Today, I was on set with friends. I am almost always on set with friends.
The entertainment business is unique in many ways. The first is the way that you have DOZENS of “job interviews” in a year, where the average person only has maybe one…every ten years?! Actually, in this economy that’s not true, but my point is that most people have one or two jobs that they work at for an extended period of time. Actors are bouncing around constantly (filmmakers are too for that matter) seeking the next gig. Sometimes we are employed anywhere from several hours, to several weeks,
or months at a time. And then it’s on to the next big thing.
There’s an upside to this, however. You meet a TON of people!
You meet friends on sets, at network events, at auditions. It’s great. And if you’re an actor, it’s important to keep a few actor friends around. Actor friends always understand.
“Hey, I’m in the city. Wanna get a coffee? I have an hour.”
“Yeah, sure, I have an audition at 3 anyway so that’s perfect.”
When it comes to non-actor friends and FAMILY, it is important to compromise. While actor friends know you aren’t blowing them off when you say “No” (sometimes repeatedly) non-actor friends might think you’re being a haughty, neglectful jerk. An example of how NOTt to come off this way:
A text I received from my sister 18 minutes ago:
“Matt and I are going to see “True Grilt” if you want to finish it with us you can” *
My text back:
“I was actually gonna see if you want me to bring over The King’s Speech screener tomorrow. I’m staying in, I was filming all day, plus I downloaded a movie lol”
“Ok that sounds good!”
*Note – I went to see “True Grit” on Thursday before rehearsal with my SAG Awards movie cash and the movie stopped halfway through. I did get two free passes
to come back. Now I still need to make time to see it.
What’s cool is that no matter where you audition, you are likely to run into people you already know. Hopefully friends you already know. Seeing friends is of course awesome because it immediately dissipates any nerves you may have been experiencing on the way over due to running late, or finding a parking spot, or crappy weather, tripping on the stairs, etc. My friends and I call auditions “mini reunions.” If you have been keeping up with my blog so far, you know about my rule when it comes to auditions: have something fun to do afterwards. So, if you have friends hanging out and auditioning for the same project, you guys can plan something FUN TO DO when you’re DONE. I know, you love acting more and more, don’t you?
Recently, my friend Dave Neal and I both found out we were being cast on the same new web series. Then, I found out that a bunch of other actors are being cast in the series too, who I have worked with before, but haven’t seen in ages. It’s great to work with people who you have ALREADY worked with for obvious FRIEND reasons.
But when you know a person well in life, outside of filming, theatre, etc. it only enriches the experience you share when you’re working later on.
Linda Hamilton once said to me, “If you’ve ever acted, you’re an actor. Life in between each performance is research for the next role.”
She’s so right!
So today I worked in Boston on a web series about a cult. With my actor friends! (And director friend).
I get paid to play make believe with my friends. My 4 year old self is so giving me a high five right now.
Here in NYC with my friends Laura, Jess, and Eli. We all worked in the Berkshire Theatre Festival together. Aww…mini-reunion!
PS I saw “Conviction.” Hillary Swank and Sam Rockwell had wonderful chemistry as brother and sister. And what an nice surprise to see Minnie Driver again! She was great. All very convincing, with lovely character arcs. Hillary Swank’s “conviction” makes you believe that she’s going to clear up her brother’s “conviction” the whole time. I definitely recommend this film.