An Ode to Actors Everywhere

There are amazing people everywhere, in every field, doing incredible work, or who just are incredible because they bring love, joy, generosity, and a strong work ethic to their job, regardless of the color of their collar. But actors are something special to me. Of course I’m going to say that. It’s my field. But you really, really are.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on a job for the last couple weeks where all I have to do for the session is interview the actors and get to know them a little bit. I know some session directors are “over it” and have lost the love of our job—if they ever even had it to begin with—and would loathe hearing actors talk about themselves all day, but to me it’s been one of my favorite jobs in recent memory. I get to see you guys act all the time, but I rarely get a chance to see you.

First off, and obviously, so many of the actors I interviewed are from interesting places around the world: Siberia, Turkey, South Africa, France, Fiji, Argentina, Australia, Connecticut. Of course, we all know that most of the L.A. talent pool is made up of transplants from elsewhere, but have you ever had the chance to sit down and talk to hundreds of them, uninterrupted, and really learn about these places?

Then, it seemed that every actor had such interesting passions outside of acting and modeling:

A painter working on a collection of hands. She said, “We’ve built everything around us with our two hands.” She found that fascinating, and after listening to her talk about it, so did I.  

A handsome divorced father of two, who turned his pain into a technology for others in order to help them avoid the struggles he endured; unable to keep his kids in the school and home they loved. He said so openly that his experience “destroyed” him. As a man, how often do you get to hear such intimate, brutal, and beautiful honesty from another man whom you’d think, not knowing him, has it all?

One woman had just gotten back from a wedding for her friend where she had agreed to make the cake; a huge, leveled cake on risers. She and I laughed over how the one detail she hadn’t anticipated was how to transport the damn thing over hill and vale to the location. “Never again!” she proclaimed.

One young, lovely woman, the one from Siberia, had just arrived in L.A. three months ago. She was alone here and missed her family. She joked about surviving the harsh environment of southern Siberia in a small town. She seemed like such a sweet, well-mannered person, and you could see the thrill of the culture shock she was going through on her face.

An older man and I discussed the dangers of Fukushima radiation destroying the Pacific. I met a singer nervous about the release of her first blues album. A budding jewelry designer, who I was able to refer to a resource that my girlfriend is using for her own jewelry business. Another jewelry designer that gave me great advice to pass along to her. One guy was excited about moving in with his girlfriend for the first time and we discussed the key to living together (don’t sweat the small stuff). Another dude had traveled all over the Northeast crashing on couches of people he didn’t know but was connected to via social media!

I could go on and on. And I feel like I should because all of their stories were interesting and worthy of you hearing them. I want all of you to fall in love with them like I did. In the sense that, we’re so lucky to be living at a time and in a place where we can spend our days together like this and in common pursuit of our artistic dreams. There’s something about the environment of an audition that makes you guys open up and share things you probably don’t share with everyone else around you. It’s a privilege to witness.

I know it’s tough out there. I’m right there with you. In my book, I say how almost all the actors I meet are intelligent, lovely, talented, and capable people who could do anything with their lives but who’ve chosen and love a career that might never love them back. It’s nice to spend a day together where it’s all about you—where you are enough. And next time you’re in a waiting room before an audition, I hope you’ll look around and see other awesome people, not competition.

If you ever doubted whether what you said at an audition mattered, if you ever questioned whether you should be yourself or be open and authentic in an interview-style audition, if you ever thought you were just a number or invisible, I’m here to tell you that is so not the case. I can’t wait to meet you and learn about how you are, where you’re from, what your heart has guided you to do, and in what ways you’re making our world a better or more colorful place.

You are not only enough. You are amazing. You were here and you were loved.