, that also was very telling, less than 1% book 30 professional jobs over the course of their career.
Andrea Osvárt (08:34):
Charlie Sandlan (08:36):
That's probably 10 years right there.
Andrea Osvárt (08:37):
Yes. Actually, when I'm down today, I just remind myself of the stats because, actually, I should consider myself in the top 2% of the actors in the world who've had a career for more than 20 years, or nearly 30, I'm around 25 now. Even when I was on a hiatus or out of work for a year and a half, actually, I just had to understand that that's not even that tragic because most of the artists and actors are not even close to have a career that is a decade long.
Charlie Sandlan (09:18):
No, most actors quit maybe after two, three years?
Andrea Osvárt (09:22):
Charlie Sandlan (09:23):
Most of the students in my class that I train, I look at them all. If I have a class of 20, I say, "Listen, there's probably going to be four of you-
Andrea Osvárt (09:28):
Why is that? What do you think?
Charlie Sandlan (09:28):
... that will be at this."
Andrea Osvárt (09:29):
What do you think? Why? What's the biggest thing, the main issue?
Charlie Sandlan (09:34):
It's too hard-
Andrea Osvárt (09:37):
It's very hard.
Charlie Sandlan (09:40):
... to build a consistent way of living. The lack of security. The lack of financial security, for sure, the rejection.
Andrea Osvárt (09:47):
People can't understand, people outside our business, sometimes I try to explain because they're so not understanding why we hear about these tragic occasions or tragic artists who are committing suicide, or ending up in alcoholism or substance abuse and these kind of things. Because people have a hard time to imagine a job or a work that is basically not in your hands, it's not in your control. It's like going on a job interview every week because that's what we do, actors, we go on castings like weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, in the hope that we're going to get hired again.
That somebody's going to need us. Our need of being needed is not fulfilled because it's impossible. It's impossible to book all the jobs, and it's impossible to be in all the films. Even the audience gets bored after a while, after seeing all the same faces in the movies. It's necessary to have a variety of cast and people are typecast. It sometimes has nothing to do with your artistic abilities and capabilities, nothing.
Charlie Sandlan (11:17):
Nothing, most of the time it's got nothing to do with your work at all.
Andrea Osvárt (11:17):
Charlie Sandlan (11:19):
These things are out of your control. But actors, you're so insecure. We leave an audition and we think, "Think they hated me. I sucked. I made an ass out of myself. I'm no good." When really, you're too short, you're too tall. They went with a different ethnicity. They've turned apart to a different gender. There are so many things that just aren't even in your control.
Andrea Osvárt (11:38):
Yes, it's good when there is an answer, at least, because my experience is that most of the times they don't even bother to give you any explanation or any answer at all. Just no response at all.
Charlie Sandlan (11:51):
You get nothing, you get nothing.
Andrea Osvárt (11:52):
This feeling of being completely ignored and overlooked, of course, can undermine anybody's self-confidence, nevertheless an artist's self-confidence who's already insecure and sensitive. I think this is something that should be clear before one tries to enter the business and imagines what a wonderful career they could build. They visualize themselves accepting an Oscar and making it and being on movie posters. But in the long run, I'm convinced, I'm a hundred percent sure that those actors, 99% of those actors on the movie posters have worked their asses off to get there. That's just the tip of the iceberg that we don't see.
Charlie Sandlan (12:51):
Absolutely, busting their ass. Oh, you don't see all that hard work. You don't see it, you see the red carpet or you see the fruits of all of that, but the decade, the years. People, they think somebody came out of nowhere. You see a new actor, but no, they didn't come out of nowhere. They've been grinding out in school and classes and auditions for years before they got-
Andrea Osvárt (13:12):
Yeah, I think I just honestly wrote it in my blog that I didn't book 90% of my auditions, 90%.
Charlie Sandlan (13:19):
Yeah, of course.
Andrea Osvárt (13:23):
Charlie Sandlan (13:24):
I tell my students, if you book one or two out of every hundred, you're going to have a career. How are you going to navigate those 90 rejections, 90 plus rejections?
Andrea Osvárt (13:33):
Yeah, that's the key.
Charlie Sandlan (13:35):
How you go two years without working?
Andrea Osvárt (13:36):
That's the key. That's the key of the persistence, the determination. I think that's why one has to be very clear about their own overall objective of why they're doing this job or this is a professional or a devotion, what we have, to work as an actor and what is our main purpose, why? What is the why, why we chose this profession and why we chose to be actors? I think once a person is clear about that, in the difficult times, in those dark moments, we can go deep inside and find that again and answer that. Let me give you an example. I want to make my mom proud, or I want to make my brother proud, or I want to make my nation proud.
These kind of motivations can really help you through those moments when you feel like abandoned, lonely, neglected, overlooked, forgotten. Then, it's just a period, it won't last forever. This is exactly part of the success, what we have talked about at the beginning, these down times are part of the success. You just have to keep it tight and just wait a little bit because these dark moments will pass. If you make it, and if you don't give up, then I am mostly sure that eventually it will be a road to success.
Charlie Sandlan (15:16):
Well, not giving up is the key thing. Just don't quit. You just have to not quit.
Andrea Osvárt (15:18):
Yes, but it's so difficult not giving up, but one has to also maintain themselves and make a living.
Charlie Sandlan (15:26):
Right, right, and then you're 40 years old and you're waiting tables and you're like, "What the fuck am I doing with my life?"
Andrea Osvárt (15:32):
Charlie Sandlan (15:33):
"I want a family or I want some security, health insurance."
Andrea Osvárt (15:38):
Charlie Sandlan (15:39):
Well, what was it like growing up as having an artistic soul and growing up in Eastern Europe? You grew up in Budapest.
Andrea Osvárt (15:48):
Yeah. Actually, I was born in Budapest and I grew up in the countryside. I was born in '79, which was still the so-called communist era. The Berlin Wall fell in '89 when I was 10 years old. I have some vague memories about communism and scarcity, mainly. Bananas, for example, we could only eat at Christmas because it was absolutely nowhere to be found and very expensive. Bananas for me are still an exotic fruit, that it's a luxury fruit for me. Of course, my mom would get offended if I said we were poor because she, of course, as a mother, she wouldn't like to think that she didn't give us everything.
But I did feel that I wanted more and I wanted a lot more. My fantasies definitely started to spin around that time when I was a teenager and I started to see the first TV shows from abroad, and I decided that I wanted to become an actor and be involved in entertainment.
Charlie Sandlan (17:05):
What was your idea of acting, your idea of film, or your idea of what it meant to be an actor growing up?
Andrea Osvárt (17:12):
I had no idea because-
Charlie Sandlan (17:15):
Or, the fantasy, I guess the fantasy of it, really.
Andrea Osvárt (17:16):
It was a fantasy because no one in my family is an actor nor an artist. I was the first one to be aspiring to this role. It's been a long time. It took me a long time to dare to admit it and speak about it openly, that I wanted to become an actress. I think I first said it when I was 20 years old, that I feel like this is what I want to do because it was something so unrealistic to do in the Hungarian countryside that I didn't want to be laughed at.
Charlie Sandlan (17:55):
Yeah, I can understand that.
Andrea Osvárt (17:55):
When I started university and I actually went to study Italian arts, that's when I started to work more as a model and started to shoot my first TV commercials, and slowly, slowly got involved into the movie business.
Charlie Sandlan (18:13):
How did you work your way across the globe? How did you get into the American side of things?
Andrea Osvárt (18:19):
Through a lot of adventures. I started to travel quite at a young age, around 16 as a model. First in Germany, but I was modeling also in New York, LA, Thailand, these foreign countries. Then, I got an invitation from Rome, Italy by a so-called manager, who actually turned out to be a scam. It was a fraud, he wanted to marry me, just that. But I ended up in Rome by this invitation, and as soon as I realized this was not what it was meant to be, I decided not to come home but stay there despite the fact that it was all a lie, but I decided not to give up.
This was the very moment when I decided not to give up and looked up acting agencies in Rome in the phone book. I started to call them and set appointments and actually got my first agent in Italy. Then, I settled in Italy for nearly 10 years, I lived there. That's where I started my acting career. I went to acting school and learned by experience through a lot of auditions, castings, small roles, bigger roles, and then leading roles. After 10 years of experience, I decided I still want more. This is still not giving me complete fulfillment, artistic fulfillment.
I know my English is also at a certain level by this time, so I decided to jump and try and I went to the states. I lived in LA for three years and I had my run there as well. I worked, I've been there, seen there, done that. Then, I decided to relocate to Europe because I'm more of an independent style person and I actually missed a lot the mentality of my country and my roots. I understand only later on that I needed to belong somewhere and I really didn't feel like I'd belong in America.
Charlie Sandlan (20:49):
Well, what do you mean by the mentality of your country? I would assume as it's different from what you think the mentality of living in Los Angeles.
Andrea Osvárt (20:58):
Yes. First of all, it's probably easier to describe the difference in mentality between an Eastern European or a Central European country and a Mediterranean country like Italy, the rhythm of the life is different. They eat late. They get up late. They talk louder. They're more easygoing. We are more strict and disciplined and hardworking. This is an easy to understand difference. But when I moved to the States, the difference I've learned it was that in America, as you described, maybe the healthcare system and the credit system is almost also makes me feel like a little bit of a dehumanized system.
In LA, I used to get in my car, sit in my car for four hours going on auditions and I could hardly meet anyone or bump into someone and have a spontaneous chat or see friends just without scheduling appointments. This is something I like in Budapest where I live now, that it's a dimension that is livable and lovable. That's how I describe it.
Charlie Sandlan (22:13):
Livable and lovable. Yeah, we're certainly not lovable. We're in a tough spot.
Andrea Osvárt (22:19):
Oh, don't say that, because America has also a lot of advantages.
Charlie Sandlan (22:24):
Andrea Osvárt (22:25):
Like something that I told you about the age restriction for acting, for example. Here in my country, there is this university that people go to to learn acting and the age limit is 21.
Charlie Sandlan (22:39):
If you're older than 21, you can't train in Hungary, Budapest?
Andrea Osvárt (22:44):
Maybe you can train in some private schools, but they're just very few small ones and not credited ones. You can have fun definitely if you want, but you can't have a career or a degree or an official certificate in acting because there is this age limit in this department in my country.
Charlie Sandlan (23:07):
What did your family, what was their response when they found out you wanted to be an actor?
Andrea Osvárt (23:11):
Oh, my mom was quite scared that it's not going to work out and that I should choose myself some other profession that is more realistic and reliable, and that I would have a regular income with. With acting, everything is so uncertain and she wasn't actually sure and nor encouraging in terms of my talent, to be honest. I think it was the best decision of my life to move abroad and not listen to these discouraging voices in and out of my head and then just keep going and not to listen. That's one of the advices that I give to actors.
If you know deep inside in yourself that this is what's meant to you and this is what you want to do and you have it, then really please don't listen to anyone. Let that be a parent or a sibling or a spouse, whoever, it is your life. A trick that I could recommend is to hop on a plane and go far for a few weeks and get independent, get distant and independent from these energies and thoughts and give yourself some self time to reflect on it. It's an easy to use tool, it's easy to say, of course, easier said than done, but maybe you can afford to buy a fly ticket and go somewhere for two weeks and just reflect.
Charlie Sandlan (24:49):
Right. Seeing the world at a young age, you were very lucky to be able to travel as much as you did. What does seeing the world do for you as a artist? What did it do for you as a human being, as a woman?
Andrea Osvárt (25:06):
Of course, I thought at the beginning of my twenties that I was ruling the world, because I became so successful very easily, let's say. Of course, it wasn't easy because I still had to go on these trips by myself alone in some strange cities, feeling lonely in some random hotel rooms. But I certainly considered myself lucky because I knew my parents' generation could not even travel during communism. They didn't even have a passport. For me, the world just opened up and I could go wherever I wanted. It became my lifestyle.
Charlie Sandlan (25:46):
It was interesting because you have become so successful and you write about the guilt and the shame that actually came with the success. You had this interesting anecdote about being home and your cousin, I think, was coming over and you were designing an apartment that you were getting ready to renovate and your mother was like, "Put that away. You can't do that to them." It put you right in touch with your own relationship to success and feeling good about that. That's a very interesting thing.
Andrea Osvárt (26:25):
It's so hard to catch these moments of when we are not aware of what we feel and why we feel it. Just retrospectively, I realized, that what I was feeling was a sense of guilt because it was put into me. It's not because I have committed anything wrong or any crime, but just by being successful and on the money, people made me feel like I should hide it and not be proud of it, because I should be more considerate with others who have less around me. This is really something so hard to deal with because I have friends, I have family members who I dearly love and respect, but is it my fault?
Is it a fault that I am paid better than they are? What choice do I have? Should I reject my work or my offers? It's not a good solution. I came to the point when I always use this other anecdote that I like, when flight attendants tell these security instructions on a flight that in order to help someone you first have to put your oxygen mask first. This is what I've been reminding myself of, that by making money, working hard, and being successful, I can only ensure that those around me, the people that I love and care about, will be taken care of as well.
Because I have the possibility and I have the means and the opportunity to accumulate maybe and have some money apart in case something happens and I need to help others. I have to have this talk with myself of not having to feel guilty about being successful.
Charlie Sandlan (28:28):
Well, you mentioned about helping others, which seems like a nice little segue to talk about what has become a very, just a major focus in your life, which is coaching artists and life coaching. How did that happen for you?
Andrea Osvárt (28:44):
It definitely changed because I used to be an artist, a successful artist who got a little bit distant from people and even from myself. But COVID and the whole pandemic helped me to have a year and a half off. I've given it a lot of deep thoughts, what I should do with myself really, first, in between jobs and secondly, in my career because I was down. I really felt depressed and I thought maybe the time has come also for me and I'm never going to be hired again. Of course, I got hired.
Charlie Sandlan (29:21):
I think that's the fear of every actor, once a job's over, that's it. I'm never going to-
Andrea Osvárt (29:25):
Yeah, and I started to do some research about performing artists' psychology, but there is very little literature about it. I also went to therapy. But even though that was useful, I realized that my therapist was not very familiar with how artists work inside, about the motivations and sensitivity. I started to write notes about this and read some books. I think there is a huge gap and a huge need in our industry to the mental wellbeing of artists and performers. I am completely convinced that this will be a huge topic very soon, because it's about to explode.
I read statistics that suicide ideation and suicide attempts are 10 times higher among entertainment industry workers than in the general population. There are these red flags.
Charlie Sandlan (30:26):
That's not surprising to me.
Andrea Osvárt (30:26):
There are these red flags that not a lot of people know about. We can hear gossips and some scandals here and there about the entertainment industry, but it's not caught in the nuances in the right moments because these kind of repeated rejections, for example, suffered by an actor is very similar to what we call generally an abuse, emotional abuse. Because constantly giving your best and trying your best and get prepared for an addition and knowing that you are also artistically you did your best performance and you did everything you could have done and still not even getting a response of, thank you.
There is a so-called intermittent reinforcement phenomenon in psychology that can undermine your self-esteem. This is very, very similar to emotional abuse, of not being validated. No wonder that artists are tending to depression because the way entertainment works is a system that is not a fair business. It's no wonder people have these symptoms of being anxious, because these are just symptoms, they're not really sickness or illness or disorders, but these are just symptoms. I don't know if we can change the world or change the entertainment system, but I just want people to feel that they're not alone and that they're okay. It's not their fault that they are diagnosed with these symptoms.
Charlie Sandlan (32:15):
Yeah, I agree with that. I think it's also, certainly with the training that they come to me for, has to do with chiseling away all of these, the parenting, the socialization, the education, getting them vulnerable, which I know is a word you appreciate, and chiseling away all of the defenses that had been built up over decades. That's the thing. That's why for artists, it's particularly precarious because you're so vulnerable, you're so [inaudible 00:32:48], desensitized.
Andrea Osvárt (32:49):
Yes, but you have to know where you can allow yourself to be vulnerable and where it's not the right place to be vulnerable.
Charlie Sandlan (32:55):
Absolutely. Yup. You got to be able to zip that armor up and go through life and then be able to take it off when you do the work, but that's a skill you have to learn.
Andrea Osvárt (33:04):
It's a skill that you have to learn and it's very important that you build a network, a relationship network around you, of people that you can really trust, people who have no interest, direct interest in your success. Because let's say your agent has a direct interest in your success, so they will probably push you to your limits.
Charlie Sandlan (33:28):
Yeah, because it's money, money, money, money. That's all they care of.
Andrea Osvárt (33:30):
You can have a wonderful agent. I have a wonderful agent for 16 years, so I'm not talking about really personal experience, but I also found out that these people are my colleagues and coworkers only and occasional colleagues and not my friends. You need friends outside of the business, real people who talk about real life, and not always about the movies and our business.
Charlie Sandlan (33:59):
No. If your life is wrapped up in acting, acting, acting, audition, audition, audition, I haven't auditioned in three weeks, I haven't auditioned in six months, I need a job, I need a job, you won't make it. You do need hobbies. You need other things in your life that are ... have something that can sustain you.
Andrea Osvárt (34:14):
Because we are energetic being, and of course, even when you walk into an audition and in a casting room, it's much better when you walk in there with high vibrations. But it is your responsibility, real responsibility to create that high vibration. In order to create high vibration, you need to feel right, you need to feel happy or fulfilled or complete. You can easily achieve that maybe just by a session of yoga or meditation, or I don't know, a basketball game, whatever you like, it doesn't matter. But some hobby activity that you enjoy and that will give you a higher vibration level.
Charlie Sandlan (35:04):
Most of the people that I know that have survived 10 years in this business, they have other passions. Maybe they paint prolifically or they love to write. They write their own stuff, or they learn how to produce their own stuff, how to direct their own things, how to create their own content, so they're not reliant on a casting director or somebody to give them the job. They create their own work.
Andrea Osvárt (35:35):
Charlie Sandlan (35:35):
It's easy to do that now.
Andrea Osvárt (35:35):
As you said they don't have to rely on, it's a certain dependency that we are always depending on some other people's decisions, whether they're depending or deciding for us or not. We have to create a world for us in which we are not depending on anyone. We decide for ourselves, and that gives us a lot of self security and self-esteem that at least there is a part of our life when we are in control and we can be the master of our lives.
Charlie Sandlan (36:09):
Yeah, because in this business there's not a lot that you can be in control of. You could be in control of your work, the quality of your work, and I think you could control your professionalism, how you conduct yourself.
Andrea Osvárt (36:20):
It happened to me that I shot a movie and I went to the premiere and I didn't see myself in the movie. I was cut out. I was shocked for three days. Of course, I felt ashamed because I felt I wasn't good enough probably. Of course, then later on I learned that the movie was too long and my scene was not a key scene. Somewhere they had to cut and I was the victim in that case. Even if you shoot something, you can never be sure that you're going to be on screen.
Charlie Sandlan (36:54):
But it's a unforgiving business.
Andrea Osvárt (36:56):
Charlie Sandlan (36:58):
Well, this whole idea of competition and comparison to me is one of the biggest things that actors suffer with.
Andrea Osvárt (37:04):
Charlie Sandlan (37:05):
Just the whole idea that it is a competition is already fucking you right off the bat, because it's not a competition. But yet you compare yourself to other people that maybe you went to school with, your classmates, they're booking jobs, why am I not? You do, you compare and you compete, and it completely just erodes your self-confidence.
Andrea Osvárt (37:25):
It's not very healthy, unfortunately.
Charlie Sandlan (37:29):
But it's so human.
Andrea Osvárt (37:31):
Yes, but there is competition everywhere today, unfortunately. It's very difficult to set yourself apart and not allow yourself to go into that game, that mind game of competition. For example, when I was living in LA and I went on these casting floors, there were all these gorgeous women, one after the other one entering the room in high heels and dress the same because the part was for, let's say, a secretary. We had instructions of how to be dressed. It was just a catwalk of gorgeous, beautiful young women coming and going, and me sitting there feeling like a little mouse with my short hair and my foreign accent.
I was really insecure and questioning myself if I had a place there, if that was really where I was meant to be, and I definitely didn't feel all right in that situation. It's something, this is also something that adds up to why actors leave the business and why actors get discouraged and don't make it to the 10th anniversary of their careers, because it's just draining.
Charlie Sandlan (38:54):
It is draining. I'm curious what it was like for you to be ... because you're beautiful and you've got, I guess, we call it pretty privilege. You've got this thing that you didn't really do anything to achieve, but you have this, what was it like year after year after year? As the years go by and that's the first thing that people are going to judge about you or assume things about you, because of how you look?
Andrea Osvárt (39:18):
Yeah, thank you for asking. I've been fighting against this forever because I also consider myself intelligent and not just pretty. But it's a very hard way to prove it because the easiest way people can diminish and undermine your merits is by saying, "Oh, because she's so pretty or because she is the love affair of someone." Even if it's not true, people badmouth and say things about you. But it took me a long time to disregard these opinions.
Charlie Sandlan (39:58):
I think it would be difficult. I would think going in for hot girl number three or the beautiful ... the role is just because you're attractive. You know what I mean? It's superficial.
Andrea Osvárt (40:09):
Yeah. Actually, I just started to change in my career because I just recently played a part in a series for Amazon Prime that's going to be released next year in 2023, in which I finally play a mother who has a deep role and a deep character involved in some sort of a crime story. I had a chance finally after many years to prove myself as an artist and not just being the pretty chick next to someone and play superficial lines. Actually, this is one of the reasons why I came back to Europe because I find more meaningful things here in this market, European market.
Charlie Sandlan (40:54):
Do you find also that things have changed just because also you're getting older and there's different roles for you now just because of your age?
Andrea Osvárt (41:03):
Yes, but I have to wait until it comes. This was also maybe part of this one and a half year, when I couldn't anymore play the pretty chick because of course I am now over 40, so I have to change my character. Even my agency had to propose me or put me into another folder and propose me as another character and not the pretty chick anymore.
Charlie Sandlan (41:27):
What's it been like to age and to know that the way the business identified you for 20 some odd years is not how they [inaudible 00:41:35] you.
Andrea Osvárt (41:35):
It's a rollercoaster because, of course, this is how I used to receive feedback. This is how I gained my fans and my following by, sorry for saying, but being pretty or wearing nice clothes in movies or having a bikini shot. Most of my following are made of men. Now that I started to blog and write and show more of what's inside and not outside, some people unfollow me because they're not interested in that, and I'm maybe losing some of my-
Charlie Sandlan (42:11):
Just give me the bikini shots. I don't care about what you have to say.
Andrea Osvárt (42:15):
Yes, exactly. I'm maybe losing on some of them, but I'm gaining new followers who are more in alignment with who I really am and not just my looks and my exterior.
Charlie Sandlan (42:30):
Were you scared to start to do that, to start to put written content into the world and start to say, "Hey, listen, I've got something to say. I've got advice. I've got something that could help you."
Andrea Osvárt (42:42):
You know how scared I was? I tell you honestly how scared I was. I have been blogging anonymously since 2015 because I thought people would attack me, people would criticize me, people would not like it. Actually, through this Hungarian blog that I've been doing for seven years I started to realize, but wait a minute, people read what I write and people are affected by it and people share it, share my content, even without knowing it was Andrea Osvárt. But it took me still years to become vulnerable again and put it out there as Andrea Osvárt.
Charlie Sandlan (43:26):
You put yourself out there, you run the risk of being criticized. That's the vulnerability of it, and that takes a hell of a lot of courage to do.
Andrea Osvárt (43:34):
Yeah, and that's why I again emphasize and stress that going abroad or traveling somewhere far from your family and maybe start looking up agents and acting schools, whatever, if you really feel like you want to do this, it is a way of vulnerability because before or after you have to stand on your own feet. If you're far from your family and the support system behind you, you will have naturally the inner need and the must, the drive that you have to make it. By becoming vulnerable and putting yourself out there in a new city, let's say so, will automatically make you vulnerable.
That vulnerability will enlight and ignite in you creative ways of how to make it. It will certainly help you grow. It's very difficult to do that if you are surrounded by always the same voices and always the same relationships. Like you're somebody else's neighbor, you're somebody else's daughter, you're somebody else's spouse, and your identity is tied to a circle. But if you get out of it, you can be whoever you really want to be.
Charlie Sandlan (44:54):
Is there any commonality among the actors that you work with and coach? Is there something that you find that keeps coming up?
Andrea Osvárt (45:04):
Yeah, what I've been seeing is that basically they know deep inside of what they want, but they feel much more secure when there is someone else to hand hold them and to reassure them all the time and giving that exterior feedback or validation, like a mirror, of reflecting them back that they are worthy and they shouldn't self doubt themselves.
Charlie Sandlan (45:31):
That's really hard to do, to just say, "Oh, yeah, don't self doubt."
Andrea Osvárt (45:38):
I don't lie to people. It's a subtle way of when you have to decide whether to be honest or tell someone, "Look, I think it's useless you try because this and that." But it never happened to me actually, that I had to lie to someone because there are so many ways always, there are other ways. What I can help at artists with is just to open some new doors in their minds to see that there are many ways to proceed and to go for the same objective or goal that they decided to go for. There is not just one way. There are many ways that some of them take longer.
Some of them are more curvy or some of them have interruptions like a red light, that you have to stop and be patient for a while, but eventually you can get there. But you just have to know that there's going to be a red light and not get discouraged that it's going to stop you forever, because it's not.
Charlie Sandlan (46:45):
I like that idea of calling them red lights, because you know instinctively that a red light is going to change.
Andrea Osvárt (46:51):
Charlie Sandlan (46:52):
That it's going to go green at some point.
Andrea Osvárt (46:53):
It's just something that you cannot control. You are forced to stop and be patient, but eventually it's just a matter of time and you can continue.
Charlie Sandlan (47:02):
Can you talk about the fear of saying no? I thought that was a very interesting blog, and I think that's something that a lot of people grapple with. Certainly actors, that's something that's just anathema. You just never say no. You say yes to everything, till they're picking your bones, you just say yes, you say yes.
Andrea Osvárt (47:21):
Well, of course, because stakes are so high or at least that's what we think, that stakes are so high when talking to industry people. Whether they're going to like us or not, because we want to be liked. I've done that for too long by saying yes to everything and agreeing with a lot of things apparently.
Charlie Sandlan (47:44):
Well, so what's the fear? What is the fear? If you say no, then what it is that's going to happen?
Andrea Osvárt (47:49):
That I'm going to lose everything that I have worked for so long.
Charlie Sandlan (47:53):
Or, someone might not like you, or someone will [inaudible 00:47:55]-
Andrea Osvárt (47:54):
Yeah, and if I just offend someone by saying no, or they get offended, because people are so sensitive in this business, so that you can lose a job or you can lose opportunities and that's a fear. By fear, we don't say no. Then, what that does is deteriorates our self security, like our alignment with ourself, our integrity, because we say yes to things that we would rather say no to. I'm still practicing and I try to be polite, and I think this is also another skill that I also have to practice, that I turn people down in a way that I try to give them other options.
Like, this time I'm not going to be able to attend or make it, but I'd be happy to join some other time. But I try not to lie. I'm not saying I'm sick when I'm not. It's just, I'm trying to be honest and say that I'm working on something and I really don't want to get interrupted because I'm in the middle of writing, for example, and I need to focus. I have a deadline. I need to get my things done before.
Charlie Sandlan (49:12):
But even actors that maybe have been at it for a number of years and they've racked up seven, eight, nine, 10 day players under fives, and their agents are still sending them out. Just the ability to say, "No, I'm not doing this anymore." Just that, like, "I'm not going to go out, don't send me out for this stuff anymore." To take more control over your career and the direction of it, or the type of material you want to pursue or the type of roles that you're interested in. Even that for an actor can be paralyzing because you think, "Oh, I'm going to be dropped. They're not going to want to work with me anymore."
Andrea Osvárt (49:49):
That's what you think. That's what you think. But actually in this point, maybe it comes with maturity and age and experience, but by the time you decide to say no to certain things, the offers that you get will slowly get in alignment with what you really want. Because it's like the universe is asking you, "You want chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream, or strawberry ice cream?" You say, "No, I don't like strawberry." "Okay. Oh, no. Then, here is vanilla ice cream." They will give you those other options. Again, fear is stopping us from ourselves. Sometimes it's fear, it's getting in our own way sometimes of succeeding.
Charlie Sandlan (50:33):
What does it mean to be professional to you now, after two decades plus in this business? If you had to describe, for you, what it means to be a professional? [inaudible 00:50:44].
Andrea Osvárt (50:43):
For me, professional is a skill, it's a set of skills that, for example, involves reliability. When I get an email, a work related email, I definitely respond, maybe not even within 24, but within 12 hours. I use my spell checker. I don't send up emails that I cannot be proud of. I keep them short. That's another skill to learn, because a lot of people just flood others with long emails and not nicely formatted messages and links and resumes. We communicate even when we don't think we communicate of our personality. I always have in mind that when I am communicating with somebody else in the business, my motivation is to help them.
I think, what's going to help this person to work with me, to make them want to work with me? This is the question that I ask myself. I say, "If I write long emails? No. If I bombard them with emails? No. Sending them newsletters of me? No." I just try to keep it concise, short, and clear what my message is. This is what I consider to be professional in my office, in my home office when I'm not acting, but I am emailing or corresponding relating to auditions or work or some other situations. Let the others feel comfortable to work with me.
Charlie Sandlan (52:28):
Anybody that's interested in finding out more about you or reading your really insightful blogs, just go to andreaosvart.com.
Andrea Osvárt (52:37):
Thank you so much. I really hope that it would help other artists as well to come to a realization of where they're at and how they can process their feelings or those stages of their careers, where they are at in the moment.
Charlie Sandlan (52:52):
Before I fade the music up, is there any advice you'd want to give to anybody that wants to pursue a creative life, an artistic life? Just send them off.
Andrea Osvárt (53:06):
Yes, I think my advice is that we are all humans and we are created to be social, and you are not alone. If you feel like you need support, don't be ashamed or don't hesitate to reach out and just write an email. Or, for example, I offer free consultation as a first time, and I am very happy to talk to you and just to make sure you don't feel alone.
Charlie Sandlan (53:39):
Well, my fellow daydreamers, thank you for sticking around and keeping that phone in your pocket. Please go to https://andreaosvart.com check out her blogs, reach out to her for some one-on-one coaching. If you're looking to shake up your career a little bit. If you got a few seconds, go to iTunes and leave this show a review. It would mean a hell of a lot to me personally. Share it with your friends. You can go to https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com if you are interested in coming to New York City and training with me at my New York City studio. You can also follow this show. You can follow the studio @maggieflaniganstudio
Lawrence Trailer, thank you for the music, my man. You know I love it. My friends, it's a long career, so stay resilient, play full-out with yourself, and don't ever settle for your second best. My name is Charlie Sandlan. Peace.