Being liked

  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Im interested-

    Has anyone felt the pressure of not6 being liked by directors personally and getting stressed about whether they will hire you again as a result?

    Its so easy to fall into the trrap of being a people pleaser and God forbid you come across too strong or decisive etc , they will then not like you.

    Anyone else felt this?

    • 26th Oct 2007
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  • User Deleted

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    Well, being universally adored I don't really have this problem...

    I am of course joking. Casting Directors don't seem to love me at all!

    I think there is always a pressure, as an actor, to be liked. We are made to feel so disposable that we worry about speaking our minds.

    I think we just have to do the job as well as we can and if we have to speak up occasionally to do that then fine. Let's just hope that directors respect our honesty!

    • 22nd Oct 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Geoff, I assume you are also an outspoken type as well.... we are teh ones who find it hard to shut up as we are organically MOUTHS!!!!

    • 22nd Oct 2007
    • 2
  • User Deleted

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    Me? Outspoken? I'm the shy, retiring type I am! It really depends who I'm working with and how comfortable I am.

    I was joking with a friend recently about how I don't have much authority about me. She said that ordinarily I don't, but occasionally a moment of authority bubbles up out of me and surprises everyone.

    So watch out for occasional moments of authority!

    • 22nd Oct 2007
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  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    Do I look like I'm a people pleaser? Do I have a problem getting cast? The answer to both questions is no, not really!!

    It's not about being liked...it's about convincing the casting director/director you can deliver what they need on the day...and making sure you actually can!!!

    ForbesKB

    • 22nd Oct 2007
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  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    That said, no one trusts a people-pleaser!

    It's better to really be yourself, albeit a civil version- at least then if they don't want to work with you it's not because of some false identity you've created.

    Aside from the character you're playing, obviously!

    • 22nd Oct 2007
    • 5
  • Al Gregg

    Actor

    I think the main thing is to be yourself. If you're more worried about what people think about you than you are about your acting then maybe this profession isn't the right one for you. Harsh but true.

    Having said that you do have to steer clear of numerous w*****s in the business, but there are plenty of good people in it aswell.

    • 23rd Oct 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    I think its crucial to say - just before I am TOTALLY misunderstood on this post- I am certainly not a "popular " person by any means....I tend to speak my mind and fall out with people a lot as I am direct and speak my mind.

    However, I think this question is directed from a place that benefits ALL actrs as I ahve not met an actor yet who is not concerned about thsi. Many become spineless and have no sense of self, especially when in three days other cast members become their best friends and I ahve seen this over and over again... its always astounded me.

    I on the other hand have in the past told management not to treat me like dirt as I deserve professional respect, as do all people- and had it out with actirs as well!!!!

    Its very easy for people to say "yu shouldnt be in the business if you ahve this probelm" but i think its also true to say that the MAJORITY of actors do not respond to events as they woudl like to- they are afraid of never working again that this becomes an issue. I ahve done so many shows where I have heard people bitch and moan backstage and when the managemnent asks if anything can be changed, the cast is happy smiley. They are good actors but there are so manhy dynamics that get in the way of just being able to do your job sometimes- and thats another post!!!!

    This also happens in the corporate world( I used to BE in the corporate world so I know) Even with actors where Equity has come into a show, the actors dont feel free to air their grieveances becasue many times I have heard it said Equity doesnt make a difference!!! Doubtless I will upset many by saying this, but I have heard it said too often. Officcials from Equity are chums with top managments and this intimidates them... if thsi is true I dont know.

    Im sorry, but I think that all actors have this problem and its one that needs to be addressed- the few who dnt get intimidated-- you have my admiration and eternal respect- but I have not met an actor yet who has not succumbed.. either on a tour with difficult cast dynamics, the shallow fluffiness that hits mainly in musicals, or even the way that actors ingratiate tehmselves to management. In general I think its awful , but I ahve had this probelm before and so ahve we all.

    Its also that we are so NEEDY for work that we think if we change who we are as people we will be accepted.

    • 23rd Oct 2007
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  • User Deleted

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    I certainly do not go out of my way to be liked!!!

    But...

    I do go out of my way...

    To be...

    Respected!

    That goes for anything - I try to do...

    :)

    • 24th Oct 2007
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  • User Deleted

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    I want my interviews and auditions to be liked; I want my characterisations to be liked...I want my work to be liked!

    If I am liked personally it helps, but it is not a criterion for me.

    My close friends and family love and like me; that is enough for me.

    I will always speak up for what I believe in, for what I find wrong, for what annoys me.

    I will be liked by those who are honest and have integrity; I may not be liked by those who have double standards, those who have false pride, false support...but....at the end of the day...I may not like THEM either.

    Talent WILL out; be brave, be adventurous, be true to your beliefs, to yourself and...somewhere...someone will like you, maybe love you...possibly ADORE you!

    • 24th Oct 2007
    • 9
  • User Deleted

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    I wholeheartelly agree with Nigel.

    Saying that, your'e not there to be liked but to fulfil something and it matters not, if you are an actor or a company executive or an electrician.

    Some people will like you others will despise you.

    The point I am tying to convey is, do you care?

    • 24th Oct 2007
    • 10
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    I think the answer to this is that 'You can't please all the people all the time..'

    I used to have this philosophy that I wanted everyone to like me to the extent that I would go out of my way to make myself likeable.

    Since no matter what you do there will be personality issues on one side or the other there will naturally be a flaw in that reasoning. That makes it a stressful job and more importantly a strain on you to be anything but true to yourself and your true personality.

    Nowadays, with the wisdom of age and experiencing of a lot of a***holes especially in work situations I have come to the ultimate conclusion that 'If you don't like me for who I am then I don't care!'

    Nigel has put the hammer head bang on the nail by saying 'I don't care if you like me. I know what I'm talking about! It may not agree with your opinion but that is where we can disagree without a fight!'

    Being liked is a sop to finding respect. We often chase around looking for respect for the hard work we put in. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But if we grovel up to someone we don't like and change ourselves to be more like them how can we respect ourselves? How can we like ourselves?

    I say this not out of arrogance but out of experience. Age is a great teacher if we learn the lessons it gives.

    Besides, I don't like everyone. I respect them for what they do and tell them if I disagree with what they are doing or if I believe there is a flaw in their argument. If they hate me for criticising them then they were not listening to me so why should I listen to them. I've a short time left in my life. I'm not going to waste it arguing woth someone who can't be bothered to listen!!

    Like yourself and trust yourself. Your instincts will let you know whether you are right or wrong. Then don't be afraid to act on your instincts. They rarely put your wrong!

    • 25th Oct 2007
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  • Katherine Shirley

    Actor

    When I was first starting out, an old friend of mine (West-End MD) stated bluntly: You don't have to be best friends with the people you work with - you need to be able to work together, but who needs them? You've got your own friends! This really helps whenever I encounter a truly objectionable personality at an audition or casting - and boy, are there some humdingers out there!

    • 25th Oct 2007
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  • Matthew Wade

    Actor

    Blake....you? Blunt? Never!!

    I think the point is less about your fellow actors (we all probably extend the olive branch to some degree to our peers, but lets face it, although lots are lovely, some are just W***ers), as beyond the initial rehearsal there is no great pressure to be 'lovely'. Its about getting the balance right with the peole that 'matter'....directors, casting directors, agents etc.

    Its a tough one, and varies from situation to situation. As a rule I try to be postive, enthusiastic and charming more in theatre auditions....firstly people want to feel good about who their stuck with for a month & secondly I'm more comfortable with the medium and find it brings out 'happy me' rather more.

    I think screen work is more about professionalism, being able to do what is required of you and appearing quietly confident...at least that's the plan.

    The difficulty in my opinion comes with trying to naturally retain your confidence and status as an artist when meeting the big fish. Fringe theatre? Internet shoots? Indie shorts? no problem being natural and in control...its just I find it harder to retain this balance when meeting some hardcore ball-busting seriously experienced casting director for big budget TV or Film. I've only had 3 of these, but have felt VERY intimidated and felt this has lessened my strength and probably tried too hard to be nice (PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE like me!!). Needless tosay recalls haven't been forthcoming.

    Its a toughie....on the whole, once I've got the part, I try to be nice and supportive and appreciative towards everyone (lifes too short to be unpleasant), but don't really give a monkey's who likes me and who doesn't. And of course some people use up all their human credit rather quickly....

    • 25th Oct 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Now the woodwork comes off our actor poses... one small dopse of honesty and people open up!!! Matt, you are saying exactly what I mean-

    • 25th Oct 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    And trust me, I have no problem telling people what i think, I just tend to do it usually in a way that will not casue extrtemem shame for them.. unless they are REALLY REALLY needing to be put in their place.

    Well, I do think that many of us DO care if we arent liked, but we will get over it....

    • 25th Oct 2007
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  • User Deleted

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    I think the most important thing I have learnt in my short life is...

    Courtesy costs nothing!!!

    No matter how 'orrible others are to you...

    Kill them...

    With...

    KINDNESS!!!

    It is absolutely astounding the change that can take place with someone who rubs you up the wrong way; when they are treated with...

    Kindness...

    Often they become completely different human beings - to what they were initially,,,

    Sometimes we rub such people up the wrong way, without realising it; nobody is perfect!

    I would rather make a friend; than an enemy; any day...

    Humanity is a must in my book!

    **;~))

    • 25th Oct 2007
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  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    In reply to Blake's original post (from which the thread has, naturally, deviated) - I don't think there is a *decent* (and I use the word deliberately) director alive who wouldn't thank you for being strong and decisive, at least as regards your acting choices. What all good directors want to see is actors with character, backbone and determination - with imagination, and the ability to create; with the capacity for thinking outside the box, and adapting readily to new ideas; actors who want to push boundaries, to explore possibilities, to be as in touch as possible with their inner emotions. They don't want to see buttoned up, limited, crowd pleasing types. Though I agree with Matt - it's sometimes hard for nerves not to make you seem a little ropey in front of the 'big boys' - but even then, you can muster some dignity, and some presence if you work hard at it.

    Of course, good directors will (and I think quite rightfully) get fed up with prima donnas, with habitual lateness, with an inability to listen to what the director is saying, with an actor so set in his or hers ways that they are not capable of opening up and adjusting to new ideas. And why not? This doesn't help them to do their job and achieve their aims for any performance.

    But I did say *decent* directors - there are undoubtedly a whole crowd of so - called directors out there, who have very little real notion of what good direction is all about, but an ardent desire to be seen to have put a play on/made a film. These guys are always hard to work with, not least because there is a tendency to feel you could do a better job than they could given the opportunity. On these occasions, I think you just have to button your lip, and get on with the project till it ends. Either that, or ditch it. But really, if you are working with a director who has great training, years of experience, has produced countless others shows, is well - respected in the industry etc. etc., then their essential quality will soon shine through, and they will appreciate the fact that you are honest, and open, and emotionally engaged in every sense. If they don't, they are not to be taken seriously as a practitioner, IMHO.

    • 25th Oct 2007
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  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    Strangely Clive that's not how the slagging off you did on the podium at the ARC came across! Double standards, possibly? Trying to appear 'nice' and coming across as 'spiteful and ignorant'?

    You sometimes take the biscuit!

    Calling all actors 'lemmings' to a group of agents is another example of that arrogance at work behind the 'friendly facade' too.

    • 26th Oct 2007
    • 18
  • User Deleted

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    Well...

    I love you too Alan!!!

    Your my best friend...

    Or is it...

    ONLY friend???

    :)

    • 26th Oct 2007
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