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.