Ah, there’s nothing worse than a RULE shared far and wide with actors (or creatives of any kind) that serves no purpose other than to:
~ exacerbate the power disparity between buyers and artists
~ strike fear into the hearts of sensitive souls just trying to share their talent with the world
~ create more momentum for an us-vs.-them business model
I was tagged by the lovely Vanie Poyey (an LA-based headshot photographer whose first name rhymes with Bonnie; something I will always love that she told me the very first time we connected) in an Instagram post she shared from podcaster “Audrey Helps Actors.”
Here’s the post:
And here’s my response:
I so hate when actors get fed this nonsense and I really hate when well-meaning folks disseminate this stuff and turn it into RULES, cause sensitive creatives to FEAR THE BUYERS, and further create a wedge between the collaborators that are actor and agent / manager / casting director / producer / director / showrunner and so on.
My inbox is something for which *I* have boundaries. I don’t need to force the world to stick to a clock that works for ME. It’s crazy when buyers create actor obsession about shit like this rather than learning their own digital practices that would help them see email they want WHEN they want. We got into this business so we don’t HAVE TO live a 9-5/M-F life. I’ll email you at 3ayem on a Sunday if that turns me on. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
All this post means is ONE person gets updated in my #SMFAninjas show bible as “very picky about how they receive email”. Noted. MOVE THE EFF ON. 🙄
Aaaaaand my DMs blew up.
Not a big shocker, of course, as posts like this and strong opinions about things like these create LOTS of engagement (and in fact, that’s often a primary motive in sharing such “advice” — they know it’s bullshit but they also know it’ll get lots of shares and comments and huffing and puffing… and that’s good for beating the social media algorithm that otherwise punishes us unless we pay to promote our posts).
But all through my DMs were stories from actors and other creatives sharing about the level of anxiety that stuff like this produces in them.
They TRY to “do everything right” and they WANT to “follow the rules” and all they’re trying to do is get an agent and book work and have their talent out in the world where it can do more good than it does all alone in their souls, unexpressed.
And then they get a smackdown for sending an email on a weekend.
That is a digital boundaries problem on the part of the recipient. NOT YOU. You didn’t text the person. You didn’t show up unannounced at their home. You didn’t mail a life-sized cardboard cutout of yourself to them as a means of promoting your latest booking. You didn’t send a homing pigeon trained to come back to you with notification of an audition the CDs were to attach to the bird’s leg. (All things that have happened, BTW.)
You sent an email to an address that was provided and you did it probably the second you got wind of the opportunity that was potentially at the other end of that email address.
The anxiety whip-up that stems from stuff like this serves no purpose. And some of the worst of it comes from actors who THEN want to go off about how they’re expected to JUMP at any hour of the day or night, any day of the week, turn around an audition on no notice with 10 pages of sides… and then no one even views the damn upload of the self-tape anyway.
All of THAT ranting just further drives the wedge between buyer and seller. Between agent and artist. Between creative human and more creative human.
Here’s what to do when you see a post like this. Ready?
Open your Self-Management for Actors show bible (Don’t know what that is? START HERE and build your own for free. It’s your relationship management tool for running your small business. You’re welcome.), find the name of the buyer who has such strong opinions about receiving emails from actors on the weekend, ADD THIS DATA to that ONE PERSON’s record, and mooooooooove on.
Do not give it another thought.
Do not give your power away like that.
Anxiety is an OPTIONAL part of a creative life. Opt out, y’all.
All my enoughness-filled love,