Actors: Something to Ponder…

If you follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t…erm!?) then you’ll know I was recently speaking to an actor friend about how I am continually amazed by the lack of support actors receive from other actors. Sadly, it seems it is so rare to find other actors who, more often than not you know in “real” life, that want to support your work.

Although I understand the acting world is a competitive one; surely if, for example, I am a woman and you are a man, then we are not really in any direct “competition”.

I can only put it down to the threat of someone else “succeeding” while you are still struggling away. However, I always try to see someone else’s success as a beacon of hope that, I too will someday match their success. I too will be stood alongside them on the red carpet 😉 and I too will have rave reviews written about my performance! Because, yes the acting world is a competitive one, but really, we are all in it together! What is the point of being jealous? We could all look the same at an audition (and usually do) but if I smile a certain way or I wear a certain outfit, I could be the one chosen (or not) for the job. It is hard to accept but, a lot of the success or setbacks we have in acting are usually nothing to do with us as performers. It is to do with something far bigger than us and most of the time, it is luck.

Also, the success another person has does not take away from the success you are having, or will have in the future. The thing is, it isn’t a race which has a finish line. It is a career where, someone could be famous around the globe for a year and then never work again and another person could constantly work in supporting roles all their life but never be “known”. How do you measure their success?

Now, more than ever, networking is vital. It has always been the case that, it is not what you know or how talented you are, but who you know and how much they want to help you, which holds the key to your future.

The social media world is a diamond mine to all of us just trying to make our way and get ourselves and our work talked about. Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and YouTube now all feed into each other so harmoniously, no one you know and no one your friends know should miss what you are up to!  Connecting with new people, sharing work and supporting each other is the only way we can really play as a “team” as it is such an self indulgent, look-at-me, industry.

Plus, it has always been true that PUBLIC acknowledgements of work are far more meaningful in the long run than the “friend” who sends you a text trying to show they care but who doesn’t bother to share what you’ve done with anyone. To take the 1 second it would take to click “Retweet” or “Share” would mean the world to the person who created the work and I personally, don’t think is too much to expect. I see it as “poor sportsmanship” to not share work with your followers and friends. It is also dangerous, because people notice when you don’t and when it comes to you putting work out there, you’ll realise how much the support of those other actors’ matters.

Now, I’m not saying support work you dislike or don’t agree with but don’t decide not to support work out of your own frustrations. If I see someone has put a link up to their showreel or latest review, I will always share it, I don’t even think twice. I maybe no good to that person, but someone who follows me might click and think, this person is perfect for what I need! I may not even realise I was the link between the two but how wonderful if that is how someone got an audition?!

So why am I bothering to post this? Well because I was recently asked to find a girl and two guys for a really, REALLY exciting project I am involved in. The specifications were quite detailed but I certainly knew a person or two who I could recommend. However, rather disappointingly, I found myself thinking twice. You see, I recently posted a personal project and I couldn’t help but notice the lack of support from certain people who you’d almost take for granted as people who would share and retweet your work. Some people I have recently helped land roles in other things, people whose theatre performances I’ve atteneded and people who I have worked with etc. I found myself thinking, why should I hand them this opportunity on a plate when they can’t even be bothered to click a button to support me?! Is it childish, probably? However, I have had this work out there for over a month now and the support I’ve had from people has been amazing. Yet it’s mainly actors who only, “sort of” know me (however, not always the case and please note, I have noticed if you have!). Or who have watched it on other acting blogs and felt inspired that bother to comment, support and share. It is these people I felt compelled to contact, who I felt I owed the opportunity to.

I bet I’m not the only person who thinks like that.

Something for you to ponder Actors.

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15 thoughts on “Actors: Something to Ponder…

  1. Absolutely agree with you, especially the aspect of why should I help them when they haven’t gone out of their way to even mention me, or promote me in any way, or have they? I’ll never know – I think these things need to be a bit philosophical – and as long as we are all nice – it hurts me when a horrible person is a success. Someone told me once that I shouldn’t be so nice, but it’s that nice person who gets me work! I’ll try to be a nasty bitch, but I think the days of Norma Desmond are over – I hope?

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    • I agree! I think you just have to go through life the way you’d like to be treated and hope that somewhere along the way it will come back to you. A person mentioned to me on Twitter too that you should never forget that Crews talk and if the crew think you are a nightmare to work with, you won’t get hired again!! So don’t be a nasty bitch!! Haha! Keep things friendly xxx

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      • I can definitely relate to your post. Sadly, this business is all about doing what it takes to get ahead and that means some use other people to get what they want, then toss them aside once they’re done with them. What they tend to forget is that you also have to have some sense of human decency and kindness or it’s true what you said; your true personality shows on set and no one will want to work with you again.

        I say bestow opportunities to those who truly deserve it, who are nice and sincere to you. Even if they’re not the most talented, you can show your gratitude for their kindness and support in that way.

        Good luck! Great demo reel, by the way!

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      • Perfectly put Brittany! I think that feeling of being “used” is exactly what I am trying to say in the post. You have enough and you just think…why do I bother?! However, anyone who deserves it will always get my help and support!

        Thanks for your thoughts and your kind compliments 🙂

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  2. I could not have put it better myself. At the end of the day to some extent, we’re all struggling so what harm will it REALLY do to support the people who are supposed to be one’s friends. Basically it comes down to the question, “Are they your friends, or are you using them?”
    Our industry is a communal 1. We’re an independent film COMMUNITY. I hope after reading this blog, certain people out there realise this & change their ways.

    Brilliant job, Kate 🙂 -x-

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  3. Too right, I don’t think you’re being bitchy, just drawing a line. I’m a great believer in karma – you get what you give out so do continue to be generous! The Universe is watching. Hugs, x

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  4. Here’s the thing, I try to help as many actors as I can..I tend to do it a lot..In my experience though, the guys tend to get defensive because “they don’t need or want help”, and the girls just think I’m trying to hit on them..Then people ask, “Why are you going out of your way to help?” Simple answer is that I enjoy helping people..I like to see happiness indulge them..It makes me feel good about myself too..Anyway, I’ve pretty much toned it down to a minimum because I’m sick of so much negativity thrown my way because I try to do something nice..It may sound cynical, but I’m out for myself now..At least I don’t give myself shit like I got shit from others..Too many broken promises causes one to just have to go it alone and fight till the death..Because, this business, it a fight…

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    • Thanks for your comment Ajay! I understand your frustrations completely. I think you have to draw the line somewhere and just look out for yourself and those who you feel truly deserve it.

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      • Thats why I say don’t share work you dislike or don’t believe in! It isn’t about being fake. It is about not being destructive and deliberatly not sharing something you know is good because you are in a bad place or your career isn’t going so great. Not sharing won’t make your life better, but sharing might make the lives of the persons whos work it is…and maybe even yours down the line, that little bighter 🙂

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  5. Um, seriously, have you been in my head or something?..Since moving back to London, all I’ve been saying to people is stop being fake..I’m real, I tell it how it is..I’ll never lie for the sake of it..Problem is, people don’t want the truth..They want the lies..I say, “well, don’t look at me for a lie” It’s amazing to see, as I go to a lot of networking events here in London and certain people are so nice to me to my face, but oh my, they don’t realise that sometimes you need to be careful who you speak to as you don’t know who knows who, because, behind my back, they are disgusting about me..I laugh at it because of the sheer stupidity of these certain people actually thinking that I don’t know..I’ve made it a point in my life to not go out of my way to help these certain people, yet they still try to cling on..Bizarre if you ask me… 🙂

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  6. oh well….it would be too much to write.. but I know very well what you feel. I know from the point of view of a wife of an artist..and it’s an ugly world once you get to know it. my hubby’s closest friends hide things from him-like auditions,or roles that they got.. and this stuff..so..if these people that you consider very close in your life do these things..you can imagine others that really don’t care,what can do.. I even had to convince my hubby to let go to both his agents that represented him -because they started to hurt his career..I mean Jeeezzz!! their money came from my hubby’s work.. So..there you go..after many many years, he had to start from zero again,and to start auditioning again..meet new agents..who -because of the economical crisis are not quite available for everyone..and so on..
    so believe me..I kind of know your world,and I can understand your anger and disappointment .. nobody would really help you if they don’t benefit in some way..
    it’s the ugly truth..

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