Actors

Discussion in 'General Writing Discussion' started by Mouse, Mar 27, 2012.

  1.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    I was going to post this in the 'quick questions' thread but thought it might go on for a bit so...

    One of my PoV characters is an actor. Not a massive Hollywood actor, more someone who's done more smaller films and maybe one big-ish one which earned him a lot of cash.

    So what would he do when not acting? Interviews, photo shoots, auditioning?

    Where in London are magazine photo shoots likely to be held? (I tried Googling this but got nowhere - in fact, I've just spent the last half hour looking at pictures of Ben Barnes. :eek:)

    How often would an actor see his agent?

    Do you think the actor would have enough money to pay two people? One a monthly wage, the other a bribe. I guess he would if he did modelling and whatnot too?

    Would he lose a potential acting job if he got sick?

    Ta muchly.
  2.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    I do think the interviews and photo shoots would be more connected with a new movie or play.

    So if this actor's presently out of work, the agent will be trying to find the actor work, perhaps discussing possibilities, is he prepared to lower himself to do this or that tv ad for less than he would like to earn, possible modelling, as you say -- any publicity better than none? You're only as good as your last movie, etc. All the industry cliches?

    Auditions? I imagine the main function of the agent would be to set up auditions for the actor. Auditions for decent parts would be what he's most trying to get?

    But all just guesswork on my part ...
  3.  
    chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo

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    Since an actor spends such a large proportion of his professional life "resting", (s)he must have wages which allow him to earn a reasonable living on two days of work a week. If he should become fashionable, flavour of the month, he could be working in a couple of soaps, doing voice dubbing, commercials, as you said modelling, appearing in interviews, maybe even do some work on a film, or stage play. During this period he could easily pay a few employees; but it would be unwise to do so; it's a temporary state. Nevertheless, several members of the acting profession have been known not to be excessive in the wisdom department.

    Strangely enough it's easier for the bit part actor to have these periods of glut; the ones who can move from police drama to hospital scene, SF to period costume with a touch of makeup, without you saying "Oh, I remember her from 'Casualty'. She's a baddy,'

    And eighteen hour days are not unknown, families forget what parents look like, it's work. And at quarter to nine the next morning in the studio to do an add for a cosmetic; when the fever dies down you can't afford to alienate the clients who kept you eating during the lean years, for who is to say those years have been banished for good? In the theatre, 'happily ever after' is until your next opening night.

    Some take extended holidays to avoid ridiculous tax brackets, ans overseas studios get little notes saying 'I'll be available from x to y, is there any work in the region?' (no, I'm not giving any names; the Inland Revenue Service probably knows all about them already, but…)

    On the other hand, such a high proportion of rôles involve physical contact, I don't see how you could survive in the business if skin knocked you out; it would be like an allergy to grease paint.
  4.  
    Mouse

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    Thanks, RJM, Chrispy.

    Yeah, he's had a bit of a freakout wondering if he could ever act again. He's hoping it's a temporary condition.

    That's one of the reasons I was wondering what happens when an actor gets sick. Could he stall a job by playing the sick card or would that just lose it for him?

    Also, anybody got any good ideas for a gossip type magazine? Every one I'm coming up with seems to already exist!
  5.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    He summons Dr Feelgood ... :)
  6.  
    chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo

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    If an actor gets sick they get another one. They've no choice; deadlines have very little slack in them, Similarly if one has an outstanding contract, and the present shoot is running late you have to be one of the multimillion dollar superstars for them to hold it for you. Nobody is irreplaceable; after all, what if you died?
  7.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    Yeah that's what I thought, thanks! Will up the level of panic, I think!
  8.  
    AnyaKimlin

    AnyaKimlin Active Member

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    Go through David Tennant and John Barrowman videos on youtube - I swear those two video tape everything !!! Interviews, book signings, visits to their agents office, what happens when they get sick, farts on set, what they get upto behind the camera or back stage etc They are also good at speaking about it in the interviews.

    Gossip Magazine: Hollywood Talk, Paved with Stars, Allo, Glossy Mag, Lily Jay, LA Angle.
  9.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    Thanks, Anya. I might just do that! Shouldn't get distracted by either of those two guys. ;) All I learned from Ben Barnes was that he once did 90 interviews in one day.

    Ta for the magazine suggestions!
  10.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    That's the one!

    But will your own readers believe you?

    Sheesh ... what a world! :)
  11.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    Auditions of various types. He will undoubtedly find a role in a stage play at least two or three times a year, initially trading on his one success. If he has a good voice, he might also audition for adverts on audio media and even, if successful, have a fairly regular Talking Book job to fly off to.

    His future success depends almost entirely on his agent's ability to promote him so there will be regular phone calls and occasional lunch-time meetings to discuss strategy. He will undoubtedly have a friend who is a playwright and may include mentioning his pal's latest play at some of these with a view to getting some promotion money behind it.

    He'll still get the occasional "Special Extra" job, assuming he isn't too proud or too famous from his other work, where he'll appear as a speaking, but unnamed, character in one or, at the most, two scenes. He can even pick up the odd featured role in a reconstruction programme, like Crime Watch, for example.

    He might have to bite the bullet and appear in some awful, tacky costume for a kids' show or a panto or something and will insist on being billed as "Manhunter's Ted Bloefeld" or whatever.

    He will more likely sink into depression, than freak out, if he senses his career might be over. An actor's profession is built on emotion and expressing emotional range, but his most common characteristic is insecurity.

    I once did an interview with a Japanese magazine, arranged by my then-agent. It was obvious that they didn't know who I was and I didn't know who they were, but it was a lovely chat :)

    The acting profession at this level is actually a comedy gold-mine, apart from the fact that no one really cares what an actor's life is like cos they're too busy looking up pictures of Ben Barnes on line :p :)
  12.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    Ha! :D Thanks for that, Inter. Good stuff. (Japanese magazine?!)
  13.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    Yeah. Qi - pronounced Chi :)

    No, I'm kidding. I don't remember what it was called, except that it was definitely probably not Herro.


    Shoot me now :eek:
  14.  
    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    So your avatar isn't one of their more unusual covers, then?
  15.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    If you look very closely you can just see my face reflected in one of the strings - I put that in my scrap-book as "My First Featured Cover".
  16.  
    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    According to your unofficial biography, your face is reflected in all those strings. :rolleyes:
  17.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    And who wrote my unofficial biography? You did. So...
  18.  
    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    Not me, Gov....
  19.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    You forgot the bit where they starved so badly in their garret they couldn't crawl out to work.... a lot of the work is seasonal, and some of the actors I know double with second jobs when they can't get anything.
  20.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    It's true, but the dole office is always there to keep one out of garrets and in floppy hats. And one good voice-over can pay between 3 and 10 grand! Not bad for a day's - I nearly called it work :D

    The big money is when the actor can do a range of voices. I know some impressionists who get work in radio ads by not sounding like themselves at all. They're mostly stand-ups as well, though, so they'll nip off on an annual pilgrimage to the Edinburgh Fringe or Cat Laughs.


    Actually, www.notme.gov

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