Allen Levin

All of us have in us the capability to have a great attitude. Many of us choose not to be good. The good news is that we are all assholes and we are all angels. We can express all of ourselves in our work. Outside our work, let the asshole in you remain completely dormant. Wait… taken out of context…. that’s not what I…..

So, here we are and things aren’t going well. We have a choice. Asshole or angel? Is the circumstance happening between “Action!” and “Cut!” if so, go for the conflict. Allow yourselves to indulge your assholic nature. Is it happening in your really real everyday life? Angel time. Let others get crazy. You remain a professional. Isn’t it funny? The time to be a professional isn’t when you are engaging in acting (your chosen profession) it’s when you are not acting. Other people can road rage. You are an artist. Save it for the stage!

I can’t spend enough time on the benefits of having a good attitude. Even some people I know who fake it well have damn decent acting careers! I know the truth (they are not good people, dishonest, etc) and that doesn’t matter for their career, as long as they “act” like good people in life. You ARE a good person. You won’t have to “act.” This is a huge advantage! Remain patient with everyone. Don’t say a bad word about anyone. In your life, your attitude will determine who will hire you as a professional. No where is this more prevalent than in the biz!

If I drill this into your heads enough, perhaps you’ll remember, “Oh yeah! I need to have a great attitude particularly when it’s difficult to do so.” You’ll be left waiting in a hot and uncomfortable space for 2 hours. When the AD (or PA even) comes and apologizes to you be supremely forgiving and gracious. That’s when it matters. Do not get them fired, even though you can with a phone call. Just tell them, “No problem. This happens. Let’s get make up over here. We need some resets.”

The truth is we are all part asshole. Every one of us. We need it accessible and reactive when we are on stage acting. We need to quiet that same reactivity *(my word! If you want to use it it’ll cost a quarter each time) when we are in life. We train ourselves to open doors and be very sensitive in the moment. This will come up plenty in life. We don’t entitle ourselves to communicate what our artistic choice would have been in life. You think it will feel good to get those words off your chest and onto the wrong doer. You are mistaken. You won’t be hired again.

When things are going right, and rarely they will, having a good attitude isn’t a challenge. It’s simply not impressive. Oh. You had a well-oiled-machine of a set and you kept a great attitude during a concise well executed day. Wow! Note the sarcasm. Oh. You had a difficult day. Things went wrong. You hurried up and waited. You didn’t shoot for 11 hours. On set props malfunctioned. The director and the AD were arguing and clearly hated each other. You kept a great attitude. Now we are talking!

Challenge yourselves to keep a great attitude no matter what. You’ll be direct hired by people you don’t personally like (but you like the jobs!) because they think you like them. You were the only person not to tell them off. Good on you! Take the direct bookings. Continue to allow everyone to think you like them. Stay away from the negative people, but don’t let them know you think they are negative. Stay away from the “he-said, she-said” people. Stay away from those that have bad attitudes. Don’t be lumped in with them. Don’t allow anyone to know when you don’t like them personally. That’s none of their business.

People like to read blogs on acting techniques. They like the nuts and bolts (see “Purge” from a couple days ago) because they can see clearly how this will relate to getting a booking. NOTHING is more important than your attitude. I’ve seen people with bad attitudes at auditions. This floors me! Do they not realize that’s the most IMPORTANT part of the audition? It’s an attitude challenge. Sometimes you’ll be pushed back on your call time to see how you deal with it. Don’t complain. Don’t criticize anyone. Stay calm. Stay a breath of fresh air to be around.

If you do need to say to someone with integrity, “I’m sorry. If now isn’t a good time for me to audition I’m happy to come back another day,” because they are chatting with each other while you are performing, keep a great energy. Do not have the subtext “didn’t you know I’ve prepared this for the last 48 hours, come through 3 hours of traffic after taking a day off of work I can’t afford, and now I’ve got great choices but you sons-of-bitches won’t even LOOK at me??!” Nope. You keep a great attitude. Perhaps you’ll come back another day. More likely they will apologize and pay attention. They also may dismiss you. If they do that, keep a great attitude. You never know. It’s possible one of the people chatting is blowing off steam. They just found out their wife lost the baby and they came out as a distraction. Life is too difficult. Yes, it sucks that they ruined your audition, but you can’t imagine how hard it is to be them. In other words we never know why douche-bag over there is being douchey.

Keep a great attitude. Yes we can all be assholes. Never in life. Stage is our therapy. Your great attitude will set you apart. You’ll get triple (more really) the professional bookings. Attitude pays great dividends. Being an asshole will cost you everything.

Onward and UP.


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