As you will see in my e-blog (posting soon) I was delighted to see some beautiful sharing on set from co-workers recently. I felt so privileged to work with them on the project, not because it was a glossy high budget Hollywood movie, because it wasn’t, but because they were ridiculously professional, focuses and giving, regardless.
And so B.A.B.E. went on a share quest to find the answer on how to be the most sharing actor we can be. I went to…google (of course). I guess what surprised me the most was when I googled how to be a sharing actor, I realised no one had blogged about it. Or at least, if they have, it’s not getting high up in the google rankings. I mean yes of course we know that acting is a competitive environment where it’s all about eat or be eaten, but the best moments are usually when actors are sharing, giving, offering, and providing. The round table of female Oscar nominees last year was nothing short of spectacular. Listening to huge A-list gals say “Oh when you did this, I was so inspired” was a mind blowing treat to watch.
Hearing a mate today tell me that they cycled over to their acting friend’s house to help them self tape for a film was delightful. Having a mate call you when you’re having one of those bummy awful actor days (technical term) can literally make your heart sing again.
So in earnest, I want to create share moments. I have literally been spending the afternoon thinking and writing down some of the ways we can touch another actor, in a metaphorical sense.
Here are a few sweet sweet ways to have a share moment:
|Rides aren’t half as fun alone.
- Call your mates to share their wins. Earnestly wish them well on their successful casting or booking or new agent. This love and support will come back on you tenfold as well but more importantly, you will feel incredible by going that extra mile with an act of kindness that will make their day. (Ever want to read more about giving, check out TDL. Martin literally writes about love daily.)
- Be there if your co-star wants to practise lines or discuss characters. You can also check if they want to run lines. Just never say it in a way that suggests that you are doubting they’ve done the work.
- Offer to sit in on their close-ups so the other actor(s) get your character’s reactions and can play off you. I can’t even tell you how much this helps when you’re trying to capture the same essence as you had achieved in your two shot. And if you do this for them, I bet they’ll want to return the favour.
- Show appreciation. Offer to make the runner a cup of tea. Watch their eyes nearly pop out of their heads when you do. Better yet, ask your fellow actors while you are at it.
- Humility begs a million lives. I swear the more humble you are, the more sexy points you are earning. When another actor is sharing something marvellous, don’t trump it with a better story. Just listen and enjoy it as if it may be the last story that will ever touch your ears. (if you need to, pretend it’s Ryan Gosling telling you the story as I bet you wouldn’t try to one-up him).
- Create a safe space for your acting buddy to work. Literally warm them up with a smile and a handshake. Connect with them by making eye contact and really share the space you are in. Breathe positive energy into the room.
- Compliment your fellow actor on something genuinely wonderful about them – their hairstyle, their cool clothes, their attention to detail. The great thing about us as people is we are all born wonderful. Sometimes we just forget to remind the person sitting next to us.
- Go crazy and bake something and bring it with you to share. If you aren’t that much of a baker (I’m not) then maybe buy a little bag of sweeties instead.
- Meet your actor buddy for a coffee if they’re having a bad week and offer to listen for as long as they need to blurt it all out. It’s cathartic to talk about the crappy stuff, so long as we don’t dwell on it.
- Send your mates a great audition that you know they’d be perfect for. Light up their sky with love.
Having allies and sharing on set isn’t about being an artful dodger and scrambling to get the most out of others. It’s about being a giving human who wants to make their co-stars look good.
You only get one chance, so you can choose to spend it one of two ways. Hoarding the good stuff, being negative and even potentially a bit evil, or alternatively, sharing like a care bear on his first summer camp. You be the judge of which one will have you sleeping more soundly at night.
And if you want to get zen about sharing outside of the acting arena, check out what is suggested on Zen Habits.