In a world of overnight successes and Internet celebrities, Alan Rickmans story truly inspires.
If youve been hustling on your dream for years, or even decades, let the eventual Professor Snapes story encourage you to never give up.
At a young age, he took up art and became very skilled at calligraphy and watercolor.
This led him to get an art degree at the Royal College of Art in London.
Upon graduation he began working as a graphic designer and achieved some success working for a newspaper.
He even started his own business:a graphic design studio with a couple partners.
But art had always been his fall back degree, and after a few years of career success, he decided the time to pursue his acting dream was now or never.”
He wrote to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and asked for an audition.
I love this; imagine what his friends, family and even the faculty at RADA, must have thought.
Why is this graphic designer, who is actually making a decent living with his art, going to acting school? Dont people start acting in their teens? Dont you already have a college degree?
Still, he chased his dream, auditioned, was accepted and earned a second degree in the arts.
But the chase was a long one, filled with small role after small role.
He pressed on in the theater circuit for a decade, supporting himself as a dresser for other actors.
To recap, he left his own successful business and then spent years literally dressing other actors to make money.
You could ask any actor about their early days, and I think you know if you decide youre going to do it, and then you train and youve committed you know there are going to be long periods out of work.
I dont remember it now, but Im sure the difficult moments made me stronger, or at least thats what Ive trained myself to think.
Rickman on starting out as an actor, TheLeakyCauldron.org (June 2015)
Rickman landed his big break at 42, as one of the leads in the stage version of the book, “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.”
The play was a huge success, however that big break probably felt like a big flop because Rickmas was passed over for the movie role.
His performance, however, caught the eye of Joel Silver, who eventually offered him his first large movie role — in an action movie.
I read it and said, ‘What the hell is this? Im not doing an action movie.’
But people said, ‘Alan, you dont understand, this doesnt happen, youve only been in LA two days and youve been asked to do this film.
— ScreenDaily.com (April 2015)
So he walked through the door that was opened to him.
You have to think that year after year of dressing other actors would be enough for anyone to quit, but Rickman didnt.
This is probably because he truly loved the work itself — a key for any dream chasers success.
Its what Im built to do. [laughs] Until one finds something else, thats what I do… Its not just work, its your life.
—IFC.com (December 2008)
Thank goodness he didnt, because Rickman brought so many characters to life for us, like Hans Gruber, Sheriff of Nottingham, Colonel Brandon and of course, Severus Snape.
What will you bring to life if you don’t give up?
Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference.
It can change the world.
—IFC.com (December 2008)