Most people who know me will tell you, I am a nice guy with an easy-going style, who is fair-minded and understanding. But even I have my limits. Anyone who who has read anything I have written, especially on personal matters knows I don’t like having a knife stuck in my back (who does?) or being undermind on any level. That is bad enough on a personal level but when someone deliberately tries to derail your career because you have the guts to tell them where to get off then the gloves well and truly come off.
Take Alexandre of Shoe String Films. He expects people to audition for his film project, to be paid by being ‘fed on shooting days only’. Not sure what he meant by this because I with the exception of one film project, every other film I ever worked on, you were fed on shooting days only, if you weren’t there, then obviously you weren’t fed. But you got paid for your sins and a day’s work. That issue aside, I didn’t like the way his message to me came across or his arrogance. I wrote him back and told him exactly what my position was on the subject of his project. I won’t reiterate here. You can find his initial email to me and my response from my previous Blog entry.
I have heard no more from this Alexandre but late Sunday night while checking my emails I find an email from one of my agents wanting to know what had happened. On reading her email I discovered Alexandre, rather than taking issue directly with me, had instead written to my primary agent about my conduct and so-called unprofessionalism. The odd thing was it was not this agent who had made the submission because she knows I don’t audition or submit myself for unpaid jobs and she always runs things by me first.
What Alexandre did was to try to destroy the excellent working relationship I had with this agency and the lady who runs that agency by taking his grievance to her rather than to me directly. I find his behaviour utterly reprehensive and extremely underhand. I explained in detail my reasons for not wanting anything to do with his project. He had not sold me the idea, his passion or anything else, despite the fact he expects me or anyone audtioning to work for nothing. On that basis there is no way I am working for nothing under those auspices. I know I am not wrong in this viewpoint as there are plenty of actors out there who share that way of thinking.
One can never rule out doing unpaid work but I do expect any director or producer putting a project together and are unable to pay their actors or anyone else, to at least make the effort to sell their idea, their passion, commitment to their project, allowing me to share all of that and turn up each day and do an excellent day’s work. Alexandre did none of that. His only recourse was to write an email to the agent who had nothing to do with the submission and attempt to undermine the excellent working relationship that has been built up over the course of the previous year. I don’t know who this Man is and to be honest, I truly don’t want to know.
All I can say is: SHAME ON YOU ALEXANDRE. S H A M E O N Y O U !!!