Gerald Langiri
November 01 / 2011

There exists a thin line, a very thin line between fairness and branding! There are actors who do not go for auditions, but instead get begged to sign contracts! What magic do they possess? It is a tussle between the experienced actors and the new faces. I have been lucky to have acted in a number of shows (a familiar face) but still, I am not yet where I would love to be (a renowned face) thus I am in the middle and hopefully unbiased while writing this article. Some say this to be a controversy! It is a very sensitive issue, but one that contain elements that are quite vital in the process of molding this industry into what we wish to see it become.

A good example would be a production company that held auditions for a new series claiming to be looking for new faces, yet the preview now shows more than half of the cast being very familiar faces and bearing the same cast used in previous series done by the same production company. Or is it that the new faces did not measure up and forced them to go against their own initial desires?

Do we want to be bombarded by the same (but experienced) actors on our screens or should we gamble and place our chips on new actors? Are we really to blame a Production for wanting or already having an actor in mind for a specific role? Certainly not, it happens even in Hollywood. Having previously worked with a specific actor gives the bond an obvious advantage and assures delivery by that actor. But should we accept lies that bind us to futile hopes? Is it not a waste of an actor’s time and casting funds too? Casting for a role already filled?

Another issue arises when a new actor sees a ‘familiar face’ cutting the line in an audition, or coming for callbacks and openly admitting to not even being there in the first auditions. Will we ever see any changes this season? Is this a biased inside job, or should ‘new faces’ thrive to become/earn this advantage? But how will a new face become familiar without being given a chance? How is a new actor to gain experience without getting cast? Auditions are fun, oh yes, but getting the job is much more fun! Then again, in defense of the familiar faces, have they not earned this special treatment? Would you also not jump the line and make use of this advantage if it was at your disposal? Would you give a damn about the person who has been in the queue since morning? Would you really?

Please note this article is not out to attack anyone, but rather to pose the topic that is under a lot of debate and that is the struggle between established and new actors. Have we become an ‘actors eat actors’ industry? Will we pull the trigger, or will we unite and humble ourselves; or even inform fellow actors/friends of auditions at the risk of them getting casted and not you? New faces can complain about/envy the familiar ones all they want, and the familiar faces can bash and criticize the new ones all they want, but while we are at it, let us remember that the fate of this industry is in you and me; the actors, casting directors, producers, even the guys who hold the boom and the viewers! Oh yes!

Please be the change you want to see. Do not ask me what is fair? You decide.

Written By Sabina Stadler
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