The Acting Workshop Sketch
The following is a fictional conversation based on an email thread. A lot of it is enhanced to make me look better.
Me: Hello Craigslist actor! I’m getting back to you to let you know that I want to cast you in my scene for the Robocop remake parody.
Actor: Great! When is it?
Me: this Monday.
Actor: Oh…I can’t I have an acting workshop that I have to go to.
Me: Uh… what? An acting workshop?
Me: Okay, you know I’m offering you the part, right? And that this is based totally off of your headshot.
Me: From a post on Criaglist that you submitted to.
Me: And this is a speaking role, not an extra. I’m putting you, sight unseen, in my scene to be seen by many and you’re saying no.
Me: Because of an acting workshop.
Me: (beat) so how does that work out in your head as logical? You’re skipping out on an acting gig, so that you can go to a workshop to practice getting an acting gig. That’s sort of like buying a DVD but then only reading the reviews of it.
Actor: But this is a workshop with an industry professional.
Me: I’m an industry professional too! And I just cast you!
Actor: But you’re not paying for this job.
Me: But I’m also not charging. Look, I get it. You’ve got three (dubious) credits to your IMDB and you signed up for this acting “workshop” (check out those irony quotes, yo!) chasing the dream. A casting associate is going to have you and 30 other paying actors read scenes from Chicago Hope and then never call you in. But you paid for it and you feel like this could be your big shot at getting noticed. It’s a lottery ticket in disguise of a 5 line watiress role. But here’s the deal: in the end, you can’t get the jobs if you don’t have experience. I’m not paying you, but I am offering you a workshop in experience. You show up on set and you’ll learn, AND have fun. Plus, it’s an IMDB credit! For zero money, I’m increasing your roles by 33%! So again, where’s that mental paper trail that led you to dis me and my homies?
Actor: I feel like you’re being mean now. And sanctimonious. Can’t I make my own decisions, right or wrong?
Me: Of course you can. And don’t worry, this is only a hypothetical conversation. In the real exchage I was very courteous and wished you luck.
Actor: Oh, so why are we doing this?
Me: Honestly, it’s more about me than you. I’ve been writing a movie for a cable channel for the last 15 days. My holiday was spent writing, watching 5 minutes of whatever action movie FX had on at the moment (Iron Man 2 tonight.), playing 10 minutes of Minecraft, and then repeating the cycle. I just finished today and now have to focus on this Robocop thing. But when you declined, I think it struck a nerve in me. I’ve been slowly shifting away from acting for a lot of reasons for the last year. Reasons that are either mundane, practical or deeper than I want to explore.
Actor: Sounds like a mid-life crisis.
Me: Maybe, but stay out of my head. I think what happened when you turned me down is that I flashed back to when I was a young actor. I worked my ass off back then, acting in everything I could, trying everything to get a leg up, to beat my competition. I can’t wrap my head around that guy anymore, but I can argue for you to follow that path.
Actor: Wow, we went a little dark on this post, huh?
Me: Yeah. the good news is that Tumblr is no longer a place where people read things this long. It’s all images and video clips.
Actor: Maybe you should have shot this as a video.
Me: That’s a good idea. You want to be in it?
Actor: I would…
Both: But I have an acting workshop!
Me: Goodnight everyone!
Credits role in 2 point font as a promo for “Super Fun Night” plays.