Thursday, 5 April 2012

Beauty And The Beast

I've tried to avoid it. I've looked away from Twitter and I've shielded my eyes from Facebook. I've avoided news articles and TV stories and I've even backed off from in-house discussions. But the truth is, Samantha Brick happened and the even worse truth is that I'm now going to try and relate the story to acting. I'm sorry. I hope it's going to be a seamless affair and by the end I'll be congratulating myself on a blog well done. However, I think we all know that the stitching will be terrible and by the time we reach the final paragraph, the stuffing will be bulging out of the poorly constructed seams. But it's miserable outside, I still find myself unemployed and there's a distinct lack of casting calls so let's give this bloody thing a good go...

So, this whole beauty thing. There's no denying that in the world of acting, Beauty is definitely one of the superpowers. Acting Ability likes to think that it's at the top of the food chain but sadly Good Looks and Powerful Connections are most certainly the ones that rule the roost. Oh we all wish it wasn't so but how do you argue against it? Argue too much and you just look like a bitter old hag who has jealously coursing through her withered, ageing veins. But if we don't say anything then are we just being bitter old hags, sitting back in our rocking chairs while the 'Pretty Ones' get to have all the fun?

It may be that I'm looking out for it now as I get older and the lines on my face have decided to move in, but I'm sure there's been a definite increase in both castings specifying that actors must be good looking and also ones asking for 'actor/models.' In this age where companies have to make everything as beautiful as possible to ensure that their unecessary items sell so that they're not forced to live on the streets, more and more casting calls are looking for models who can string a few sentences together rather than actors who would do a damn good job at making their advert even just remotely convincing. And I'm not saying that all models can't act but it's saddening to see yet another group of people, along with the reality TV stars, snatch away the precious few jobs that have been left to us.

But it's the casting calls that ask for 'attractive' people that baffle me. Attractive in whose eyes exactly? T is contracted to say that I'm attractive but the only time I've ever turned heads when walking down the street is when I'd walked a good ten minutes with my dress tucked into my knickers. But I'm certainly not unattractive so I'm not entirely sure where I stand on this balance beam of beauty. When a casting call asks for someone who is pretty, like one yesterday that stated 'Obviously she needs to be attractive' I feel uneasy putting myself forward for such a thing. Not only because it's such a horrible sentence (why does she need to be attractive? It was a normal story about a normal sounding girl. Why can't she be normal looking?) but because who am I to say that I'm attractive? I realise it's utterly ridiculous to deny myself the chance of work just because I'm a bit modest but I also have great difficulty in putting myself up for something that is essentially me going "LOOK AT MY INSANELY BEAUTIFUL FACE, CASTING DIRECTOR. YOU WANTED A GORGEOUS, ATTRACTIVE, SEXY ACTRESS? WELL HERE I AM!"

And the problem is that, while the directors continue to ask for the beautiful people of the world to star in their shows, it will sadly be those genetically blessed ones that get all the work while those of us with our quirky little 'interesting' faces sit in the darkened sidelines, waiting for the character parts to be shoved our way. I'm sure the Gorgeous Ones could put up a good argument here about how they always have to play the same kinds of roles and how they'd love to have a chance to play more interesting parts but I would just wave their full CV and healthy bank statements in their faces until they shut their pretty little mouths. Yeah. That'd show 'em.

But how do we combat this? Do we all learn from Ms Brick and set about convincing the work to come to us by making ourselves and everyone else around us believe that we're the most beautiful thing on Earth? Or do we get together, kidnap the beautiful ones and hold them to ransom until the acting fraternity promises to change its ways? OK. Get your balaclavas out and I'll meet you on the High Street in an hour...

1 comment:

  1. Great post, totally understand and so relieved that someone else out there feels the same way when confronted with a 'must be attractive' casting call! Keep up the good workd, Miss L :)

    PS - I had to Google who Samantha Brick was. Now I know.