You work as a dustman or in a shoe shop for a while, you move on and everyone forgets about it. You work as an actor in a single role, and everyone refers to you as "an actor" for ever afterward.
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Examples:
* ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' is very largely composed of variations of, lampshades hung on, and aversions of this trope.
* ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'' is a tragic variation.
* The banjo-playing boy in ''Deliverance'' is so described in "the other wiki".
* The various nonentities and Z-listers who attempt to cross over from ''BigBrother'' and related shows.
* Ann Marie in ''Series/ThatGirl'', far too obviously.
* PlayedWith in ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''; Tobias uses this as a reason to refuse any other work. Given that he is trained and licensed as a psychiatrist (and therefore, a medical doctor) and has had ''no'' success as an actor, this is an expensive self-indulgence.
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