the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area

mostly the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also the home of the Counting Actors Project

Monday, March 14, 2011

Practicing Generosity

When you see a great acting job opportunity, but you're not right for it, what do you do?

I like to share it.  If it's a job that someone I know should be going out for, I forward the opportunity to them. 

But wait, isn't this a competitive, cut-throat business?  Jobs are scarce, tons of actors are looking for work, keep things to yourself, right?

I don't think so.

I like to think that the work is abundant, and it's just a matter of matching the right person to the right project.  I truly feel that when my friends succeed, I am also successful.  I think about it this way - if the Bay Area builds a reputation as being a place where there are talented people, more people will actually cast their projects here (instead of LA, NY, whatever) and if more people cast their projects here, more work will come our way and therefore more opportunities to be successful.

I also think about this: it's a lonely enough business as it is.  I'd much rather go through the whole slog of auditions, callbacks, etc knowing that others are rooting for me, instead of out to get me.  So I root for them.

P.S. (4/11/11)  A terrific post on generosity in the theater by Polly Carl is at the Arena's Howlround blog.


  1. Great blog, Valerie! I totally agree, I think most of us are in this business because of our giving, sharing natures anyway. I love to hook people up with jobs - and one of my favorite things to do is recommend that gal who is my exact same type if I ever have to pass up a gig.

  2. Thanks Maryssa! And, recommending someone when you have to pass is a great way to continue the relationship w/the people who offered the gig in the first place - so that you're both still connected the next time they have a project you're right for.