Sterotypes of Actors

  • Leila Reid

    Actor

    Hi

    'All actors are alcoholics?'

    Some of you may remember around 6 months ago I started about thread about why do we act as it was proposed dissertation title........well guess what it got approved so I am going to be doing a psychological profile of professional, graduate and student actors and seeing if there is a difference in their profile.

    BUT

    I want to lay to rest some sterotypes of actors such as we are all alcohols anybody else got any??

    Leila xox

    • 29th Nov 2009
    • 2148
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  • John Rayment

    Actor

    Not much help for your dissertation, but the first thing that came into my head about stereotypes of actors was this:

    (you may have to endure 25 seconds of annoying car advert before it starts)

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=h--HR7PWfp0

    ...featuring the wonderful Hugh Paddick & Kenneth Connor :)

    • 22nd Nov 2009
    • 1
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    I'd love to be an alcoholic...but I as an actor on my money I can't afford it!

    • 22nd Nov 2009
    • 2
  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    'Actors have to take their clothes off.'

    This is something which is assumed.

    • 22nd Nov 2009
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  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    But we ARE broke??

    • 22nd Nov 2009
    • 4
  • John Rayment

    Actor

    Some stereotypes are true :)

    • 22nd Nov 2009
    • 5
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    All actresses are the same as prostitutes!

    • 22nd Nov 2009
    • 6
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I've NEVER charged !!!!!

    • 22nd Nov 2009
    • 7
  • Katharine Kavanagh

    Actor

    people always seem to assume actors are gregarious extraverted types, but in a lot of cases we are more psychologically introvert - would be interested to hear if you do any research on this as part of your dissertation!

    xx

    • 22nd Nov 2009
    • 8
  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Yes, that's an interesting point Kate. That's what I thought, before I went into acting. But they are ordinary people.

    If you look at performers like Michael Jackson & Freddie Mercury, when they talk, they've got little voices, but when they perform they have BIG personalities. It's almost as if performing is a release for them.

    • 22nd Nov 2009
    • 9
  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Selfriges

    Fridges and shelves

    Fidgets and elves

    Frigid and shells

    Rigid as hell...

    Glad to have helped with your dissertation x

    • 22nd Nov 2009
    • 10
  • Emma Burn

    Actor

    I think the alcoholic stereotype may have come from the very nature of the hours we work. If you are performing in a theatre show you generally finish around 9.30-10.00, us going for a drink then is just the same as people going for a pint when they finish in the offic at 6.00. So does it seem worse because its generally later that we go out and closing time is just an hour and half away so staying until time is called isn't actually spending that long in the pub. Whereas day time workers may be home by 9? Also, if you are on tour its much nicer to go for a pint and socialise with everyone than to just go back to some dodgy digs on your own. So that could be where the alcoholic assumption comes from (of course we do love a drink though!)

    xx

    • 23rd Nov 2009
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  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Another one (particularly of actresses) is that all actors are stupid/dumb. Apparently I'm not allowed to be an actress and have a brain.....

    • 23rd Nov 2009
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  • Leila Reid

    Actor

    oooh these are good, I already have the alcoholic question but i will definetly see if I can get the others in somehow. But keep them coming.

    Recent reaserch has shown that the majority of actors are extraverts with high neuroticism scores but interestingly the ones well the few who are introverted still have the same neurotic score.

    • 23rd Nov 2009
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  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    An actor is generally a product of their

    retrospective environment.

    • 23rd Nov 2009
    • 14
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Dani ... in answer to your statement. The origin of that, I'm afraid, comes from on Alfred Hitchcock, a Director without equal in his time. He once said that " Actors are dumb if they haven't got a script to hand". That, and his treatment of all actors, again I quote,"treat them like cattle", led people to believe what he said was true.

    Well, of course, we know otherwise .. but nevertheless, what he said has followed us down the years !!!!!.

    • 23rd Nov 2009
    • 15
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Soggy Mog ... for crying out loud ... take your finger out of the light socket......

    • 23rd Nov 2009
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  • Christine Hounslow

    Actor

    I think I am a normal, well balanced person, with a good sense of self worth and a good sense of humour - a doting mum and a super wife up to the day my husband died. Maybe I am that way because I have a "day time" job as well as acting. If I had to depend solely on acting roles I could well be all of the things aforementioned. Hmmm I sound quite smug don't I - don't mean to be - sorry :-( Christine

    • 23rd Nov 2009
    • 17
  • Leila Reid

    Actor

    Allan I am stealing that quote and using it in introduction.

    • 23rd Nov 2009
    • 18
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    It is at times like this I wish I had actually finished my Phd (sadly, in the end, I ditched it for a variety of personal reasons), but I am, nonetheless, an actor who has had the honour of studying at world class academic institutions for over a decade, and has delivered keynote papers to e.g. The Institute for Historical Research, and was sponsered for much of my research period by the Arts and Humanities Research Board. I am very proud of these past achievements, although I do think that, as an actor, you have to forgo most of the analysis and just go with your initiative - which may be why many good actors actually dropped out of formal education quite young, and devoted themselves instead to getting work. Some actors are very intellectual (I remember reading that David Duchovny was also a Phd student who disowned his PhD for the sake of performing); some are totally intuitive, and came to acting after time spent on the streets, in prison or remand, in mental institutions etc. All of them have a claim to be good actors, whose life experiences inform their performance style and mode of expression.

    On the other hand, I suspect there is not really any such thing as a 'dumb' actor - no-one who acts well who hasn't got a very strong grasp of how to empathise with other people, how to imagine themselves living the life experience of somebody else, who can't find the intricacies within a script -if you can't do these things, then you simply can't *be* an actor with any conviction. It certainly suits directors to think that actors can't think for themselves - not least because that makes *their* decisions appear to be less contestable. But it will depend on the director - some like nothing better than doing the minimum of work, and asking the actors to provide all the input!

    It might be interesting, in this respect, to survey what actors did *before* they became actors - you may well find a lot of the younger ones have, in effect, followed no path other than putting themselves through school and then heading to drama school at the age of 18, but many who do not come to acting in the first instance have all sorts of serious career paths for years before they turn professional - an interesting study in itself. I know actors who were, once upon a time, headmasters, professional sportsmen and women, journalists, GP's and surgeons, city analysts and stockbrokers, ex-Marines and Intelligence officers, who have been jailed, who worked in the sex trade, who were high-ranking fashion photographers or rock musicians, just to name a few, before they became actors for one reason or another. It all makes for varied, and fascinating, performance. It is possibly true that, since the disintegration of a 'progressive' career path for many actors (i.e. from amateur enthusiams through to study at drama school to working in rep to becoming known in the national industry), the likelihood of actors emerging from all walks of life, as opposed to being 'career' actors for the whole of their working life, has increased. But it has always been the case that many actors come to acting from all sorts of backgrounds - and I tend to be talking about not those who are 'jumping on the bandwagon', but those who have put aside an earlier existence, signed on at a drama school, won their Equity card, and are now trading as actors. Certainly, actors aren't books that can be judged by their covers.

    • 23rd Nov 2009
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