Are You The Kind Of Person People Want To Work With?
Most people have a pretty strong idea of the kinds of work they want to do and the kinds of people they want to work with. Perhaps you dream of being directed by Scorsese or Tarantino or to star opposite Clooney or DiCaprio; Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Lawrence. There’s nothing wrong with having big plans and dreams, but most people are so busy figuring out what they want to do and who they want to work with, that they fail to ask themselves one crucial question:
Are YOU the kind of person OTHER people want to work with?
There is a huge misconception in Hollywood, that all it takes is good looks and talent to be a success and if you have enough of at least one of those, you don’t really need the other. There is a degree of truth to this. Hollywood is filled with extraordinarily gifted actors and actresses that would have never been pursued by the modeling industry, and conversely, there are some fantastically beautiful men and women working in the industry that will probably never be nominated for any serious acting awards.
But what they lack in either looks or talent, they tend to make up for in one crucial area:
They tend to be people that other people want to work with.
So, how do you know if you are someone that other people want to work with?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Are you someone that people want to spend hours and hours with on set?
The amount of time that actors and actresses spend in front of a camera is fairly miniscule in comparison to the amount of time they will spend in hair, makeup, wardrobe and hanging out in various trailers on set. If you are not a person that other people enjoy being around, you can expect to have a fairly short career as a professional actor.
Can you be trusted with other people’s spouses and significant others?
Actors and actresses on the whole tend to be very charismatic – they can be charming, engaging and, of course, are often exceptionally attractive. Because so much emphasis is placed on their looks and talent, however, they can also be insecure – as all of the most talented people in any field tend to be. Being married or in a serious or committed relationship is already hard enough, but in the glitzy, glamorous environment of Hollywood – particularly filled as it is with Paparazzi and tabloid journalists constantly looking for salacious stories, it can be brutal. As tempting as it might be to engage in a little “harmless” off-screen romance with your on-screen romantic co-star who is romantically engaged with someone else, it is a very bad idea. You do not want to develop the reputation for being a home-wrecker or relationship buster. Never underestimate the power of an invested spouse or significant other to keep a leading man or lady away from the same set as a reputed home wrecker.
Do you help others be more committed to their work, or do you distract them by your undisciplined lifestyle?
The most successful actors and actresses in Hollywood are disciplined professionals. They show up on time, they know their lines, they’ve done their character work, they’ve gotten together with their Directors and Costars to discuss their characters, they’ve “shadowed” real life people that have the same jobs as their characters. Sometimes, they have even spent months eating a very strict, rigid diet, engaging in grueling workouts or a very specific type of training for a given role and possibly even been in bed every night by 8:00 or 9:00 at night. That’s a hard life to lead in the first place and they don’t need anyone tempting them away from that life by inviting them out partying all the time. They need people who are going to engage in the same strict disciplines they do to encourage them and help them stay on their path to success.
Do you have a great attitude?
There is probably no attribute that is more indicative of how successful a person will be than their attitude. Your 4:00 am call time may start with 4 hours in a makeup chair – with a makeup artist that also has to be there at 4:00 am. Do you sit in the chair and complain about how early it is, or do you focus on how excited you are to be – for that day at least – a working actor? When the scene being shot before yours goes long and you find out you may not be able to leave the set until 1:00 am, do you whine and complain to all the other people on set that have to be there just as late as you do - or later - or do you put a big smile on your face and say “Yes! We can do this!” You have a choice: you can allow your attitude to pull the people around you up or down. Take a guess which one makes people want to work with you more?