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The Truths About Acting

November 29, 1987

I must take issue with Lawrence Christon's negative and patronizing (not to mention exploitive) attitude toward all of us here in Hollywood who are struggling actors ("So Many Actors, So Few Roles," Nov. 15).

First of all, those of us who are well-trained, intelligent, realistic and serious about a career realize that it's a business--we do not need to be reminded of the low level of employment, or the generally condescending attitude of those administrative types we are forced to deal with every day (such as casting directors).

But it's insulting to be thought of as though there is something wrong with us mentally or emotionally because we pursue the hope of a career as an actor.

Most of us are serious artists who are in it for the artistic satisfaction of performing well and doing it (hopefully) better and better each time. Fame and fortune, besides being a myth, are the wrong reasons to be an actor. . . .

Yes, it is a rough and competitive battlefield of broken dreams and dashed careers but for those who are really talented, they know that if they don't at least try to get work they will never, ever know if they had what it takes in talent and determination to become a working actor in Hollywood.

Believe me, I am always so relieved when I have the good fortune to be able to be allowed to go straight to the director or producer to read instead of the humiliation that one is dealt while being made to stand with hat in hand in the steamy casting offices.

It's intersting how in the same issue of Calendar there was a piece on the renewed career of Anne Francis and how she is not always recognized by casting offices when she now goes in to read ("Anne Francis' Second Wind," by Roderick Mann, Nov. 15).

Mann found it bemusing. I found it shoddy treatment for a great actress and a sad statement on the lack of manners and empathy toward actors by casting offices.

Granted there are some wonderful, warm and creative people who have to make a living in casting work, but your reporter didn't talk to them nor were they even mentioned.


West Hollywood

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