05.02.2009 08:19 - Actors
As part of my travels as a comedian, I often come into contact with Actors. If you're ever making a film, then you'll usually need actors - unless, of course, you're making a documentary. Actors, as Alfred Hitchcock once said, are a necessary evil. Film-makers find actors by holding auditions, or casting-calls. More often they pay someone else to do them, so they can keep contact to a minimum.
Because Actors are very strange people. They are both trained and paid to be convincing liars. It follows then, that many have additional psychopathic symptoms. Handling actors is best done with cotton gloves - or preferably, large industrial rubber ones, because you never know where they've been. It helps if you have some experience with cats - such as herding them. In fact, actors have a number of feline attributes, such as never paying for drinks, not wanting to know you until you've got something they want, sleeping anywhere and with anyone they like, drinking in toilets and savagely clawing each other and the occasional piece of scenery. You can also develop serious allergies to both, and it often makes for a quieter life if you have them neutered.
Fortunately for me, my mother and sister both worked in the probation service, and have long experience of dealing with criminal psychopaths, which they have shared with me.
It often helps, in dealing with actors, to have something that they want, with which to hold their interest. This usually boils down to either money or food. Never lend money to an actor. You'll never get it back and when they're in a position to pay it back, they won't want to know you. Likewise, never pay an actor half-way through a film. Feed them, by all means, just don't pay them. They'll only squander it on trinkets.
Some of the more successful actors have something called an agent. An agent acts as a sort of conduit between the actor and normal people, translating one for the other, and typically gets 10-15% of the actor's income. This means that the actor's fee must be paid to the agent, who subtracts their commission, and then pays the actor. Often an agent will control the actor's bank account, as simple addition and subtraction is beyond most actors. Never give an actor a credit or debit card. Sudden income can make them dizzy, and many of them have not yet worked out the connection between "the magic piece of plastic" and the increasingly threatening letters from their Bank. The concept of negative equity has yet to be successfully introduced to the acting community.
It is important that you don't get me wrong here - I have some fine friends who are actors. I also like cats.
I'm also very careful to wash my hands after touching either.