1, 2, 3 FLAKE!

Actors are flakey.  It’s incredibly annoying.  Actors work to get auditions and then they bail.  Actors commit to classes and then they don’t show.  Actors get booked and then come up with a lame excuse.  When an actor sites a “family emergency” as his or her reason for flaking; I always think that actor is lying (unless I know that actor and have worked with him/ her many times before).  Yes, he or she may actually have a family emergency, but I hear it so often that I just don’t believe it anymore.  Illness is also a lame excuse, unless you’re hospitalized or unable to walk, you should at the very least show up.  The worst excuse of all of course is: your own flakiness!  Actors always forget that they already have a rehearsal or an audition or a meeting or a vacation or some other obligation.  There are wonderful inventions that make keeping a schedule easier than it has ever been before.  Maintaining professionalism is the key to moving up as an actor.  Here are some tips for fighting the flake.

1. Get a smart phone (you can update and access your calendar at all times)

2. Don’t audition for projects you know you are not available for.  It’s disrespectful to the creative team, and it will come back to bite you.

3. Don’t audition for any projects that you do not intend to accept.  Once again, totally disrespectful and a waste of everyone’s time.

4. Don’t commit to anything until you have checked your schedule thouroughly.

5. If you do actually have an emergency that prevents you from attending an audition.  Contact your agent ASAP (and if you don’t have a rep, call the casting office that called you in for the audition) Apologize profusely, and then explain what the situation is to your agents so that they can pass on the info. We might not believe you, but at least you tried.

So actors, please tell me, why are you so flakey?  What is it that leads to this epidemic of flakiness?  Have you ever used the “family emergency” excuse to back out of a project.  Are you the exception that proves the rule? I want to know so let’s talk about it.  Comments are always welcome!

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6 thoughts on “1, 2, 3 FLAKE!

  1. A Serious One says:

    It could be that so many actors are working survival jobs, sometimes several at once, that it really does get difficult to keep track. For example, they may have only a brief moment to accept the phone call offered an audition. So, they may answer and accept. When they have a moment to reflect and review their calendar, perhaps they feel embarrassed to have double booked their time. Maybe they think they’ll find a way to make it work. Once they deem it impossible, they may try to bow out in a way that does not reflect poorly on them, thus putting their foot in their mouth with a lie. Or perhaps they are ashamed that their survival job is a reason that they have to miss out on something so important to them. They may feel that they will be disregarded as an actor if they own up to having another means of earning a living. It could actually be that they do have an emergency, I mean at the end of the day we are all human. We live with large, extended families all putting demands on our time. Illnesses and death are all part of life and it is sad to think that other people’s ignorance in using these excuses as lies would reflect poorly on a serious actor. Also, actors are told repeated that to make it they must act in an almost subservient to casting professionals, so there is an innate fear of appearing to be an actual human being with a life of demands like everyone else if you ask for an alternate time or have a need to reschedule. It could be, however, that the person is in fact not a serious actor or is simply ill prepared for whatever event it may be due to the demands of life. I’m not saying it’s right, but I think it’s not always black and white. There’s my two cents…anyone else?

  2. A Serious One says:

    It could be that so many actors are working survival jobs, sometimes several at once, that it really does get difficult to keep track. For example, they may have only a brief moment to accept the phone call when offered an audition. So, they may answer and accept. When they have a moment to reflect and review their calendar, perhaps they feel embarrassed to have double booked their time. Maybe they think they’ll find a way to make it work. Once they deem it impossible, they may try to bow out in a way that does not reflect poorly on them, thus putting their foot in their mouth with a lie. Or perhaps they are ashamed that their survival job is a reason that they have to miss out on something so important to them. They may feel that they will be disregarded as an actor if they own up to having another means of earning a living. It could actually be that they do have an emergency, I mean at the end of the day we are all human. We live with large, extended families all putting demands on our time. Illnesses and death are all part of life and it is sad to think that other people’s ignorance in using these excuses as lies would reflect poorly on a serious actor. Also, actors are told repeated that in order to make it they must act in an almost subservient to casting professionals, so there is an innate fear of appearing to be an actual human being with a life of demands like everyone else, like if you ask for an alternate time or have a real need to reschedule. It could be, however, that the person is in fact not a serious actor or is simply ill prepared for whatever event it may be due to the demands of life. I’m not saying it’s right, but I think it’s not always black and white. There’s my two cents…anyone else?

  3. Sy Burgess says:

    I agree with A Serious One. I have had similar situations happen with regard to actually being on a “survival job” at times actually in the middle of a meeting and just said “Sorry, I am not available for that,” just to get off the phone. Of course, the ideal and truthful response would be, “sorry, I am in a meeting and I need to get back to you in half an hour.” This gives the actor time, it also gives the casting director time to book someone else – a double edged sword. But truly, while there are flakes out there who are just afraid, or crazy, I think the majority of actors are just constantly trying to decide if the opportunity is worth jeopardizing payment of next month’s rent.

  4. Destiny Lilly says:

    I think it’s important for actors to understand how their actions are perceived. When you confirm an audition, and then you don’t show up it reflects poorly on you. When you accept a job and then drop out, it makes the casting director reluctant to call you in again. The reasons behind it or less important than the reality that actors should honor their commitments. It’s the best choice for your career. It’s better to be honest and turn something down rather than accept and then back out later. It’s important to take the time to check your schedule before making a commitment.

  5. Serious Too says:

    I have known so many actors who are conscientious and responsible that to hear you make a general statement like “actors are flakey” is very strange to me. And I can’t even begin to count the amount of times that casting directors have given me incorrect information about dates and pay rates… and the clients that cancel a job on a whim or change a shoot date at the last minute. I have, though, met many casting directors who are very supportive of actors and are respective… they are the ones I really appreciate working with.

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