Monday, 2 April 2012

Shameless Behaviour

"This part needs acting ability."

I’ve seen variations on this line in casting calls a lot recently. It’s a worrying development in the acting world. It makes me worry more than the ridiculous notion that I have a casting tomorrow for something that’s in a language that I can’t speak or read and for a script that I can barely pick up without wanting to stuff it down the shockingly wretchy drain we unwittingly unearthed in the garden last week. So yeah, it’s a worry. It’s a worry because people are presuming that, on a casting website that, y’know, you’d hope is for actors, they are still having to make a point that people need to be able to act. I’m fairly sure job adverts for brain surgeons don’t need to add a caveat that states applicants need to actually know how to perform surgery on a human brain. Of course not. It wouldn’t happen for any other job in the whole wide world so why is it happening to actors?

Well, let me tell you why. It’s because the world of acting is rather rapidly being filled up with people like this little fella that I stumbled across on Gumtree…

hey, my name is Joe and i like to think i can act, i am willing to take part in most films in most roles, i specialize in soldiers and police officers, but other roles be be an exception.
feel free to phone me ASAP as i will be happy to take part
i am 6ft 3 , dark hair, medium build.
I am doin it for free because I really like doing it
You can trust me haha

Oh good. Someone who likes to think they can act. Just because someone stupidly once told Joe that he should be an actor after he miraculously got away with a poor April Fools’ prank, he now thinks he should give this acting lark a bit of a go. I mean, he’ll only really stretch to soldiers and police officers because Joe’s a lad and them’s the only parts he thinks a real man should do but, you can trust him so that’s all that matters. And I think it’s best we just ignore the ‘haha’ at the end and the nightmares of being murdered in our sleep that it naturally gives us…

I have to admit that I do admire these people’s gumption but it’s a sad reflection on the world of acting that people think that taking an ad out in Gumtree means that they can begin to develop a successful career. And why shouldn’t they think that? This silly little world based on celebrity and reality TV has sadly lead people down a plastic-coated garden path where, as long as you let people know you want to be an actor along the way, at the end you’ll be rewarded with a whole load of fame encased in a box entirely made of money. People now believe that simply putting themselves out there is enough and that those of us who have spent time and money either on drama school or attending classes or simply working bloody hard to get where we are now are just idiots. And it’s sad that these people often are the ones that get rewarded over us lot who actually take this sometimes baffling industry seriously and work very hard to make a career for ourselves.

Take the news today that Imogen Thomas of Big Brother and Ryan Giggs fame is to star in an episode of Shameless. Now, I’m no fan of Shameless (I watched the first few episodes and then got distracted and sadly never returned to it) but I’d give up crisps for at least a month if someone offered me a part in it. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. We’d all love to be offered an opportunity like that but instead, the part has gone to someone who starred in a reality TV show and slept with a famous footballer. But the main shame, rather ironically, should go to Shameless. There’s a whole bookshelf full of Spotlights packed with willing actors so why have they gone with her? Why not give the opportunity to someone who, after years of jobs sitting on damp garage floors and touring rowdy, unappreciative schools and being expected to do a day’s filming on the energy provided by half a bag of dried apricots, could seriously do with that exposure (and money.) But no, instead they go with someone that creates a few stories in the press in the hope that it will provide them with a bit more advertising and bump up their viewing figures.

And now I’m off to have a little wander outside the Arsenal football ground to see what acting opportunities I can pick up…

1 comment:

  1. I think it stems from everyone being so desperate for jobs at the moment that they comb through all of their skills and think well I'll just bloody give it a go. I can kind of sympathise with them because it really is a shite situation at the moment. But I totally agree with you that, in turn, it annoys us lot who have spent a lot of time (and a lot more money) training in something, only to be constantly let down. In the florist where I work we get people in all the time asking for jobs even though they've got no floristry experience at all, it's madness! I hope you find something soon. Oh and bloody Imogen Thomas?! It's absolutely stark raving ridiculous.