Thank You for Your Positivity in Helping Actors

The Actors Voice
by Bonnie Gillespie
week of May 28, 2012

Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001511.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

Your Turn

Bonnie,

Before moving to Los Angeles I read your column on The Actors Voice as much as my email and I continue to loyally follow. It really has been a good tool for me in gaining confidence and knowledge about my new environment.

I know it takes up a lot of your time to be helping actors and answering our many questions. Thank you for writing with such hope and optimism, that really spoke to me. I actually think about the actor and casting director relationship completely different because of you.

The main reason I write to you today isn’t just because I am so grateful for all the wealth of knowledge you’ve made so easily available, but just so you know that your work affects people in a positive way. I am so grateful that there is honest information out there that is accessible to me!

And your fun words like badassery, yeah, that only makes me want to keep reading! Keep up the positive spirit, it really means so much to me to learn from you.

All my best,
Nicole Steward

Nicole, thank you for this. As you might have guessed, my idling speed is happy. 😉 I don’t really know HOW to be a pessimist about this business. Sure, I’m realistic and I know hard the pursuit of a creative career can be. I always try to temper my positivity with a realistic assessment of what needs to be shaped up, on a practical level. I’m glad that balance has spoken to you, as you embark on your creative journey.

Before I went into casting in 2003, I had interviewed over 250 casting directors for Backstage and that experience was invaluable, because it taught me not only the trends and variations of pace involved in all the different types of casting, but also that former actors who go into casting are generally incredibly giving and open and eager to help actors succeed. There’s a new generation of casting director, it seems, and we’re more accessible, more instructional, less walled off from actors than the casting directors of 20 years ago.

Of course, everyone is different and that’s why I’m such a fan of seeing actors maintain a Show Bible about the folks they meet along the way. When you learn that a particular casting director is more cynical or harder to reach, you note that information (and then you never take it personally, because that’s their style, not a reflection of how they feel about you).

Lay a good foundation for your career, Nicole. You’ve got decades of this fun stuff stretched out ahead of you. And if it’s not fun, why do it? Right?


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Follow Bonnie on Twitter, circle up at Google+, subscribe at YouTube, download THE WORK podcast at iTunes, or hit “like” at the Facebook. For cool weekly emails from Bon and a free MP3, opt on in. Looking for Self-Management for Actors coaching? START HERE! Yay!

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