Navigating The Entertainment Labyrinth: Alec Dahmer’s Words Of Wisdom

“For every one actor who makes it to fame, there are 50,000 more who did exactly the same things yet didn’t make it,” award-winning actress Viola Davis wrote in her best-selling memoir, Finding Me. “It doesn’t speak to their talent; it speaks to the nature of the business,” the EGOT winner explains. “It’s an eenie, meenie, miny mo game of luck, relationships, chance, how long you’ve been out there, and sometimes talent.” Fast-rising Canadian actor Alec Dahmer has seen all that play out in his own career since he got into the business.

A born performer, Alec has been in the entertainment space since age 2. He landed the role of Kurt in The Sound of Music at 12 and went on to play the role at the Stratford Festival of Ontario in 2015 for over 100 performances. After The Sound of Music, Alec pivoted to commercials and small TV roles before his big break, which landed him the lead role in Bajllionaires, a comedy aired on Family Channel in Canada and NBC Universal Kids in the USA. His other acting credits include The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, Titans on HBO Max, Anne with an E on Netflix/CBC, and Beat It, a short indie film.

Standing out and landing roles in this competitive space hasn’t always been easy despite Alec’s experience and talent. “Finding my own style and letting my uniqueness shine has been hard!” he discloses. “It’s also a struggle making ends meet as an actor, any type of performer truly. Training costs a lot, headshots cost a lot, seeing shows cost a lot (which are a necessary part of research as an actor), etc., and although some acting work is very well paid, it’s very few and far between and very rare.”

However, the actor has been lucky enough to find great mentors who’ve held his hand and encouraged him to discover his unique abilities. These have not been easy to find either. As Alec notes, there are way too many actors in the industry looking for the same things, and it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. “It’s hard to trust that who I am is enough, and I’ve struggled with that a lot, but trusting in my own skills and my own uniqueness has only given me more opportunities in the long term.”

Like Ms. Davis, Alec emphasizes the importance of time in an actor’s journey and trusting what you’ve been doing will ultimately work in your favor. “Trust the process!” he reiterates. “That’s a lesson I still remind myself of and struggle to do, but trusting the process is the only way to eventually see the fruits of your labor. Cutting corners and focusing on the quick results may feel good in the short term, but will not lead where you want in the long run.”

Over the years, Alec has discovered that the process matters more than the product, especially when you’re creative. In his experience, skipping to the end makes it harder to enjoy life and may even affect your mental health. “Take it slow!” Alec encourages. “Enjoy the process! Do the work for yourself because you owe it to YOU, not anyone else!” The actor hopes to be acting for many more years, both on stage and screen, making meaningful art for himself and others.

Written in partnership with Shannon Sparks