Why an Actor should be The solution Not The Problem!
One thing I have noticed as an actor in the acting industry is that there are A LOT of selfish actors. This isn’t necessarily the actor’s fault. How we are taught in drama school and how we perceive our own importance can be huge contributors to this dilemma.
This is something that can be avoided to some length but I discovered is getting worse with more castings being pushed towards how many Twitter/Instagram followers you have rather than how you were trained and what you are capable of.
Having said that you don’t need to be trained in order to be a good actor – some of my favourite actors did not go to drama school and learned on the job.
Some actors are not taught to respect every part of the environment. I believe every actor, whether they do go to drama school training or go straight into the industry, should also spend some time working backstage in theatre or behind the scenes on a film set. Then they will understand that they are a part of a huge team that creates the production as a whole. Just because we are the final product that audiences see presented at the end doesn’t mean we could do it on our own.
One of the biggest regrets I have, having been trained at drama school in the U.K and in the U.S is that the teachers have a tendency for favouritism that doesn’t actually help the young actors grow. I know it’s difficult to not have a bias to students when you see the potential in them to be the next ‘Meryl Streep’ but even Meryl Streep knows how to treat and respect every aspect of a theatre and film set.
Not every actor or actress can be the lead – that is the way of life. Teachers, tutors and casting agents seem to seek the lead actor and gravitate towards them rather than cultivate the full scope of talent! There is nothing wrong with being the supporting actor.
Judi Dench and Anne Hathaway both won an academy award as supporting actresses, these women are leading ladies and yet they can do everything! There are no small roles when you are trying to make a living as an actor.
A couple of wishes I have would be for drama schools to make all actors be variations of leads and supporting roles so they don’t create egos.
Another would be for actors to think about how they can help make the production less chaotic and not to rely on their directors, stage managers or members of the creative team to have to tell them what to contribute to the process. We need to become intelligent logical actors who are the solution, not the problem to fix! Actors need to focus on being more selfless.