I talked with an actor today and asked him what, beyond simply a person’s acting ability, makes an actor in demand.
You might have heard me talk about why starting as a PA is so important and why it’s so good to know how all the departments function together and how important it is to think about their needs as well as your own. Surprise surprise, that’s where his head was at too! Here are his tips:
- Don’t eat too much! I’m sure we’ve all experienced a food coma. You don’t want to look sluggish on set, and you also don’t want your clothes to fit differently after wardrobe takes all the time to get things fitting right. On the flipside, don’t forget to eat, or the same problems will happen. You want to be on-point as an actor. Sell your best self!
- Be wary of the clothes you are given and how you rest between shots or on breaks. You might not be able to sit down because it could wrinkle your clothes. The best actors have to think about stuff like this if they want to be seen as someone that’s great, and easy, to have on set. Make other people’s jobs as easy as possible.
- You may want to bring a book or something to entertain yourself between shots. Your shot could take 5 minutes, and another actor’s takes an hour and you just have to wait. It could also be something with production, the cameras or the set, that causes a halt. Make sure it’s small, though, small enough to fit in your wardrobe pocket.
- VERY IMPORTANT: If you bring extra clothes for cold weather, be ABSOLUTELY SURE it’s not a pullover. This could definitely mess up your hair or clothes, creating more work for wardrobe and styling. Again, you want to be remembered as being considerate of all the departments AND a good actor, not just the latter. If you’re a great actor but seen as difficult to work with, someone who’s easy to work with might get chosen for future projects over you.
- Harkening back to the first point, be super, super, SUPER careful with what you eat. If your clothes get stained or your makeup gets messed up it could take a lot of time to fix that and put the shoot behind, potentially causing the project to go over budget (NOT GOOD!!).
Overall his message was that actors who are in demand think about the other departments as well as all the time, money and effort that’s going into the shoot. They aren’t just great actors, they’re great to work with. Be one of those great people that everyone from PAs to Directors want to work with and you’ll get recommended to casting directors and agents who can help boost your career.