Years ago, Florence Henderson, who played Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch, had some candid advice for actors. She gave this tough advice during an interview with The Television Academy. The eloquent Carol Brady actress was no stranger to the industry.
Florence Henderson’s No-Nonsense Approach to Acting
Her message to aspiring actors: It takes a LOT of work and dedication. Many think being in the movie business would be easy, but Florence Henderson doubled down on the fact that it takes lots of work.
She said people shouldn’t try “if they don’t love this business so much that it doesn’t matter what anyone says to them, doesn’t matter how tough it is, that they love it so much that they’re going to keep doing it no matter what.”
A fantastic piece of advice for any creative career path, really, but especially for a path that’s in one of the most cutthroat industries around.
“And if they aren’t going to keep doing it no matter what,” Henderson said, “Don’t even think about it. It’s too tough. It takes so much dedication, determination, a little talent, but it takes so much of the sweat and the hard work.” Henderson’s message that the talent you have is only a small fraction of what it takes to be a successful actor should resonate with actors.
For Henderson, acting was hard work, not a hobby or an “easy” job. “If you don’t like to work hard and you don’t like what comes with it, if you don’t like all that, you shouldn’t even attempt it. While she wasn’t one to mince words with her advice, it made for an honest segment of the interview.
Decades of Acting
She wasn’t giving this advice because of a single role she had, either. Florence Henderson’s decades-long acting career started in the 1950s on Broadway. She later went on to be a “Today Girl” for the NBC Morning Program.
She was in acting long before she took the part of Carol Brady. In fact, she was established enough at the time that she almost didn’t want to take the part. Her career demonstrates the incessant hard work she talked about in that Television Academy interview.
But, at the end of the day, Florence Henderson also acknowledged that sometimes what an actor needs most is luck. “I think like many things in life, it chooses you; you don’t choose it,” she said, and acting certainly chose her.