Friday, October 11, 2013

Nine Jibes-Just How Catty Are Actors and Actresses?

THE GOOD-THE BAD-AND THE UGLY of the acting profession...

I got to eat with friend today for the first time.  I have been in contact with a friend of a friend via facebook and email and we get along well so we had some lunch and a good chat.  
We both are trying to start film and theater projects, because the little bit we actually get is just not enough for us, and it was a joy.  But while talking he said candidly, "I have never had the desire to be an actor.  I can't stand the cattiness."  
I laughed and mentioned the story of the women who got drunk and talked too much.  He smiled and said, "Wow, she just ruined her chances to ever work with that director again, if not that state."
It's true.  We the, competitive actors, can be quite catty when it comes down to it.  We have to fight and claw and scratch for what we get as it is, why should someone else have a shot, right?
An example.  A few years ago I was posting some questions on a well known public forum about a familiar actorly topic, just to make sure I had covered all my bases.  It was very general.  Anything to get me more work, right?  A fellow actor decided it was their job to say several things in reference to my inquiry that were, to say the least, unnecessary.   I, to this day, have never met this person face to face and likely will never.
Likely never will because this story came to the attention of a director who I was working with, and not through me or anyone I knew.  
We had started the project and was mentioning other projects he had worked on.  He loved this actor.  For days this director talked about how wonderful this actor was and how great and wonderful they were to work with.  They were going to be casting a project soon and they were looking at myself and this individual to play opposite one another and it would be great.  I smiled and said I looked forward to it and had heard a lot about the actor but never met them personally.  Who am I to keep myself from a job?  I can work with anyone.  It happened a long time ago and it's not a big deal right?  Wrong.  That same director had a similar question and looked into the issue on the same website and found what this particular person said to an actor they had never met.  Needless to say the director no longer has praise or work for that particular actor.
It does not matter how well liked or talented you are, if you are publicly rude about another actor, it will eventually catch up to you.  No one at the top likes drama.
A good friend of mine was shooting a film and fired his entire cast for an inability to get along.  Three days of shooting were scrapped for what they were doing to one another.  Too bad for them he knows people.
I have directors who come to me for casting advice in projects I am involved in, and sometimes not involved in.  And you know they want to know what I think of other actors.  I myself avoid mentioning anything outside of what I think of them as an actor.  I have even, on occasion, had directors ask me who not to hire to avoid drama.  Some very close director friends of mine want lists of names of actors to not hire due to this that and the other.  It's quite amazing.
I implore my fellow actors, be kind to one another.  Bitterness of any kind towards one another will only destroy.
A friend of mine came to me very upset because someone had said something about me to a director.  Yes I hear all the stories that people tell and laugh. This particular director was one they had just met.  It was a simple comment.  My friend tells me what was said and I burst into laughter.  He says, "Why are you laughing?"  I say through the tears, "Because they think I am competition."