Earlier today I went to the Georgia State Capitol to hear the Governor speak on all things Film and Television happening here in our land of Peaches. It was a big deal and I thought for certain there would be a big turnout. I was correct about it being a big deal and partially correct about the turnout. All the crew folks, tech people and commercial real estate agents were there, along with GPP and the Georgia Film Academy and many others.
Missing? The actors. (I will give the agents a pass because it is, after all, Pilot Season). The hard-working folks at SAG/AFTRA did put together a video reel where I spied a few actors faces holding signs of gratitude, etc. and I realize, I may be unaware of many reasons, the least of all being people not knowing about the event, keeping them from attending.
Here’s the part where I’m about to jump up on an ‘ol timey soapbox. For you youngsters out there that’s akin to Tweeting and for the boomers, it’s when you get on Facebook and write paragraphs of stuff that only your cousin in Iowa replies to for fear of setting off any of the other family.
I want to keep this blog friendly and helpful, so in keeping with that desire I will simply say this, please stop calling yourself an actor if you cannot say yes to at least ONE of the following:
1. You have been an audience member in a recent theatre production (this could’ve been a reading, an improv show, interpretive-dance-slam-poetry-mash-up, you get the idea) Support the local arts and artists.
2. You have read a book. This year. That was NOT about proper lighting for headshots and/or selfies. A story. A tale. An adventure. I’m talking fiction.
3. You have engaged in a conversation with a complete stranger. No, the guy who you think is the assistant to that agent you were hoping would look at your resume DOES NOT count. I’m talking the woman at the grocery store or the kid selling magazine subscriptions. A human being that informs and perhaps even inspires you about the human experience.
4. Assisted in someway someone you know in the “biz” who is making their own project come to life – even if all you did was reach out with a hug or a handshake and tell them you believe in them.
5. Said “Thank You” for your talents, training, experience, support team, recent audition, recent job, people who believe in and nurture all of the above.
Truth be told, I could make this list much longer, but my point has been made. Everyone is so self-satisfied sitting at home tweeting and texting and posting and calling it enough.
It’s not. Sometimes we have to get out in the rain on a Monday morning to drive downtown and pay for parking in order to support the work we as actors need, so we can do what we've been put on this planet to do.