I’m friends with a lot of actors, both in real life and on social media. I follow a lot of actors on Twitter. Actors continually pop up in my news feed on Facebook. Recently, more and more, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. I’ll call it: the rise of the douchebag actor. How do you know if you’re being a douchebag on social media? Follow these tips to steer clear of douchebag-ville.
1. Stop bragging about your auditions
I got an audition for a TV pilot opposite a major actor. #blessed
I’m running from this casting office over to that casting office because I’m so in demand right now. #actorlife
Who cares? Did you book it? If you book work then feel free to humbly express how excited you are. Getting an audition is no great feat. Also, actors often come dangerously close to revealing private, sensitive information about upcoming projects. Just keep your audition schedule to yourself. Who are you trying to impress? Or are you just trying to intimidate other actors? If you must, post something about how you feel about an upcoming audition so you can express your feelings to your friends.
I’m really excited about today’s audition
I’m nervous about my audition tomorrow, but I know I can handle it.
2. Stop telling people how busy you are
I’ve gotta get across town in time for my fitting before a musical audition, and rehearsal for my one woman show #busy
Filming all day and then studying up for my huge commercial audition tomorrow #setlife
I get it, work can be hard to come by in this industry. It’s great that you’re so busy, but imagine if all professions did the same thing.
Meeting my client for arraignment followed by quick trip downtown for a settlement conference #lawyerlife
Just took out Mr. Johnson’s appendix, now a quick wash up before cutting into Mrs. Bradley’s gallbladder #thedoctorisin
These posts are annoying and unnecessary. There is a fine art to self promotion. Actors have to be a little selfish to get ahead in this business, but constantly posting about your busy schedule just makes you look self-absorbed.
3. Stop asking me to contribute to your crowd funding campaign
Look, if we are actually friends and you’ve been over to my house and or had a private meal with me, then go for it. However, if we met once at a casting event or at a friend’s birthday, I am NEVER EVER EVER going to contribute to your campaign. EVER. There are actual charities I like to support, so unless you actually know someone personally or truly believe they will have a specific interest in your specific project, stop begging people for money on social media.
4. Keep the political stuff to a minimum
Again, if you are talking to your actual friends, feel free to say whatever inflammatory thing you want. However, when posting to a wider range of acquaintances or, in the case of Twitter, the whole world, what you say can come back to bite you. Your religious and political beliefs are protected under the first amendment, but the constitution does not protect you from other people’s opinions of what you’ve said. Your posts affect the way you are perceived. I’ve seen more than a few objectionable posts from actors that have led me to reconsider whether I should be calling them in for auditions. Be smart and think before you post.
5. Stop asking for sympathy
I didn’t book that big job. An actor’s life is so hard. Gotta get back in the game.
The casting director said my voice was all wrong. Why do I keep putting myself out there?
Newsflash: acting is not hard work. It’s a skill. It’s an important part of our cultural experience. It’s a craft, but back-breaking labor it ain’t. You aren’t spending 12 hours down in a coal mine. Lives do not hang in the balance. There are people out there with actual problems. People who suffer from war, violence, poverty and disease deserve sympathy. Get some perspective and stop whining about every rejection. Acting is 90% rejection, if you can’t handle that (without whining) maybe it is time to find a new field.