I have never had a bad review for acting. In fact I’ve had very good, sometimes excellent reviews for over fifty percent of my work in theatre and film. That is not to say I have never been sub par in things. I have but there were no reviewers there on those nights for those shows.
I say this to counter the old ‘sour grapes’ response to anything an actor or writer may say negative about anything or anyone in the business. ‘Sour grapes’ means jealousy. I am not or never have been jealous of any actor I have ever met for any reason. I don’t see acting like that.
Success is illogical in our trade. Jealousy would be equally illogical.
Most actors are aware that ‘success’ is 99% luck. I know fine actors who never work and average actors who are household names.
Anyway my point is this … when a reviewer singles out a performance for particular praise it is practically always the lead or one of the lead roles. If not it is a minor role played flamboyantly with the aim of grabbing the limelight. This leaves the other actors, who are usually equally good in their subsidiary roles, feeling unappreciated.
For Hamlet to be a good performance all the other roles need to be good too. As Mickey Rooney said ‘There are no small parts just small actors.‘ An actor is not supposed to ‘stand out’ from the rest of the cast. An actor does what they do with honesty and to the best of their ability at that moment.
I would just like to point this out to those not in the profession. Look at the production as a whole, don’t just concentrate on the main parts. See how fine someone can do one line or a non speaking part even. Respect the actor.
To my fellow actors I say I admire you all regardless of casting. We must respect each other or we will become little better than talentless, squabbling celebrities obsessed with being noticed and uninterested in the joy and beauty of our wonderful, giving art.
Break a leg. Boyd XXX
Published here with permission. First published on Boyd Clack’s facebook page