Acting, or Acting Out?
Some of you know that I often host tweet-up’s under #AGYST on Twitter. AGYST is an acronym for “Actors Get Your Shit Together.”
I had the opportunity to witness some very bad behavior on a recent project — classic AGYST. Anecdotes like these are why AGYST started. From these firsthand experiences, I devised this handy measurement of your on-set professionalism.
Acting, or Acting Out?
AGYST: The Director has to get you out of bed 10 minutes before we roll film.
If you have to rely on the Director to get you out of bed like an elementary kid who doesn’t wanna go to school, you should probably still be living with your Mom.
Like a Boss: Be responsible with your time management.
You may be onscreen talent, but first and foremost, you’re part of a team. The team has a job to do: make a movie. Honoring that ultimate goal shows gratitude for being a part of that process. You wouldn’t be late to a business meeting or audition, so don’t be late to call time.
AGYST: You drink [to excess] while shooting.
We all have had “that” scene where a nip of the moonshine settled the nerves and made us ready for our big close up (in Keira Knightley’s case, getting spanked). But if 1) the crew worry behind your back how pleasant you’ll be that day without a drink in your hand and/or 2) they have to give you a time-out to sober up, then we have a group for you: Alcoholics Anonymous.
Like a Boss: Be present.
Unless you’re getting spanked by Michael Fassbender or have your Director’s blessing, apply yourself to your work with sobriety. Expressive acting asks that we maintain control of our instruments, stay mentally acute, and emotionally open. Substances may ruin that.
AGYST: You’re AWOL when they call “Action.”
The Director of Photography set up the shot with your entrance in mind. The Director walked you through the blocking. Be on your mark.
Like a Boss: You’re aware of expectations and primed for your entrance.
Time is money. Whether it’s an early call or a late shoot, everyone has to be on the ball. Don’t be a weak link, do your part to keep the machine that is a film set running smoothly. This is especially critical if you’re on a set where they’re shooting actual film. I really liked this description of Director Bennett Miller on working with Brad Pitt: “…he understands the frame like a painter, he knows how to enter it.” What a wonderful thing to aspire to!
AGYST: You tell anyone on the set, cast or crew, to “Fuck off.”
Like a Boss: Thanking everyone profusely.
Acting is the greatest gig in the world! There’s no better way to tell the Universe (and your Director) that you’d like more, than with gratitude. Besides; it’s the right thing to do. You are surrounded by professionals chosen for their talent and commitment. The ability to do your job relies completely on their jobs. They deserve your respect.
AGYST: You try to shock your fellow castmembers by not wearing anything below the waist.
Like a Boss: Respect for others.
Rule of thumb: if it only has one eye and isn’t a pirate, keep it in your pants.
AGYST: You pick up local girls at the bar and bring them back to the house where everyone’s staying at 3 a.m. to party.
Please engage in this extracurricular activity where it doesn’t impact your cast and crew members.
Like a Boss: Not doing that.
Tally Your Results!
I’m a Boss: Congratulations! Respectful, committed, grateful and talented … you are a pleasure to have on set!
I Need To Get My Shit Together: Well, the great thing is that you’re talented enough to be on set. But unless you get your shit together, you may not be asked back.
There are a million actors out there, and the way to differentiate ourselves is with acting talent, not with acting out. Problem actors on set are legendary, but there is absolutely no justification for that behavior.
Filmmaking is a team sport, and unselfishness is a key ingredient to making it work. Especially in the indie film world, you and I are replaceable. That’s a scary fact. We must make sure that everyone on set will have nothing but praise for working with us when all is said and done.
Talent opens the door. Commitment to the professionalism part of the profession ensures that the doors stay open.
- Lindsay Lohan Actually Found Work (thesuperficial.com)
Posted on September 28, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged actors, AGYST, Alcoholics Anonymous, bad behavior, filmmaking, indie film, lindsay lohan, Substance abuse. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.