What does it take to become a star?

There are two stories in the media this week that slammed into each other in my mind: stardom and the effect of social media. I’ve met and worked with quite a few stars in my time and they seem to have the same traits, so if you feel the urge to become one, read on for some clues that can be found in the cast of ‘School of Rock’ that might help – and perhaps maximize your happiness.

The NSPCC says that we can thank SnapChat and Instagram for pressuring us into looking good when we don’t feel good. The result: a heartbreaking rise in the number of children self-harming. This year nearly 20,000 children – a 14% rise from last year – have been admitted to hospital after punishing themselves for being human.

Your light is too special to smother it.

So what’s the solution? My daughter Ava and I saw The Solution carrying a guitar case several months ago at an audition for the hit musical ‘School of Rock’. In the photo above, he’s the lad in the back row, middle. This lad was confident, focused and couldn’t wait to get on that stage.

Here’s his story, as quoted in The Times: “Tom Abisgold, 12, from Cheshire (who plays the lead guitarist, Zack), took up guitar at the age of six, inspired by a McFly concert. “I know it’s not the coolest, but I was determined to be like them when I was older.” He practised for a minimum of two hours a day and was dreaming of finding a band to play with when he came across the advertisement for School of Rock auditions online. He is making his stage debut.”

Look closely at the amount of time he devoted to his craft. Two hours per day. Did you know that’s the same amount of time the average child spends each day on social media? But he was just lucky, wasn’t he? He was born confident. Au contraire. Each practice session from the age of six, Tom was becoming something bigger than himself.

Guys, find your art, whatever form that takes: any activity to become excellent at, one that focuses your mind and body away from the device that tells you: you’re not enough.

Then practise your art. You may not become famous (that’s in the hands of the gods), but you will enjoy the rush of good feelings that comes from setting your mind to becoming excellent at what you personally love doing.

And then you will be a Star.

Bryan Bounds is an award-winning US-born, UK-based actor, teacher, writer and creator of the Neuro Acting System of actor training. He began his professional career began in 1984 and received an MFA in Acting in 1991.