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LaKeith Stanfield’s Advice To Aspiring Actors


Film Courage: What’s your advice for another
actor that maybe they don’t have the formal training but they know they really want to
do this? What would you advise them? What would they be Googling? LaKeith Stanfield: I don’t know? Now there is probably 900 pages when I Googled
acting, probably 9 million now. So there’s much more to weed from. Much more opportunity to get caught up in
different things. I would say stay in school, stay diligent,
go through high school, go through college, and try to look through opportunities after
having sort of learned all you can learn and situate yourself and be comfortable before
you get into acting. Know that there is something else that you
could be doing. Know that you have a back-up plan because
this is a very difficult, tough game to get into. And it’s tough to maintain even once you’re
in. It’s not like just because you booked something
you are going to be working forever. So you always have to keep that hustle up
and continue to look for new avenues and know that if this doesn’t work, you’ve got
something else in the back and if that don’t work, you got something else. You have other alternatives, as well. And don’t focus all of your energy on acting
would be my thing. Film Courage: Did you ever feel pushback from
people, from even other actors who maybe were classically trained and they saw you booking
more work and they were like “Well, you didn’t try this technique…” And you could feel that, maybe it wasn’t
even spoken? LaKeith Stanfield: Oh yeah. Totally. It wasn’t spoken and it was spoken in certain
parts. But everybody’s got their particular route. One thing I think is important to being an
actor is always keep an open mind, always be willing to learn, and don’t reach a point
where you feel like I’ve learned enough and now I don’t need to know anything else. Because your talent will take you so far but
you need to be constantly trying to develop skills and learning how to access these characters
and analyze these stories and tell them in the most authentic way. And while your talent will take you a long
way, it won’t take you to the heights that you want to go because there’s a cap, a
moment where you’re like “Well, this is just about my talent.” You need to constantly stretch yourself, travel,
meet new people, engage in new experiences (fearlessly) and sort of download that information
into creating what you want to create. Every role is different, so what may work
for one role, may not work for another and vice versa. So sometimes your talent will be great for
a certain role and then for another role you have to reach outside the boundaries of your
natural talent in order to tap into it. Those are things that I find the most rewarding
and the most difficult and they cause me to have to get studious and learn all of these
things, you know? And get into these different lifestyles and
understanding. So always keep an open mind and I think you
can explore and do whatever you need to do. And realize, remember this game is not a competition. It seems like a competition, but it’s not. The only person you’re in competition with
is yourself. If you think you can’t do a certain thing,
you can’t. If you think you can, you can. You’ve just got to push yourself.

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