Underdeveloped and Overexposed
Posted by Wonder Russell
The past couple of days, I was at the eye of a name-calling storm on Twitter, that stemmed from a real-life event. It went so far and got so ugly, that I wanted to write up a post warning others of my experience. Then, I was struck by an odd actor-brain thought.
If you cultivate a strong personality online, does that make you less of an option for casting?
See, I’m no one famous. If Zooey Deschanel writes up a blog post or uploads a video, I along with the rest of her fan-base will swoon, gleefully repost, and probably go get my bangs cut again. We love it because we have a sense of her personality, without over-saturation. The little “peeks” are what make us believe we might actually be real-life BFF’s in an alternate universe or if we just happened to get our nails done at the same salon. They add to the overall mystique and delight. Here’s another example: Twitter feeds of famous comedians, versus Twitter feeds of famous actors.
Using a computer now instead of a bobble head doll. So much faster.
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) March 21, 2012
It’s the prettiest day today.
— zooey deschanel (@ZooeyDeschanel) March 18, 2012
More often than not, actors post two kinds of tweets/updates: self-promotion or very safe and general musings. Many famous actors (I checked on George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and several others) aren’t even on Twitter. Other celeb accounts, like Tom Cruise, are run by his PR firm: more promotion and safe generalities. Actors may have an image or even be typecast, but part of protecting their privacy is protecting their mystique. Could overexposure make us less marketable?
Imagine for a moment that Snookie was secretly the world’s greatest actor and she’s been pulling a Joaquin Phoenix on us. Too much? Okay picture…a reality star of your choice. Even if they were talented, and could manage to convince a barricade of horrified producers and directors that they were right for the part, I’m betting you wouldn’t go see the movie. Why? Because you made judgments about them. Because you feel like you know them. The fact is, you know too much. Their ‘fame’ is based on their personality and their not-so-interesting life. Overexposure prevents the audience from suspending their disbelief.
Common wisdom is that social media is the networking of the future, and I see that action unfold, positively and negatively, in my own career. But in the back of my head, I always assumed that if I “made” it, I would turn most of these sites over to my manager. I do have a strong personality, but fiery blog posts or sassy tweets are not necessarily what I want to be known for – I want to be known for my work. Ah-ha I hear your argument already – “But you have to put yourself out there…” and it’s true. Which brings me to this catch-22.
Is propagation of your personality the way to get noticed? Is it possible to build a cult of personality before “making it” or is that just media-controlled perception? Will audiences slowly change and accept actors in roles who may have been discovered via social media? Could our social media hustle be setting us up for failure? Should we shut up, keep auditioning, and leave blog posts to the weather?
About Wonder RussellActress, writer, filmmaker, Falcor guardian, lover of wine and reading in bed
Posted on March 21, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged acting, actors, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Joaquin Phoenix, overexposure, social media, Steve Martin, suspension of disbelief, Tom Cruise, Twitter, Zooey Deschanel. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.