An Actor’s Perspective: Maintaining Show Biz Relationships.
I recently attended a play at The Road Theatre in North Hollywood. I’ve been to this theatre before and I have to say, the quality of work is great, I have always enjoyed myself, and felt the masked-up trip was worth it. However, this time, I saw, or rather deeply experienced a play that I felt was so good and spot on about the industry that I found myself leading the standing ovation. The name of the play is, “The Play You Want.” The writing was sublime and the cast was more than up to the task. I especially liked the lead actor who, it turned out, after some incredible happenstance, is an American-born Peruvian. I am Peruvian, born in Peru and live in America, so what is the big deal? For as long as I have been in the business, here and in New York, I have only run into a cinematographer, a director, and a makeup artist that were from Peru. And from that small group, I have only been able to keep in touch with the director. Mainly because he has hired me a few times for his various shows and series.
It is true that I have a lot of colleagues that I keep in touch via Twitter, Facebook (Meta), and Instagram. But that’s not really a relationship, is it? The truly important relationships with my fellow artists come from running into people at in-person auditions, industry events, and the occasional coffee at various coffee shops in and around the greater Los Angeles area, pre and post-ish COVID-19. So, what are we to do in this COVID-19 world in maintaining show biz relationships? And why is it important?
The only networking I ever used to do was on set, at premieres, or during acting classes. But, we all have to take networking, I hate that word, much more seriously. If covid has taught us anything about our careers it’s that maintaining strong ties with people in the industry is vital if you want to stay not only relevant, but employed. With actors I have worked with in the past, those that I already know, I usually send them a text asking how things are going, or if they heard such and such casting director is casting for such and such a project. There are others, of course, which have gone beyond acquaintances and on-set friends, and developed into real friends, the people that I talk to on a regular basis or come over to the house. Although, honestly, I find that number getting smaller and smaller. But that’s fine, our core group of friends is always small. I don’t know who anyone could maintain a bigger group anyway, not without professional help! However, I do feel that to be in a business like this that is so often one you don’t work in on a regular basis, I do have such a wealth of talent and friendships over the years, and I really should be making a better effort to keep in touch and reignite what we all used to have; camaraderie.
Well, that’s all for me. I just got a text message from my new American-born Peruvian friend who was the lead of that play I saw at The Road. We are planning to have an in-person chat at a Starbucks near his place where we will commiserate on the lack of good roles, how are families are holding up, and future plans to meet and perhaps in the not to distant future, work together. And all things Peruvian!