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From Tom Hanks to Netflix: Aaron Marcus' 38+ Years as a Prolific Full-Time Actor with 1,300 Bookings

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Aaron Marcus has been a full-time actor for 38 + years with nearly 1,300 bookings. He had a scene with Tom Hanks (being saved at the train station) in the feature, A Man Called Otto, had a week contract in the Netflix feature, White Noise, HBO mini-series We Own This City, and was cast in the ABC pilot Heart of Life to name a few.

Aaron offers private virtual coaching to help others break into the acting or modeling industry or advance their career:

He wrote the book: “How to Become a Successful Actor and Model.” This book is considered by many to be the most important book in the industry and has more than 100 – 5-star ratings on Amazon.

Aaron has given over 800 "Book the Job" workshops both virtually and in-person (spanning 3 continents.)

Can you tell us about your journey to success and the key moments or decisions that shaped your career?

There were no plans for me to be an actor. I was actually a full-time college student and needed a fun part-time job to help pay the bills. I started off knowing nothing about the industry. It was very hard. I didn't have a coach or mentor to guide me so I had to learn by trial and error. After working 2 years part-time, I decided that I truly loved the work and decided to try working as a full-time actor for one year to see what it was like. That was over 38 years ago.

What motivates and inspires you to continue pushing boundaries and achieving new heights in your field?

Part of what pushes me is fear. I never had a fallback job or plan. I take great pride in what I do and always make sure that everything is done to the best of my ability. I am willing to try new things and take chances. The worst thing that can happen is that they don't work.

As an influential figure, what values or principles do you strive to embody and promote in your work and personal life?

Being honest is crucial. And, while coaching, I add sensitivity to honesty. I have so much respect for anyone who is willing to try and become an actor or model. I also always remember how hard it was for me to get started. I always do whatever I possibly can to give people all of the information they need to have the success they desire.

How do you handle challenges and setbacks, and what advice do you have for others facing similar obstacles?

I understand that hearing the word no does not mean never. It is also essential that actors or models never take things personally. When one doesn't book the job, it isn't a personal statement. They simply weren't right for the role. Try and figure out what changes might be made for another audition (or not) and just have a good time at the audition.

In your opinion, what are the most important qualities or skills that aspiring individuals should cultivate to make a lasting impact in their industry?

Understand that this is a very hard industry for many reasons. Take pride in what you do. If possible, always have good experiences with others in the industry. Be humble. Never take yourself too seriously. And, most of all, remember that we are just entertaining others. We are not curing horrible diseases or world hunger. And, treat everyone the same way you would like to be treated.


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Can you share any memorable experiences or encounters that have profoundly influenced your perspective on life and work?

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to work with the amazing Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto. He saves me from being run over by a train in the film. He is a true movie star, but you would never know it. He was so nice to others. Generous with his kind words, and told me something that I will never forget. When I thanked him for creating such a warm and kind set, he said that "We are all on the same team (extras, crew, catering, etc...) and we are just trying to make something great together." He truly appreciated what everyone was doing to make the project special.

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance, and what practices or rituals help you stay grounded amidst your demanding schedule?

It is easy to be a workaholic. I know how much better I feel when I take time out in the morning and afternoon to walk my dog and exercise during the week. I have learned that the work will get done. And, I will do it much better when I take breaks and take care of my health.

Many people look up to you as a role model or source of inspiration. How do you embrace this responsibility, and what message would you like to share with those who admire your work?

I am just a regular guy. Not a star. A "blue collar actor." I punch in and out and do the work. I have always seen myself as just a regular guy. Most of my neighbors have no idea what I do for a living. It is so important to just be yourself and continue to surround yourself with those who you love and the ones who can straighten you out if your head begins to swell.

Collaboration and networking are crucial in the entertainment industry. Can you talk about any significant collaborations that have shaped your career, and how you approach building relationships with fellow professionals?

Finding a group of like-minded people is so important. People who share information. Don't worry about competition. And, those who truly like helping each other.

What legacy do you hope to leave behind, and what impact do you aspire to make in your industry and beyond?

I just want people to see me as a hard worker, honest, and someone who they liked or would like to work with.

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As someone who has achieved notable success, what advice would you give to individuals who are seeking to discover and pursue their passion?

Make sure you get the information. Don't be fooled by reality shows and think that people just get discovered and have overnight stardom. That is as rare as winning the lottery. I don't believe in luck. Always be ready so when the opportunity occurs you can show others how you will help them in their project. And, as I mentioned before, don't ever take things personally. If you really want to work, find people who can help you and continue with your dream.

In an ever-evolving world, how do you stay innovative and adaptable in your field, and what strategies do you employ to stay ahead of the curve?

It is essential that all actors and models continue to learn. It looks like shooting home auditions will either be the norm or at least be around for quite some time. If learning tech things is hard, then find people who can teach you. Or, at least find those who can do it for you. Keep an open mind and know that change is constant.

Can you share any upcoming projects or initiatives that you are excited about and would like to highlight?

While we are on strike, I am not allowed to work on any film or TV projects.

How do you give back to the community or support causes that are close to your heart? Can you talk about any philanthropic endeavors or initiatives that you are involved in?

I have an unusual blood type. So, for decades, I have been a blood donor at the Red Cross. It is a wonderful feeling to know that a blood donation will save many lives.

To help my fellow actors and models, I created an entire library on my YouTube Chanel:

There are over 300 free videos for people to watch and learn from. I know that not everyone is able to sign up for coaching, so I want to help those people get really helpful industry information.

Lastly, what message would you like to convey to our readers and fans who aspire to make a difference in their own lives and in the world around them?

Find something that interests you and pursue it. You will find that you will get much more back from giving.


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