Massaging that CV: truth/lies - WHO CARES?

  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Should actors always tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to agents or potential employers, with regard to their television/film/stage work? I think so. Errors or downright lies on their CV, will, over time, catch up with those who massage their credits.

    My dad, Seamus Newham, got a surprise the other day when he read the profile of a former colleague. He works mainly as an actor; but in the past, and I'm going back to a period in the mid-seventies, he directed a number of plays, including a production of David Hare's: "Knuckle". The leading actor whom he cast in the role of 'Jenny', was just beginning her career, and being ambitious, subsequently, credited a more experienced director with that production.

    Is it possible that was just a hick-up in an otherwise unblemished work history? Well, my dad did notice another 'error' on that particular actors CV with regard to a production that he had no involvement!

    Now, more than thirty years later, with a lot of good stage credits to her name, the actor in question has not amended that inaccuracy with her current agent: Burnett Granger Associates.

    Is this normal practise that some actors are economical with the truth?

    • 10th Dec 2008
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  • Torya Winters

    Actor

    I was at a similar workshop recently Julia, and was told the same thing. I think it's best to be honest - it annoys me as an employer when I see CVs full of extra and amateur work, which has been dressed up to seem bigger and better than it is.

    As most people seem to agree, I think honesty is the best policy!

    • 9th Dec 2008
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  • Helen Belbin

    Actor

    Toni,

    As regards your name change: you can write on your CV 'Previously known as...'. Spotlight can also include this info, they did for me when I chanegd my name. You could write the date of the name change aswell.

    • 9th Dec 2008
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  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    If I may go all touchy-feely for a moment:

    Aside from the honesty issues, possible blacklisting and the actor who really played the part biffing you on the nose, etc...

    There's a curious psychological payoff for lying on your CV or about yourself generally- you feel like a fraud (because you are one). This leads to a lot more insecurity and doubt because the front you're putting out to the world isn't as good as you are. You live in fear of being found out, and no matter how good you are, you're never as good as that CV.

    So for your own sanity, it's best to be honest.

    • 9th Dec 2008
    • 22
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Thanks Helen, that's a good idea.

    Cheers

    Toni

    • 9th Dec 2008
    • 23
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi think it is highly impotant to be honest. When I was searching for representation I was really put on the spot, The director of the casting agency started having a general friendly chat with me, asking about former work, credits etc. I did not realise it as the time but having finished the conversation he turned to his assistant and asker her to check imdb, ring contacts. At the time to be honest I was furious but managed to hide it to be offered representation but it was a good lesson. With regards to the wrong director being recorded, sometimes it can be difficult to be given the correct details, especially if there is more than one, perhaps the person you are talking about was told that was the directors name, it is possible to have been the case. I doubt it was malicious just an oversight but I know what you mean with regards to your dad not getting the recognition he should. Tell him well done from me and wish you and your family a merry xmas.x

    • 9th Dec 2008
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  • User Deleted

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    Lee, you articulated a problem for us character actors very well (Reply #9) and offer good advice and sound observations, interestingly expressed. (Thinks: Maybe I should make you my mentor ...)

    • 9th Dec 2008
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  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    Thanks for the appreciation! Just to sum up again (this time briefly), I thoroughly agree with everyone who is taking a stand against falsifying a CV - it is a crass, and pointless, endeavour in the modern industry, and it will come back to haunt you. BUT it was a much more standardised, accepted, and relatively unimportant practice in the theatre and TV world of yesteryear; whilst I am not saying that even in the 60's and 70's such practices weren't advised against and frowned upon, I think it was simply much easier to be forgiven for the tendency back in the day, and many a blind eye *was* turned to 'creative license' if the actor concerned turned out to be 'winning' enough.

    • 9th Dec 2008
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  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Didn't Richard harris lie about being able to ride horses when he went for the eponymous role inthe film A Man Called Horse? Seemingly, on the first day of shooting, he slowly slid off the horse as he had no control whatsoever I think they forgave him :-)) but I doubt that would carry much weight now.

    • 10th Dec 2008
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  • User Deleted

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    At the same workshop the Casting Director told a story of an actor cast in a very high profile job, one of the skill he had to demonstrate was he had to slide on a wire down a hill (made to look like a nountain side) very James Bond-esk (it wasnt a Bond film but similar) he said it was a skill he had but when it came to the day of shooting he couldnt go through with it, turns out he put it on his CV as he did it once on holiday as a child! Needless to say it cost a pretty penny to put the film on hold while a replacment was found! oh dear!

    • 10th Dec 2008
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