Posted by: michellemuldoon | March 11, 2015

A Letter to Actors

Dear Actors,

You know I love you; I love that your emotions are always present, that you care so deeply and passionately for your craft and that creativity is what feeds your soul, but I have to tell you, I think you’ve been done a disservice. For the last couple of years (in Vancouver), I’ve heard people tell you that if you want to do work, want to have control over your career, you should go out and write something. I’ve even said it. I need to apologize for that. I think it’s the wrong advice, or shall I say, incomplete advice.

Why? Because no one has told you that writers must study their craft like actors do, that you get better by “doing”, that it’s a rare feat for your first screenplay to hit the marks you need to get noticed, and that it takes multiple drafts (and a fair bit of time) before the script is ready to go to camera.

If you want control over your career, if you want to be showcased, to have your best “self” portrayed on screen in order to be considered for better and better roles, you should PRODUCE.

For an actor to be truly seen at their best, they need to start with good material that allows them to shine. The best way for that to happen, is to collaborate with someone who breathes the written word like the actor breathes life into every new character. Find great material, and take control of the production process to ensure you are your best on screen.

I don’t think actors realize that most writers have a backlog of short film scripts. Most writers just want to write. They want to find someone who wants to make film because they have no desire to do it themselves. The writer will work with you, because they want their work showcased, too.

I know some very talented actors who take their writing as seriously as their acting, and these are the actors I encourage to continue to write, but if studying a second craft isn’t for you… don’t force the issue. Actors should put themselves in the best possible position to succeed, and that will happen when the material is written by someone passionate about the written word, the structure of the screenplay, and the development of story. That may be you, and that may not be.

Film is collaboration. I think we should be talking to each other a lot more about how to make that happen.

With Great Affection,

Michelle

PS: I’m happy to make three of my short screenplays available for someone else to produce: Distorted, Who Cares, Happily Never After. You’ll find the loglines HERE.

culture of collaboration(Image from smartbear.com)

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