I just read the news about the outcome of a lawsuit that will most likely change the whole internship landscape in Hollywood. Here’s a link to an article in the Hollywood Reporter. Basically, the days of big companies ‘using’ (or if you prefer ‘hiring’) interns for no pay may be over. There’s a lot of debate about the pros and cons of this outcome and I’ll leave that to you. However, the whole subject of ‘taking advantage’ (by either side) did bring to mind something similar:
Willing victims, aka: Actors.
I’m not talking about diva actors who think they’re all that, or wanna-be movie stars that never even bother taking an acting class, or any other non-dedicated ‘actor’.
I’m talking about actors that are in it for the long haul. Actors that care. Actors that train, market themselves, pound the pavement, do the grunt work, show up for the auditions. Actors that love their job and can’t imagine doing anything else.
Us actors need to stick together, man! Just the other day a good friend of mine found out that the local commercial gig he booked was NOT going to pay…as he was about to drive long distance to the set for the shoot! He still went, because he’s a man of his word, but you can bet he won’t fall for that one again. When he went to look at the online post (which even had stated the amount of pay), it had since been removed from the social media page. I suggested to him to take a screenshot of the casting notice next time so he has proof that the post said it was a paying gig. I don’t know if it was an honest mistake on the producers’ part or if it was just a nasty little trick to get good actors to audition in the first place. Either way, it’s frustrating as hell and you can be damn sure that we take those names down and add them to our little ‘Shitlist‘!
It’s bad enough that so many actors are willing and/or desperate enough for work that they’ll accept gigs for very little or even no pay (to at least get footage for a demo reel or maybe an imdb credit). Sometimes we’re just too damn eager to please. What sucks is that people take advantage of it. Yeah, I know.. it’s all a business… capitalism…. survival of the fittest… yadayadayada. Still. Not cool!
Just because you have a fancy camera or a rich daddy, a talented filmmaker it makes you not! I’ve been to auditions where the ‘directors’ talked down to actors or made fun of their acting. Again, not cool. If this is going to be the way you’ll treat your actors on the set of your non-paying-but you get food-gas-credit-filmmaking ‘masterpiece’, then no thanks! I’ll pass.
Filmmakers who promise footage for a demo-reel once their project is finished, but fail to deliver – you too are on the shitlist!
Oh, and don’t lure actors to auditions with ‘supporting’ roles just for them to find out that they’re only featured extra roles. Not professional.
Just remember…people talk! Mistreatment, false promises, outright lies, dishonest behavior – word gets out about you! You better believe it! Those phrases about ‘cream rising to the top’ or ‘separating the wheat from the chaff’ don’t just apply to actors.
Having said that, on the flipside…if you’re good to us, keep your promises and are just an all around PRO, we remember that too. And we spread the good word!
So, don’t wind up on our shitlist!
I also believe in Karma. And Voodoo. (Just kidding). Or maybe not… ;)
Sorry (not really) for the coarse language, but I’m mad! I’m having one of those days, mkaay?
Thanks for letting me rant. We cool?