I do. I really, genuinely hate it.
Unfortunately for me, BS seems to come in many forms now. There are even new forms of BS I’ve never seen or heard of before, popping up faster than the flies that circle them.
But do you know what BS I hate most of all?
Since I’ve become a producer as well as a performer, I’ve experienced and interesting shift in the way that I’m treated within the community. Oddly enough, this new treatment doesn’t come from those I expected it to – other producers, no they’re just as nice and polite as they’ve always been with me. It’s other actors that treat me differently.
And not the way you’d expect them to be.
NEWS FLASH: I am not threatening your career by creating my own work. Anyone who thinks I am is bat-shit crazy. That’s like saying that by having a baby I’m threatening your ability to have a baby. That theory may have worked when people believed that babies were magical miracles brought by the gods and the fairies, but thanks to science we know that my uterus is no threat to your uterus.
But back to the BS, the thing that I hate…
I can tell when people aren’t genuine. I know, you’d think that actors would be the hardest ones to read, but they’re not. We’re very sensitive creatures, actors. So when someone runs into me, or posts on facebook, or bumps into me at a bar, and starts with “Oooh heeeeyyyy how are you? I haven’t seen you in sooooooo long! How’s the show?” I know they don’t give two farts about me. Why? Because they didn’t really ask. What they really asked was “how’s the show?”, which is a ridiculous question because one of two things is going on:
1 – They’ve seen the show. (And they said nice things about it then, and they want to remind me that they saw my show and are saying nice things about it, so that I’ll remember that they’re good people and maybe someday hire them when I need someone like them or better yet I’ll center my next show completely around them and their talents because they were so gosh-darned-nice to me).
2 – They haven’t seen the show. (For whatever reason, but all excuses basically boil down to ‘they don’t care enough’, and don’t want me to know they don’t care enough, because they actually care enough to know that the show’s happening but not enough to support it, and so they’re asking to give the illusion of caring and being nice and maybe I’ll remember that they’re good people and hire them and… You get my drift).
Here’s the kicker: I know who sees the show and who doesn’t. I know who the nice people are. The nice people are the ones who told their friends about my show, who offered to work front of house, who said if I needed help with anything they were there, who asked real questions and wanted real answers, who offered to take me out to coffee on my schedule because they knew how crazy busy I’ve been. I get the ticket list, I know who sees the show.
You know how I know you’re kissing my ass? Because if you were a nice person, you’d know how the show was going. You wouldn’t have to ask.
So please, for the sake of actors everywhere and our reputations, can we please start being real with each other? If you tell me you’re too broke but you want to see the show, I’ll make it happen. If you tell me you didn’t know it was going on because you’ve been too busy, I won’t be offended.
If you tell me you can’t wait to see it and then you don’t show up, I think you’re a douche.