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

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Actor Etiquette Soapbox or A Short Rant

Dear actor friends, aspiring actors, anyone who wears the actor hat who may read this post - having been on the asking people to do stuff side lately and watching friends move into the producing/asking people to do stuff side, I feel I have to stand up and say this:

If you are asked via email or phone message to do something acting related - anything from an audition to a reading to a role itself, even if this request comes out of the blue, from someone you've never heard of, even if you're not available or interested in the thing you're being asked to do, email or return the call WITHIN 24 HOURS.

Even if it's just to say 'I saw your message and I don't have an answer for you yet'

Why?  Because someone, somewhere, is doing some hard work, looking up contact information, asking for referrals and generally sweating because they need people in order to make a creative project move forward and they don't have enough of the kind of people that they need.  And, in the middle of that sweating and hard work, someone THOUGHT OF YOU.

This thought, my friends, deserves to be acknowledged. And acknowledged in a way that the person who reached out is aware of - so not just reading or listening and then deleting, but RESPONDING.  With thanks. With recognition of effort. With 'here's some other people instead of me'.  With grace.  And, above all, IN A TIMELY FASHION WITHIN 24 HOURS of the initial message.

Maybe your life is crazy hectic.  Maybe you're dashing between jobs and classes and auditions.  It takes just 5 minutes to triage your inboxes and note if anyone is asking if you would like to spend some time doing this thing that you love doing.  And maybe 5-10 more minutes to say yes or no or 'I need some more time to think about this, what is your deadline for decisions.'

And it's fine to say you're not available or not interested.  It's way better than silence.  Thank them for thinking of you, for reaching out, and move on.

Stepping down.

Regularly scheduled gender parity posts, random book reviews, and other actor daily life musings back atcha soon.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Counting Actors May 2013

A huge thank you to DivaFest and everyone who came out for last weekend's Symposium event!  Though nothing specific is on the books, I'm sure that more events like this one will be forthcoming, and I'll share them when I have more info.

In a slightly different vein, the Union Women Actors Coalition (UWAC) is presenting a 36 Hour Playfest/Benefit on June 24th, 8pm curtain.  UWAC was formed to both draw attention to lack of gender parity for Equity women and to showcase the Equity women of the Bay Area.  The 36 Hour Playfest will feature over 30 Equity women as actors, directors and writers in new plays written specifically for the Playfest.  All proceeds from the event will benefit the extraordinary non-profit San Francisco Safehouse, a unique 18 month residential program for homeless women leaving prostitution.  There's more info here, and you can (and should!) purchase tickets here.  The event has limited seating and will probably sell out.  I'm excited to be acting in this event.

Since June 2011, the Counting Actors project has now counted 273 shows!  For more info on the  project, visit this blog's Counting Actors page.

11 shows counted:
Indra's Net/Copenhagen
Douglas Morrison/Eurydice  (all 3 Stones played by women; usual casting is 2m, 1w)
Center REP/Pilgrims Shari and Musa in the New World
Center REP/Sweet Charity (male music director, female director, 3 credited writers - 2 men for boo & music, one woman for lyrics)
Shotgun/By and By
DivaFest/You're Going to Bleed
Butterfield 8/Salome
Central Works/Medea Hypothesis
ACT/Black Watch (all Scottish cast are counted as union actors, although not members of AEA, they are appearing with AEA's permission)
SF Playhouse/Abigail's Party
The stats:
7 male directors, 5 female directors
8 male writers, 5 female writers
76 total actors
41 men, 35 women
33 union, 43 non-union
23 union men, 10 union women
64 local, 12 non local

Thank you so much for those who've shared stats for May! This group includes audience and cast members like Alisha Erlich, Carol Lashof, Patricia Milton, Susan Shay, and Phoebe Moyer. 

I've got a few stats already for shows that won't open until June, given to me by folks working on them - I'm always happy to accept stats for shows happening in the future, but don't accept them for shows from the previous month.  It takes just 5 minutes to send the email - so if you're working on a show or see a show with performances in June, please visit the Counting Actors page for instructions on how to share the data.

As always, please share and talk about these numbers with others.