Even the most laid back and egalitarian among us can be insufferable snobs when it comes to coffee, music, cars, beer, or any other pet obsession where things have to be just so. What are you snobbish about?
Well I’m snobbish about my career.
As a young eager actor I did what is expected of all young actors. I worked ridiculous hours, in dreadful conditions for little or no pay, all in the name of climbing the ladder.
TIE for example: I remember the 5am starts in a remote corner of the country, followed by trying to keep my eyes open whilst driving my fellow actors and the set to a school located two hours away from our accommodation. Then hauling the set in and up, thankful for a cup of tea (if we were lucky enough and time allowing). Eight thirty and the school bell rings for registration, time now to cover our tired faces with make up and dress in our smelly, damp costumes before the sounds of delighted children filled the hall. SHOWTIME. An hour and a half of high energy performance, super fast costume changes, including technical cues and set changes. Take a bow, then its straight to work pulling down the set and packing the van, dancing round the dinner ladies who are angrily trying to set up for lunch. Finally in the van and ready to go, you scoff your lunch during your hours drive to the next school, where you do the whole thing all over again. Come the evening when you lay down in an uncomfortable bed in a cold draughty house, trying to drown out the snores of your room mate, you think to yourself is £40 a day really worth it.
Then the short films, which you agree to do for free because its only two days filming and you hope that the footage will be good enough for your showreel. Unfortunately that two days turns in to two weeks of pick ups and reshoots because the crew hasn’t got a clue. And then the edit takes months longer than expected, meaning you have to email every week to remind them that you exist. Finally you get a DVD through the post and the result, as you sit back on the couch, is a dropped jaw and turning stomach followed by emails to all the cast begging them not to put this on the internet or at the very least not to tag you.
It took me a long time to grow a pair and decide that I would no longer work for less than equity minimum. Call me a snob if you want but I believe that if more actors were a little more snobbish perhaps the industry would sit up and treat us all with a little more respect.