I am a freelancer in the entertainment industry, pursuing my primary passion of acting.
A typical day at work involves a lot of waiting and a lot of prep time. My day actually starts the night before; that's when I'm going back over my lines, making sure I understand the script and the story, making sure I know where my audition will be held, etc. I want to be ready for any situation so I don't have any unnecessary stress when I'm reading my lines. Once on set, I'll visit hair, makeup, wardrobe, and props to get totally ready for the role, and then the day of acting truly begins.
In the entertainment world, getting a job is less about your qualifications, and more about who you are as a person and a worker: punctuality is key, having a positive attitude is key, discipline is key. My military service laid a great foundation: I make sure that I carry out all of my work as a hybrid between a Marine and an employee of the Ritz-Carlton. You want to be a really hard-worker, but you also need to be warm and welcoming so that people will want to continue to work with you.
Here's the first step for college students
Study the discipline that's most relevant to your pursuit, and most relevant to what you want to be, whether it's acting for film or stage, or going into producing or directing.
"You? A Marine? An actor? You're crazy."
I often felt like I had to stifle my artistic side in front of my family and peers. In the military, there was a certain persona you were expected to embody, so I always chose not to bring up my interest in the arts. Part of that stemmed from the fact that my parents had trouble accepting my passions: they didn't think I could be a Marine, and they thought I was flat-out crazy to pursue acting. I think my military service made me incredibly resilient, so that "noise" doesn't affect me as much.
I'm the son of first-generation Egyptian and Greek immigrants. My parents brought us up believing the only things that mattered were church, school, and finding a good career, so it was hard for them to accept that I chose to pursue my interests.