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Secret Agent Man

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts
If an actor gives a bad performance onstage and there's no one in the audience to see it, did the actor really bomb?

– This is one of my favorite quotes. It's from "The Color of Money." The line is said by Paul Newman's character, Fast Eddie Felson: "If you've got an area of excellence, if you're good at something, if you're the best at something, anything, then rich can be arranged."

– An actor posted the following question on the Back Stage message board: "I would like to be considered a Seattle/Portland local hire. Why? Because that's where I'm from and there are a few shows that shoot there. An actor friend says I should submit to agencies in those areas. I already have reps in L.A. Do I really need to find Seattle and Portland reps as well?" Now I have a question. Why would an actor leave a tiny market like the Pacific Northwest to compete in the largest market in the world and then waste his time and energy and money looking for work in the tiny market he left in the first place? (And I love how he says there are a few shows shooting in the Pacific Northwest. That's what I call actor logic. The last time I checked, there were more than a few shows shooting in L.A.)

– I find some of the character descriptions in breakdowns very amusing. Just the other day, I saw one for a female part that required "tasteful" topless nudity and lesbian kissing.

– Here's another quote I love. It's from Philip Seymour Hoffman: "Study. Find all the good teachers and study with them. Get involved in acting to act, not to be famous or for the money. Do plays. It's not worth it if you're in it just for the money. You have to love it."

– A young woman posted another interesting question on our message board: "I did a mailing and received a few responses from agents. One of them said we could meet, but only if it was over a drink. Is it okay for me to go?" I responded, "Yes, that's a good idea if you want to get raped." Agents meet potential clients in their offices, not bars. No exceptions. Please, please, please don't fall for this kind of inappropriate behavior, especially if you're a young woman.

– I get paid 10 percent for doing 90 percent of the work.

– Ed Harris is one of my favorite actors. In my book, the guy can do no wrong. Here's what he had to say about his early days as an actor: "Nobody in the movie industry knows I got out of CalArts in '75 and all I did was theater for six years. Fourteen plays. That was a vital time. That was a very exciting time for me."

– This is another example of actor logic, taken once again from the Back Stage message board: "Will having more pictures on Actors Access affect the number of auditions I get? For example, if I have 10 instead of two, does it increase the probability of me getting called in?" My answer: "Sure, and if you post a hundred, you'll get even more auditions. How about a thousand?" C'mon, let's get real. The number of pictures will not affect the number of auditions. The trick is to have several that show a few different sides of the roles you can play. A lot of my clients have only two, casual and professional, but a few have three. I can't imagine why you'd need more.

– Last week, a friend sent me the lyrics to a song by Joni Mitchell called "Free Man in Paris." He said the song was about me. He was right.

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