¡Hola Bonnie!

I just finished reading your advice to the woman being pushed towards a generic name and Latino roles and I had to write back and let you know how much I appreciated your advice! About a year ago, my commercial agent pushed me into being known commercially by a pseudonym — which I really don’t like — to help make me more generic, and yet my commercial auditions have been few and far between (maybe five or six in the past year). I think I’m going to have a nice conversation with them and explain that I feel very disconnected from that made-up name, and that I want to use my real name. Doesn’t seem to hurt me theatrically… so, thanks for the encouragement!

Gotta tell ya, I love reading this. I received a bunch of good email in response to the Your Turn about a generic stage name. Apparently, there are a lot of managers and agents out there telling their clients that they need to homogenize themselves with more vanilla names. If my column gives a little “backup” to an argument when an actor is feeling steered in the wrong direction, I’m thrilled. They say your name is the word you hear most in your entire life, so it’s not a small deal to disassociate yourself from it, even if you can convince yourself that it’s in your career’s best interest.

I think there are a lot of suggestions made to actors along the lines of, “Let’s change things up,” that may or may not be the right call. Yeah, you might be getting out less lately because of your headshots. Maybe because of your name. Perhaps you’ve moved into a different type category and the industry doesn’t know it yet. Could be your demo reel. Or your lack of training. Or, or, or… And since you can’t go around changing every possible variable in reaction to a fickle, irrational industry and its denizens’ whims, you should consider the importance and weight of each change very carefully before making it.

Sometimes, the only thing standing between you and the career you’ve always dreamed of is time. Wouldn’t it suck to have made some major change just moments before everything — in its original state — had been around long enough to click?

What say you? Do you have the patience to let everything land — consistently — before changing things up? Or are you a fair-weathered friend to your own name? Let’s chat below! I wanna know.


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/000719.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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