How to Celebrate Your Fellow Actors

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Auditions (and more auditions), rehearsals, eight shows a week, long days on set, giving your physical and emotional all, then giving it again (and again)—an actor’s life can be exhausting. Being there for your fellow actors can make all the difference—a kind word, the offer of some help, some flowers—and even small gestures can be supportive and encouraging. Page Clements, a multihyphenate in New York City, has five ways that you can show up for your friends and colleagues.

“Line?”

“You can always help other actors be on top of their lines. Let them know that you’re on call for them if they need it. I know someone whose friend was hired to understudy five roles—and they weren’t small roles! He had to learn all of those lines and she was his absolute go-to. They would run the lines over and over. There is nothing that can substitute for that kind of support. ”

Self-tape teamwork

“It’s tricky to get somebody who can really show up and help you with your self-tapes—not just by being a reader, but by being present and aware of any useful notes that you can give. Remind them to think of the given circumstances of the scene, such as desires, relationships, beliefs and background, or their character's motivations or intentions."

Encourage self-care

“Actors can get caught up in the work and it can drive them a bit crazy, so you can let them (and yourself) know when they have to find a balance. Taking a break for self-care tends to make [you] as an artist better when you come back to it. There are times when it’s useful to say, ‘You have to stop working on this right now. Let’s go out to dinner.’ Encourage them to get a massage or a mani-pedi. Offer to go with them—or even treat them! Or simply nudge them to go sit in the park for a while.”

Showing up

“I recently played a wonderful and very demanding role right on the heels of a huge personal loss. Throughout the audition, rehearsal, and run of the show, my best friend kept saying to me, ‘I will come to your house, I will hand you a Kleenex, I will act as a sounding board, help you run lines or wash dishes or whatever you need.’ That is showing up! Just knowing she was there for me gave me so much strength and support. Bringing flowers or a card—or both—to a show or screening is a great way to celebrate your friends and colleagues and to thank them for the gift of their performance.”

Check in on them

“Check in periodically to let them know that you are there for them. Even a text or a phone call can be so important. And don’t forget to touch base after a show or a shoot—we all know the let-down that can come after a wrap. You can remind your friends and colleagues that what they have as an artist is a gift and that they are simply between projects.” 

Page Clements is an actor, director, and Shakespeare instructor at T. Schreiber Studio in New York City.