I see them every day: actors on the subway. Sometimes I can spot them because they are wearing a touch too much make up early in the morning. Often, I see them quietly talking to themselves, running lines, and practicing inflections. The dead give away, however, is the binder. When I see someone on the subway with an open binder, I know I’ve spotted an actor. The highlighted lines in the script and intense gesticulation are just further proof that there is an actor in my midst.
Sometimes, I will recognize the actor from the stage or TV, and I try to discreetly get a look inside his/ her process. Other times I will recognize the actor because her headshot has crossed my desk a few times. That’s what happened today. One piece of advice for actors that also applies to life in general: you never know whom you’re standing next to so be nice to everybody. The actress who this morning stepped on my foot (no apology), then flipped her hair in my face (the train wasn’t that crowded), and then finally pushed a clearly pregnant lady will have a difficult time getting seen by me in the future. Maybe it’s petty of me to hold this behavior against her, but the fact is that if I’m going to bring in someone for a job, I want to know that she will be pleasant and positive on set. I know in my gut that I will never be comfortable booking her, and when I don’t trust my gut I usually regret it.
So actor friends, soldier on with your subway script reading. I love to watch you work. Just keep in mind that the person sitting next to you could be a casting director, talent agent, director, or producer so be on your best behavior.