The Real Poop
Hanging out by the pool all day. Working eight weeks a year for $10 million. Rolling around town in a brand new Beemer with your entourage hanging out the back. "Doing lunch." Homes with underground basketball courts/ballrooms/evil lairs. Really nice abs. A vague sense of higher purpose as an "artist." This is what the E! Network tells you an actor's life is like.
You say you want to be an actor. Well sure; who doesn't? The way television makes it look, it seems like people are making it all over town.
But c'mon; even the most deeply insecure fame-seekers from the backwoods-iest parts of Kansas know that "making it" in Hollywood is an extreme long shot―and yet every year thousands of people are willing to drop everything and get on a bus for New York or L.A. in the hopes of winning a highly elusive lottery ticket known as superstardom.
Even though the chances of you getting up to that Movie Star-, TV Star-, Broadway Star-, or even YouTube Star-level are slim-to-none-to-probably-not-gonna-happen, there are a couple different reasons that you may want to pursue this particular career path.
First, you don't mind the struggle. This is important, because you can be the most talented, best looking, and friendliest actor in Hollywood, but if you aren't right for the part, you aren't right for the part. And even when you are right for the part, there are at least a dozen other people who are also right for the part.
This will definitely affect your income level, as even the low average rate of $20 an hour is still only based on actors who are actually working. Even the most successful actors will have loooooong dry spells of no work (source).
Second—and this is only going to come from deep reflection, soul-searching, and a little bit of therapy—is that this is the only thing in your life you can possibly do that will make you happy. If you also like helping people, you should probably become a doctor or police officer; if numbers are your thing, become an accountant or mathematician.
Seriously, there are literally hundreds of career choices that are better than this one. The reason to pick this one is because there's nothing else that will satisfy you. At least until Hogwarts becomes a thing and you can study Wizarding.
To succeed at this job, you don't need to be famous (and some actors don't even want that), you really just need to be happy.
That itself isn't very easy; to "pound the pavement" is to spend long hours in crowded rooms, hoping to show that you have that spark or personality or it that the producers are looking for...and usually not being it. But if you can go to your 300th audition of the year, give it your all, not book it, and move on to the next one with your ego intact, then you'll probably be fine.
Also, very tired. But naps are what the Greenroom was made for.