Yesterday while typing away doing some media work in one of my additional jobs for a production company, a very well recognized Australian film’s director (no names here, but I will send him this article) arrived and started talking with my boss about many exciting news of some amazing productions happening right now at the studios where we were in and Australian wide. The part that got my attention the most and made me completely stop what I was doing to get into the conversation was when I heard this big Australian director saying that it has been challenging to find actors because many big name Australian actors don’t want to be involved in Australian productions anymore.
What the????? How come?????
There are thousands of actors in Australia working so hard in theatre and trying their luck in the infinite world of independent films, where actors practically pay off their own pocket to work in because most of independent productions don’t have enough budget to even cover travel expenses for actors (I’ve seen many times productions in which producers don’t even feed the actors!). To make it worst, unfortunately more often these independent productions ends up nowhere because many producers and directors don’t bother doing all the intense work (and costly) that it takes to market the film, no wonder the big guys don’t consider the extremely hard working actors “big names”, because while actors are busy working in many dead end independent productions that gets nowhere they end up never becoming a “big name actor”, which is what “big name directors” are mostly interested in.
Now question: How come in an industry with so many unemployed actors, these multi-million productions are finding challenging to find cast?
I also heard that they chase up big casting agents to do the job, including big American casting agents.
With so many people filtering the work and chasing up pre-written stereotypes (my agent once told me that the agency can’t submit actors unless it completely fits the description on paper given by the casting agents) what happens is that there is all this work out there, all this money ready to pay the due fees to all professional actors out there, there are actually productions getting held back for lack of talent, but somehow, there are thousands of actors out there who keep hearing from their agents that there is nothing happening. How come???
Now, my message to all directors and producers and casting directors out there:
Dear all, please start being open mind and creative in a sense of doing a more wide search when looking for actors. How about, start really digging in, look up at so many actors who for example started writing and producing and even editing, just to generate more interesting work for themselves to showcase their talent so they can get a change to become part of the bigger game. I know that there are thousands of talented actors out there and it must be hard to screen everybody to find all the diamonds ready to shine with you, but it would be hard work worth doing it, because I’m absolutely sure if you guys look better you will find hundreds of actors as good as or even better than the ones who already became famous and have big Hollywood cheques getting thrown at them everywhere they go so they don’t give a damn anymore. Look at the new people, better, look up the old talent who has been out there for decades even, I’ve seen some brilliant actors who have been in the industry for 20, 30 years and didn’t give up in their career because they love it so much, and they are still working hard at it, have some other jobs on the side to pay the bills, but they still dedicate themselves with their heart and soul to their career as actors and are still auditioning again and again and waiting for the call that could be their career breakthrough.
If you look, we are everywhere, it can be working on your computer, your yoga teacher, the security guy at the night club, your real estate agent, your accountant, your lawyer, your landscaper, your train driver, literally everywhere. Most ended up getting a “real job”, many gave up on the career, but many of us are still here ready to work with you.
You know, once I’ve heard Ethan Hawke answering in an interview when the interviewer asked if he prefer being an actor or author, Ethan Hawke answer that he was grateful for his career as an actor because he bought his house, brought up his family and had a good living thanks to it, I was thinking with myself, we should all be able to be that thankful to our career as actors, it’s only fair and is not too much to ask when you work so hard at it.
We do our part, but there is this whole system in the way between us, you and the work, and if we all communicate better and change the system, we might be able to help each other better, and achieve all our dreams together.