‘There was a time when standards were high, when their voices where good,
And the theatres inviting
There was a time when we didn’t whine
And the world was a song
And the West End was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong’
Having woken up to Stuart Piper’s article
#Supertwitterfacebookyoutubexpialidocious as featured on ‘The Stage’ website, I
felt compelled to respond with my feelings on this.
Now I know poor Stuart will be getting a backlash from emotional Actors out
there who are getting very frustrated with the way things are going in the business.
However, in his (and any agent’s defence), the main objective is that dirty old
word ‘money’. So morals and emotions don’t seem to come into it and so, for that
reason alone, you can see why social media and having many followers counts for
much more than ability – and why should it matter if the commission is rolling in?
But, for now, the moral response from the emotional actress is that quite
frankly I’m frustrated and deeply saddened by this article.
When I entered this business, there was so much talent out there to
inspire me. I used to buy my cheap little restricted view seat and sit there, on
my own, soaking in the standard of performance. I remember being blown away and so
my passion could only grow from there.
I saw breath-taking performances from the likes of ‘Steve Balsamo’, ‘Hal Fowler’,
‘Joanna Ampil’ and ‘Zubin Varla’ to name but a few. And that is when I said to myself, ‘this is what I want to be and this is as good as I want to become – and I will.
I then proceeded to train and work extremely hard to reach that certain level I
believed was crucial in order to secure a job. It’s heart-breaking to say but I needn’t have bothered; I could have been mediocre and still stood the same chance as I do now; because ability seems to be falling further and further down the list of priorities. If I could have foreseen how it would all pan out, I would have taken another routefor sure.
The cycle has changed and due to a combination of many different factors, we are
now left in a very sorry state of affairs.
Reality TV, social networking, manufactured celebrities to name but a few are the reasons why WE, the actors feel at an all-time low and why STUART and his agent buddies are
rubbing their hands together thanking Facebook and Twitter for such a great tool
in order to sell their successful, yet sometimes untalented clients, (you know it’s
true so don’t shake your head Stuart).
If what Stuart is saying in his article is true of producers and casting
directors seeking their performers via the number of ‘followers’ they have, then
‘Spotlight’ watch out, you will be out of business very soon. We may even reach
the day where a CV, headshot and audition aren’t necessary anymore.
Instead of the usual audition speak we will get this;
Panel: ‘Hello, how many followers
do you have?’
Actor: Umm, well, 278 but I’m working really hard on my re-tweets and more
people are FF-ing me by the week so I’m sure I’ll get more . . . .’
Panel: ‘I’m sorry but it’s a no for today; we went for the other choice who
just beat you with 300 followers’.
Oh it’s so sad, there is only one thing to do, which is laugh!
Although, I wholeheartedly disagree with this way of working, I would be a
hypocrite not to say how much Twitter has helped me express my views anonymously
without fear of getting a backlash. I have ultimate freedom to say what I think
(and what everybody else thinks), and that has helped me enormously to realise that
I’m not going barking mad and that a lot of people agree with me and share my
So thank you Twitter; however, if I ever want to make something of myself, I
better get a move on and catch up with Tulisa (her followers that is, obviously
not her talent).