A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

Hey there!

In an age where diversity is the watchword when it comes to casting, directing, writing, producing and just about every other aspect of our work as performers, a strange condition remains very much in effect for us actors.

And no one seems to care one bit about it. And we’ve achieved something quite remarkable.

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Raw YouTube Captioning

Hey there, it’s Stephen H Lawrence the 17th. And today I want to talk to you about something. That’s really really.
About our business as performers.
this has been to say the least a
Rocky tumultuous overwhelming
strange and sometimes confusing
It’s the age of me too. And it’s the age of X up and it’s the age of accountability and it’s the age of
diversity and equality and
and yet
as performers
We live with something every single day that defies all that it defies it.
On a regular basis and it’s not something that we even consider.
To be bad because it isn’t it just is what it is.
In any other business what we live with what we recognize as common and standard.
Would never be tolerated.
what I’m talking about
job discrimination
Job discrimination in what other business?
Could you post a job?
that specifies
an age range
There are federal laws against that.
Right, you couldn’t say a we need someone who is 25 years old to play 18 and under?
Wait a minute. What about all the 26 27 50 45 70 year old that are available to to play the role. What why are they have
it because we need a 25 year old need someone who can
Drink liquor or smoke a cigarette and play a teenager. So that’s what we do.
age discrimination
and every single category of discrimination
Just like wide-open gender race.
Age looks disability sexual orientation.
It’s all based on the part and we live with it.
We don’t sit there and go why how dare you you tell me that? I’m too short.
take discrimination or how dare you tell me that I’m not pretty enough to do this or I’m
b2prity to do this or I’m too fat or too thin or too ugly or too black or too white where could we possibly
Ask for someone to addition to to apply for a job cuz that’s what we do when we audition right?
apply for a job
Be able to speak.
Adele don’t make it all kinds of Flowery words, you know, but street lingo.
For Appalachian ethnicity, you know hillbilly.
You know a stick up the but you know genteel.
What about people who are?
Are hearing actors the play deaf people.
You know, what about wheelchair-bound people that aren’t really wheelchair-bound are only wheelchair-bound in the story,
you know.
I need a black person. Sorry. We went with a black purse when we that Hispanic first. We went with an ethnically ambiguous
We need a white guy. We need a white guy. Our villain is a big fat old.
loud white guy
That’s what we’re looking for.
That’s what the story calls for. That’s what the writer wrote We are so at ease with this.
Where is it in any other business? We’d be like tearing our hair out if that was one of the one of the requirements to get
a job.
Because we understand we’ve spoken we’ve been told it’s not you. It’s the story. It’s the writer. It’s the story.
Writers are charged with being diverse.
and being inclusive
You know of people are getting you know of a level stars are getting Riders put in their contract where you know directors
have to be diverse and inclusive in.
the the
the parts that people come up with
Have to be multi.
Inclusive like we’ll take a Pacific Islander.
Or we’ll take a Hispanic person or will take a white person. We want one of those. We just really want a villain.
We want a creepy evil villain, right?
Sleep under it.
We talked about it.
And then we just move on we don’t sit there. I mean, yes, there have been certain times in our history.
Other abled people. I think that’s the current phrase for it. I just want to be clear.
I mean disabled, but I’m also thinking of you know other Lee abled people.
who have
I’ve been very upset when
Portico nominal or normal actors
A disability and do a part. They pretend to be blind. They pretend to be deaf or they pretend to have some sort of disease
Makes it hard for them to walk or confined to a wheelchair.
and then there were times when we hire people like RJ on Breaking Bad who has
You know cerebral palsy I believe is what he suffers for cerebral palsy.
Because the character is CP.
But it’s not something that in any other business would be a federal offense.
companies would pay a steep and heavy fine for
We live with discrimination.
We live with the idea that if we don’t match.
the expectations of the casting and the director and the writer
How can I get the job? I mean, yes, according to Michael kostroff it according to me because I follow what he says. We’re
not getting the job anyway.
But isn’t it weird?
That we have achieved a level of understanding.
and parody
about this
like no other aspect of society
It means somebody’s not going to get the job.
and somebody is
So there’s this massive discrimination only one person can get the job.
And we talked about it. We ponder it we
We Pander to the demands.
The story in the Creator nothing else. We don’t Pander to a specific.
Rights group that says we must have this you must do this you must hire you must cast
No, we we must we don’t we don’t have to we don’t have to.
And we live with it.
And I wonder how this happens.
I wonder why.
Sure, I bet it’s frustrating for actors who don’t get the gig.
But it’s pretty nice for actors. Who do
Right doesn’t try to go across everything.
I wonder how we ended. How do you think about these things?
When you go in for something and you sit in the area outside the the audition space and you see 50 different age sex cells
and ranges.
ethnic rages ranges and looks and
Genders and how does that make you feel tell me in the comments below? What do you think?
when you know
They could be utterly capricious and say yep. We went in a different direction.
You know we went for this.
I just find this whole thing fascinating. I wonder what you think about it. Leave me a comment below this video if your on
If you’d like to join my YouTube channel and be notified when these pithy videos come out every day.
Go ahead and click on my head there. If there’s no head there’s a subscribe button somewhere on the page.
Subscribe, what’s the latest episode of done? Click on that frame will play it for you?
I’m David H Lawrence xvii. I thank you so much for watching and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

8 Responses to A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

  1. Patti G May 21, 2019 at 6:42 am #

    I am a 60 year old Caucasisn woman. I audition for young adult, middle age and senior voice roles. And get a bit of each. I also have auditioned for African American, various Southern dialects, Asian, Hispanic, Brittish and Australian and South African voice roles and incredibly, have been cast for those as well. As a voice actor I think we are at an advantage because the casting directors can’t see us. I use my company logo on the pay to play sites and and hide my picture on my website. I think it’s the quality of your acting that should be judged not who you actually are.

  2. Bill Johnston May 21, 2019 at 6:47 am #

    On one level, this is really scary. Your talk elicited the thought, “What if somebody tried to ‘fix’ this situation?”

    Taking the answer to its logical conclusion ala argumentum ad absurdum, the search for diversity, looked at as ‘inclusiveness,’ could lead to its exact opposite, i.e., total unreality.

    For instance, to take inclusiveness to its highest levels, an author’s characters would all have to look, act, and say things in an identical way. The thing that comes to my mind with respect to who could play these roles in a movie would be robots made to the same manufacturing specifications.

    Or, getting there by going the opposite direction (ala Christopher Columbus) the characters would have to be created using a system of random selection of characteristics. But, that would require ….

    Oh, I don’t know why I am doing this; I think I’m following Alice down into the rabbit hole or maybe going down the road to becoming my own Grandpa.

    Please forgive me, David.

  3. Alison Blanchard May 21, 2019 at 9:06 am #

    I’m a middle aged white lady who has very few on screen roles on my resume. The parts I go in for tend to be the little “under 5” type co- or guest stars. Often these are some of the rare parts for which age/race/gender/weight/attractiveness are immaterial (waitress, concierge, passer-by, etc). I’ve been told by a casting director that I actually am less likely to be cast in that type of role because production makes an effort to cast the little parts with ethnic minorities so as to bump up the total diversity in the show. This is an unfortunate break for me, but it’s also (and I think in a systemically sinister way) really bad for the minority actors trying to book larger roles. Production can justify hiring a lilly-white series regular or leading cast because they hired a lot of ethnic minorities in the small parts. I don’t have a solution for this, other than to get writers to magically write deliberately diverse main cast parts. Just another weird aspect of the baked-in job discrimination you’re describing.

  4. Einar Gunn May 21, 2019 at 9:40 am #

    Interesting angle on this.

    But I don’t let it bother me.

    Sure, there are roles being advertised as a specific gender; sexual persuasion; age, skin color; ancestry; etc. that, upon reading the script, could be filled with almost any actor with a pulse — talent being a given. And one might indulge oneself in ten seconds of “Why couldn’t that have been me?”

    Then there are roles that absolutely have to be cast with someone who fits a particular criteria, because it’s germane to the story being told. One wouldn’t cast the part of an 80-year old black man with a 20-something white dude.

    I once read for a role casting said producers wanted to go younger than scripted and they really wanted me for it. They loved my audition! Three weeks later I got word I looked too young for the part…

    Should I have sued for discrimination?


    So, I don’t let it bother me.

  5. Chris Buckner May 21, 2019 at 10:47 am #

    I never quite thought of it as discrimination, but it very obviously is. And yeah, given the way parts are written, it makes sense. I don’t have much to offer with regard to whether it’s a problem that needs to be fixed, but this video definitely has got me thinking. Thanks for the video David.

  6. Stephanie May 21, 2019 at 1:27 pm #

    I think we need this kind of discrimination to tell the stories the writers have in mind. It is creative freedom. If we get nuts about the character breakdowns and the details of who and what they are looking for it stops their creative freedom. It keeps the game interesting too.

  7. Veleka May 23, 2019 at 11:37 pm #

    The only time if bothers me is when it doesn’t work. Last night I watched Luc Besson’s “American Renegades,” and none of the “Americans” were Americans. They looked and acted and felt like Europeans. And in the Special Features, I found out they were all Brits.

    Playing an American (or any other national group) is more than being able to do an accent well. The only Brit I believe is truly authentic at playing Americans is Damian Lewis.

  8. Trish Bell May 27, 2019 at 1:03 pm #

    Completely understand when it is TV, stage,or film when there are casting specifics but in voice acting?????????…

    Total complete job discrimination for sure. What puzzles Me is a cancer research VO ad, or cancer story booking goes to anybody. Why not a booking prerequisite being: a real cancer survivor, professionally trained voice actor?

    To tell a story that has been lived is far more compelling than a creative team’s favorite, telling it..

    Real life experienced voice actor here: cancer survivor, Mom, divorce survivor, sister, aunt, friend.

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