I AM AN ACTOR AND PROUD OF IT
I am an actor!a writer!a host!a director. And proud of it.
Everyday, I get out of bed and go out there, laptop in my backpack, scripts in my hands and in my mind. Everyday, when you pass me on the road and see me talking to myself, I am probably trying to fix a story that I am working on or a story that just came to me. I am talking through a character trying to understand it better...or arguing the finer points of a character with an actor [all in my head]. I have had countless nights where I have laughed with the greats of my profession both in this country and in Hollywood [of course, just in my dreams!] In my head, I have been on Oprahs couch and sat where Tom Cruise jumped up and down like a wild man proclaiming his love for Katie Holmes...I have seen it all and done it all...I have been there...
And I am proud of what I do! .
Do not get me wrong, this is not a rant about how I am not guilty about what I do...call me crazy or stupid but I am not ashamed that I am a polymath...and that I am able to do all the things listed in the beginning of this note. However, I am ranting about respect. The reason...when people do not respect you, they treat you like crap! I am passionate about what I do! I love my life and my job...my job is not really a job but a life choice. I choose to be a writer and an actor and unlike most of the world, I can follow my passion until I am 90! Some one out there is passionate about science or math [believe it or not!] but they are passionate! But here is the fundamental difference...
The people who are passionate about this are respected...even the ones who are not get respect. We artists do not! .
Respect involves honesty and fair treatment. When you respect someone, you speak to them as an equal and constantly remember that you treat them as you would want to be treated. You are honest with them and expect a level of reliability and happily return in similar measure you would never click at someone you respected...Sadly, this is not the case in my line of work! .
Do not get this twisted.I am not looking for your pity! None of us are! Actors, writers, directors and crew personnel love what they do and sometimes we are our own audience. In his book, Like a Flowing River Paulo Coelho spoke of a pianist, he was talking to God through his work, and nothing else mattered. That is US! That is you,the accountant,the mathematician,the teacher who is passionate about his work.Passion! .
Passion is why we are here! Passion to create to learn to give.
And it is this passion that the world is so happy to take advantage of! .
So what I do not understand is why you disrespect my passion. Actors, film crew and writers know what I am referring to. We work long hours and give more than our minds but also our hearts and souls to you,for you to throw it back in our faces and not have the respect to pay us on time.
I will not be using the note to complain about remuneration. I have been around a long time and I have worked for peanuts and good money in my 7 year stint. But what I will always tell guys is that when you want to pay me, be honest and pay me on time. Tell me what you have and if I can work for it, I will work. I am a man of my word…why cant you be the same??? .
Actors, stop taking shit! Stop undercutting each other! Let us unite as one.
Producers,be honest. Tell me what you can afford and then, do not give excuses! Be reliable and pay when you say you are going to pay otherwise, you are just like the conman on the street! The days of actors having to come back and work with you because you are the only show on TV are gone! I dare any producer to try that stunt.You can fool me once,you will never fool me twice! Trust you me,you will empty your pockets long before I empty mine!!!
Agents,be AGENTS!!!! Advise your clients properly…and then stop sending models for jobs meant for actors! The men and women who are actors are passionate about their work.
Newbies,I welcome you to the business but I dare you to undercut me or any other experienced actor or actress! I will personally come to your house and cut you! .
Newbies [producers],this is the wrong place to come thinking you can make a quick shilling! Three words for you..SLIT YOUR WRISTS!!! If you do not know what you are doing, either attach yourself to a company that knows what it is doing or go and do one of those things where people dont care if you are passionate or not..like walk in space...or assemble phones or make jeans in a Chinese factory of 6 cents an hour! .
Coz really, I am sick of the incompetence…and what people never seem to remember is the line from Sarafina......we can forgive...but we can NEVER forget! SO keep disrespecting us... we will never forget! .
Let us UNITE and change the world! .
Anger past! On to the next one!!! .
In the words of Charles J.Ouda (actor making a difference)