----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: The Hater

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Hater

I find it interesting that my blog has attracted an anonymous poster who does nothing but take issue with my "negativity." First, s/he criticizes me for criticizing the director of the short film I've been cast in. Then, s/he criticizes me for finding fault with the writing of others. So apparently, this poster is allowed to be critical of me, but I should not be critical of others. Hmmm.

Let me also say this: as a copy editor and writer, I take issue with people who are being paid to write who lack a basic level of competence. I also take issue with publications who continue to employ them, thereby validating such substandard work. I don't feel that is negative. I feel it's my way of keeping proper written language from disintegrating into slang and emoticons. Wouldn't that be gr8? Not IMHO. ; ) There are plenty of talented, competent writers out there, and I would much rather employ them than someone who cannot turn in an article free from basic mistakes.

About the short film: I want to do the project because I admire the script and I want the chance to be on film in a leading role. But this is not the director's first film--we're not talking about some wet-behind-the ears naif--and if he has not figured out by now how to motivate a cast and get people to commit to shoot dates, then it's a waste of everyone's time. And that's frustrating. Of course, I admire his passion for the project, but passion alone is not going to get the job done. For example, he has canceled the Sunday shoot because he could not get people to come to Napa to be in the scene. Then he said that he still wanted to shoot some scenes of me in Napa, but I would need to pick him up from south of San Francisco (about 40 miles from where I live), drive to Napa (about 55 miles), and then return him to his house. I personally don't think it's professional to plan a shoot without planning transportation to get there. And since I'm not receiving any sort of compensation at all, I think it's too much to ask that I drive all over the place because the director does not have his own transportation.

I tried to help his vision by finding a location to shoot inside a tasting room in Napa and by volunteering my digitial camera for use for publicity stills, etc. However, I think that the director needs to demonstrate a basic ability to get the job done, not just a belief in the project. And so far, that hasn't happened. In fact, the whole shoot is off for this weekend. I am still on board, but at this point, I have my doubts that this director will be able to make the shoot happen. He now says that he is going to find new actors and make them sign contracts so they won't be able to back out, but I think he's going about things the wrong way. Why not instead offer to pay for gas or provide lunch, instead of telling the actors they must bring their own? Offer incentives, not threats about what will happen if the actors don't show up. I once auditioned for a student film where I received money for parking and gas just for coming to the audition, and that was a no-budget project, too. Hey, I hope this shoot happens. But I have to be realistic and protect myself, as well.

All I am asking for is a basic level of competence. I think it is sad for those who don't make an effort to acheive at least that level. Maybe they don't know any better, or maybe they don't care or maybe they think that sliding by with a minimum of effort and expecting others to pick up the slack is just fine. But I don't. I hold myself and others to a higher standard. For example, I know I'm not the best actress in the world, but I wouldn't show up at an audition without knowing my lines or in inappropriate, slovenly attire. Nor do I think I'm the best writer ever, but I make an effort to present copy that's readable and conforms to basic style guidelines. It's a matter of respect.

So, to the critical poster out there, yes, I do judge people. And it's because I believe that those who want to make a success of themselves need to have standards. I am not, however, negative just for the sake of being negative. Apparently, that is your job...to post critical, negative, anonymous comments on other people's blogs. But hey, thanks for reading. I'd rather provoke a reaction than not have any readership at all.


  • At 5:34 PM, Blogger Alexandrialeigh said…

    Don't sweat the rude, anonymous posters. I find it interesting that when people are trolling the Internet looking for people to criticize, they can't attach a name to their rants.

    You needn't defend yourself to someone who obviously gets his or her kicks from trying to make other people as miserable as he or she is.

    Keep the rants, musings, etc. coming!


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