Hollywood. Broadway. Sure, all of our interests pique when we see a new flick with our favorite actors listed. It makes more people come to it. It makes more people interested in it. But if a movie or a musical looks good and is written well, then no matter who is in it, it should be okay. Hollywood really needs to be using more unknowns. And more theater actors in particular. Or actors that have done indie films.
WE’RE STARTING TO FIX IT, BIT BY BIT.
We’re starting to see it more and more. Foreign films in particular are casting unknowns. America? A little off the ball. But, we’re changing it. Slowly. Like West Side Story where teenager Rachel Zegler was plucked out of thousands by director Steven Spielberg. Or in Law and Order, where the casting directors tried to use every theater actor they could during Covid. When we were all out of work.
BUT NOT ENOUGH.
But the thing is, not everyone who is just in the union, who is just on Broadway, who is just a big name aren’t always the end-all. It’s time to give the equally hardworking unknowns projects as well. People should not have to jump through hoops to be seen or to be cast. But now revivals like Funny Girl etc are still using big names to draw crowds (even if Beanie is going to SLAY). And the one thing I’ve noticed over the years is everyone is starting to sound the same.
AUDITIONS SUCK. BEING A NUMBER OR A HEADSHOT SUCKS.
There is nothing more frustrating and soul-sucking than auditions, or self-tapes. You just wait and wait for the perfect project to come along. And when it does? It’s always a name. Someone who knows someone. They went in a different direction. I hear it a lot from fellow actors, that’s the number one rejection phrase. Very rarely is it just all about talent. We as an industry need to fix this. Change it.
Mold it into something that includes others. More and more there are unknowns being given chances, but nine times out of ten, movies, television shows, concerts–are all to pull in people. And how do you do that? Big names. Or if the director knows someone, or if someone is related to someone. Favoritism.
Let’s stop that. Let’s bring the industry back and make it about hard work and talent, not who you know.