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Casting Advice

Actor Screw-Ups on Social Networking Sites

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Actor Screw-Ups on Social Networking Sites
"Kevin Kemperer is doin' Brittany in the hot tub."

Sadly the only thing fictional about the sentence prior, pulled from a Facebook status, is the user's name; Kevin Kemperer. His "doin' Brittany in the hot tub," whether true or not, was only known to the user who posted the Facebook status and by Brittany.

I have a lot of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace friends. I'm gigged out by digital detente. About one percent of my computerized companions are 3D friends: i.e., people I actually call friends in the real world. An additional quarter of the techno-byte buddies are people I've met or worked with on occasion; acquaintances. Leaving the rest of the 74 percent of the thousands who Friend, Link, Space and Tweet me as strangers who I only know of by their statuses that stream by in a flood on my laptop screen.

Most of that 74 percentile deluge flowed to me. I know it's not because of my sapphire eyes, curly locks or sexual preference (damn). I know full well that when I confirm or accept the invites from strangers to become a virtual friend that it's my work as a director, casting director and/or author that's being exploited. I'm being networked. I have no qualm or complaint about that. That's part of this business. It's a vital survival component for success that anyone in any business should constantly be doing. As long as they befriend business buddies in a professional manner.

If you're going to network on social internet sites you would do yourself a professional service by creating two profiles. One for your true friends and family. Another to represent your career. Keep your contacts separate and relative for each profile.

I'm often amused and remain amazed about the number of inappropriate "statuses" streaming on my newsfeeds from the people who are using me as a professional networking connection. Some things are never meant to be witnessed. Like Rush Limbaugh repeatedly jumping naked on a bed.

Below is a sampling from a recent quick glance of Facebook and Twitter statuses better left un-texted. If you recognize any of them you can thank me for not revealing your name which I have replaced with "Anonymous."

"Anonymous fuck my life."

"Anonymous ain't gonna go and act a fool and be the lead story on the nigga news? Neva me sucka, I'll never be your lover, I'd rather make you suffer. You stupid motherfucker."

"Anonymous thinks there is nothing better than belting out songs that make the neighbors want to complain!"

"Anonymous is burnt as a lobster and totally depressed as hell that Chandler has left her forever (crying of course)"

"Anonymous is extremely frustrated..."

"Anonymous' back is surprisingly tight after yesterdays climbing, and longing for a back massage"

"Anonymous' headache is gone and I cleaned my own bathroom like a big girl."

"Anonymous is not good at this hope thing, but desperately needs to know so she can move on with her life. So the question is to act or not? Will either choice help for the better or worse? Or has fate already decided? Really... this is torture!"

"Anonymous has never been so humiliated by someone who calls her his best friend"

"Anonymous is generally displeased."

"Anonymous is Dear Best Buy, thanks for ruining my fucking day by accusing me of being a criminal. Why would I try to shop lift a 5 dollar DVD!?!?!?

TMI folks (too much interconnection). And too much information for me and other people you're networking with professionally to know. Way too much.

The current constant connection fad of passive aggressive communication via keystrokes is in overdrive. Online social networks can be great tools (of which a later blog on successful exploitation will be forthcoming). But for now; the lesson here is to keep your private thoughts just that. Private. With possible exceptions contained to family relations and reality friends.

If you still doubt about blindly proliferating inappropriate prose to the masses think about this. If you were applying for a school, employment at a Fortune 500 company or keeping in contact with your grandparents via a social internet web site would you advertise to them and the world you were "doing Brittany in the hot tub"? If so, then you're narcissism challenges that of Paris Hilton's. Get offline. Get help.


Paul Russell's career as a casting director, director, acting teacher and former actor has spanned nearly thirty years. He has worked on projects for major film studios, television networks, and Broadway. He is the author of ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor. For more information, please visit www.PaulRussell.net.  

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