13. Assume competence. It’s easy to hide behind the ideology of a class or a team, but sooner or later you will have to courageously declare your own ability, and rid yourself of the excuse of learning and trying.
14. Keep track of time. I’ve seen people get in the same grind for years. With the advent of longer training programs, and more performing opportunities in various levels, time can get away from you. Keep an outside eye on when to do what. Time can be deceiving.
15. Accept that you will work with people you may not like. In this profession, sometimes we think we deserve to always work with people in a loving and affirming environment. I come from the construction business, so I find this particularly ridiculous. “Hey, Jim isn’t being that nice when he gets off the Bulldozer, and he looks at me weird, particularly when we are running water lines.”
Even in this business, can you imagine going up to a television producer or director of a film you’ve been cast in and complaining about that guy’s personality.
16. Be on time. You don’t have much control in this profession, but you can control your time. Be known as someone who’s a little early, and the rewards will be great.
17. Understudy well. As much as people would like to convince you that being an understudy isn’t an audition, being an understudy is an audition. But not just for the stage, but how you work. Be prepared. I fucking mean it. Understudying is an opportunity, and there is nothing that fucks you more than showing up unprepared. An understudy rehearsal, or “put-in”, is not an event for the cast; it is an extra amount of work. So it isn’t novel when you don’t “have it down”. Yes, there is allowances, for sure, but learn whatever you can.
18. Are YOU a business? Yes. You are a business. I’ll be the first to say that this notion is confronting, but it is, of course. true.
19. If you have a note for another actor, just don’t give it to them. If you must give another actor a note, then don’t. If you really must give another actor a note, then ask permission first. And be o.k. with their answer. Do you know why? Because they may not want to fucking hear your fucking note.
20. You will tend toward every reason in the world, including the bizarre ironic notion that the information is available, to NOT do any of this. Why not just do this? It is actually a tangible thing and you will not lose your identity along the way. You will not sacrifice that which makes you unique or funny.
Do. These. Things.