Actors are Lazy

Sorry, no. I don’t mean all actors and I don’t mean completely lazy. I just wanted a flashy title to grab your attention and it probably did, since that’s an offensive thing to say about a large group of people. But, in some ways, it is true. Let me delve deeper though.
I’ve done many castings at this point and it amazes me how so many of the actors who turn up can’t read simple directions, like, “do not email me your headshot” or “the audition will be from 6-9PM on Tuesday” and I’ll get a headshot via email with a request for an audition time on Wednesday. At first I thought this was just a fluke and mail that was sent to the wrong person, but it kept happening again and again. In fact, the emailing headshot problem got so difficult to deal with and so hard to manage, that I don’t do anything via email and just use Cinefuse to manage all of it. It’s made life a lot easier.
But, beyond not following directions, I’ll get actors who will tell me that they will want me to take a headshot of them or that I need to go to this friend who knows this guy who once got the cat out of a tree for an old lady who really thinks that they can act. These people just don’t get the fact that there are so many people out there trying to make it as an actor that yes, I can be a prick as a director and choose not to deal with this. I’ve tried to accomodate as much as I can over the years, but in reality, it gets harder and harder to do as time goes on because people seem to be getting lazier and lazier when it comes to acting.
There is even the group that will just show up to an audition and for some reason think that they can just act out of the blue and you’re going to love them so much that you’ll cast them. Like they woke up out of bed that morning and decided they’d be an actor. These folks need to learn two things. One is that this is a waste of both their time and your’s. The second thing is that nearly no one who has made it was just discovered like that. Most people bust their asses for years and then finally get lucky by being in the right combination of things. I mean, Naomi Watts was living out of her damned car before things came together for her and Harrison Ford was worked as a carpenter. That’s paying your dues and nothing has changed that makes that any less of a fact today than it ever has been.
Now, let me qualify this with the fact that there are many people I know who are simply awesome. They don’t complain when a shoot runs over. They show up on time. They know their lines. They are great folks overall, but most importantly they can act. This isn’t something that just happened to them overnight. They’ve worked on it. They’ve had their ups and downs with it too. They know the breaks. When other actors meet these people, they should learn from them and not see them as competition.
I only wish there were more of these folks and that they didn’t all move down to LA at some point after I’ve met them in NorCal, because finding a good group of actors is one of the hardest things there is in filmmaking, but once you’ve found them, you’re golden.