Monday, 24 February 2014

The Search For Good Amateur Actors Is Difficult And Also Very Depressing; A Trip Through Star Now


So I finally decided to get off my lazy ass that's spent most of the few months of my freedom from the shackles of education, and then a decade or two before that, stuck in front of screens absorbing all kinds of entertainment that I barely remember watching half the time. I've also played some great games and seen some great films that I'd happily comprise a list of and recommend to anyone if this was a place for the discussion of goodness. But it isn't. This is a place of badness and disgust, the place to come when life spits in your face and in retaliation you sneak off to an unknown corner of the internet to bitch about it quietly just in case it hears you and does the same again.

That doesn't defend the fact that this site has now been blank for several weeks now, as there has been a lot of free time in between these bouts of actually doing something, but at least it gives some excuse. Also Aaron's lazy. Doing lots of essays for university as well, but mostly just lazy.

Anyway to get back to my reasons for getting off my ass, and it had better be a damn good reason to force that to happen, is that I'm making a short film. Well a longish short film, but a film of some kind at the very least which will hopefully be the starting off point of what will unrealistically become a career surrounding that if it turns out as something that I'm good at. But oh well, you have to strain before you know whether or not you need to shit, and shitting myself or remaining clean aside, it is an answer that is worth having. But I'm not here to talk about the project itself, but instead I'm here to talk about amateur actors and how they fit into the theme of hopeless dreams that I'm attempting to weave into these first few paragraphs.


Now I've obviously never made anything and so have no authority here. I'm not a success in any way, shape or form and I fear time will only help to enforce that. But in the same way someone doesn't have to be a good musician to tell when an instruments out of tune, I also don't have to be a great film-maker to know when someone sucks balls at acting. I don't believe that you have to outdo someone to prove they're bad. This isn't a “well you try and do it better” scenario. There are just simply some objectively unskilled people who are chasing a dream that is completely out of their reach, not because they're not trying hard enough or don't deserve it, but simply because they are too deluded about their own abilities to see when it's time to stop.

Persistently bad actors are a strange type of person though. I remain as confused about them in the same way that I can't understand the terrible singers that put themselves through torment year after year on the endless music and talent competitions that ITV and the BBC pump out in their trashy arms race for ratings. Denial runs thick and fast among bad singers and actors. Unlike writing or directing or something along those lines, it takes a lot of investment, time and the effort to get a project finished and edited to completion before you can look upon it and judge whether or not the people involved have any ability whatsoever. People can claim to be good writers and such for ages, but until they've put in the effort to actually bring something to fruition, they can hide behind the guise that they might be potentially good. Acting or singing on the other hand has instant feedback. It's a talent that can be done anywhere at any time. Start singing and if you can't hold a note then that's it. Career over. It's the same with acting. Ask someone to pretend to be in a certain emotional state. If they don't act like a human being, then that's the end of it. You can work on it of course and improve, but the raw talent will be there or it won't be within seconds without the excuse of an extended time investment to get it up to scratch.

My project might obviously end in a potential shit heap, so I can hit my denial stage when it comes to it, but at least I'll only have one example to deny, with another example a long way off. You can write two terrible things in a year, but you can give a thousand shit performances in a day, so your denial has to be constantly flowing and comforting your self image at every beat.

And I have seen a lot of denial this week. I've been using the website Star Now in order to find actors for the role and I don't want to bring down the whole site because there are some very talented people on there waiting for their big break. The nice thing about actors is that unlike any other craft, a great undiscovered actor is just as cheap as a terrible actor to hire. At one point even De Niro was staring in terrible low budget projects, but you'd never find a great blacksmith to craft you a horseshoe for the same price as some retard with a hammer to beat you out a shoddier knock off.

So what I ask is that you head to Star Now and take a journey through it to find the most incompetent performers that you can find. Everyone posts videos that show off their skills and many of these videos are incredibly embarrassing that they act as some kind of anti promotional material that can only be thought to be ironic or a deliberate performance in terrible acting to get any credit.

How could you not trust a website that would use a questioning Siamese cat as their mascot, with your entire career

But among the few great actors on there, there is a lot of averageness. The qualification pushing is all over the place, with everyone thrusting out every little piece of acting they've ever done to prove their worth. Several people claim their A in GCSE drama as a demonstration of talent, a claim that makes me want to ask two questions. Firstly, why wasn't it an A*? Secondly, if an A in GCSE drama is such a demonstration of acting skill then how did I get an A in Drama at GCSE by doing, what I know see as, a racist impression of an old Japanese man talking about songs he heard in his dreams. I'm not proud of that but it got me an A at the very least and left me with the niggling pride that maybe I am just a great actor who solely through voice alone can convey the longing for homeland that only a lonesome Japanese man can muster. But I highly doubt it.

Along with the qualification hurling, the self endowment of titles follows a close second in the bullshit awards. A wide spread may seem like a great idea at the time, making you able to apply to as many openings as possible. But with a wide spread comes a thin spread, and the number of roles that you claim you can fulfil becomes harder to deliver on. It would be unlikely that you would not only be capable of being a great actor, but also a great director, cinematographer, artist, choreographer and musician all by the meagre age of 24. Yet there are a number of people who claim all of these talents. There is oddly a strong correlation between claiming to be widely skilled and being the least skilled at everything.

The musicians seem to involve anyone who has above grade 2 on an instrument and since grade 2 barely measures your ability to hit more than one note at a time and create musical claws with your hands, then it involves slightly more ability than a chimp operating a space flight simulation. And yet neither would be experienced enough to create a soundtrack to a film. Take a look through the musicians and you will find the odd indie band that wants to be noticed, but every now and then there's a hidden gem of someone writing a serenade to their dead cat, complete with terrible saxophone solo to fill the gaps, (I wish I could post his video but for reasons of human dignity and kicking someone when they're down I can't bring myself to do it).

There is also the selection to be qualified as a model, but this option only seems to be filled in by attractive people, making it possibly the least skilled position.

Yes, you seem to have very prominent acting talent

My overall feeling towards this is that acting is the most pointless job in the world. Without any actors there would still be books for writers. Without any actors there would still be photography for directors. Without anyone of the above for actors, there would be a role of stripper or jester. Your job is to pretend to be someone else and entertain, and if you can't even pull this off right, then I don't understand you at all.


Star Now is full of terrible actors and I think you should all take a look. It can be a depressing journey, but an eye opening one into denial and the extremes of self deception. It truly shows you just how alone we all are in our own heads and the fractured view we all have of the world. But it's a point made by watching terrible acting and that makes it a funny lesson to learn, if also gut wrenchingly sad.

13 comments:

  1. I played an awesome cat in our school production of Robin Hood. Can I star in your film?

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    1. I can't imagine what that would look like and nor do I want to. If I decide on massively changing the tone though, of course you can Mr Pink.

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  2. Beware of actors called Joey who claim they can speak French!

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  3. Interesting read, good sir.

    My advice? Take mr pink.

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    1. Use him to make a British Reservoir Dogs

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    2. Lol, check out all the indie films that people have made on the site. It seems everyone is making a gritty British gangster film and the last thing I want to do is add to the shit pile.

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  4. When you are famous, remember us, the little people. Those who supported you through thin and thinner.

    Always enjoy your stuff. There could be a sequel to this?

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    1. If it all goes tits up then of course there'll be a lengthy follow up, depending on how sad it makes me.

      If it goes well then I'll post it here anyway.

      Thankyou for your support in the mean time.

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  5. Dan Burman, London looks good. Depends what you're looking for though.

    I want to know what happens next.....

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    1. Haha If we're talking about the same guy, then yeah I liked his fight reel. Pretty badass.

      I will update if all goes smoothly, and if it doesn't.

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  6. Billy Bob takes on the acting world. Bad actors fill his basement. He throws them scraps on a Sunday.

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    1. I don't even have the basement to make this happen. I feel like a failure. Oh well I guess doing horrible shit like this is what The Sims is for.

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  7. @free the spirit
    What a wonderful image.

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