Work Ethic

Work Ethic

        I actually had an actor tell me that he really wasn’t concerned over social graces or work ethic. He even went on to question my veracity as a lecturer who would have the audacity of saying or thinking, “work ethic had little or anything at all to do with a person making it in voiceover”. When I questioned the actor about what he thought work ethic had to do with “making it” really meant to him, his answer would have qualified for removal from any of the “John Houseman” classes. “Let’s face it”, he told us, “all that matters is how much money you make.”

        While I didn’t agree with his appraisal of what constitutes success, I did make exceptionally good use of the establishment of his signature as that of a person with complete and total arrogance. “Fads may come and go, but excellence will always remain the ruler. Promptness and perseverance are two of the most necessary ingredients in order to triumph.”

        Work ethic means being on time. On-time means being early. It sounds so simple. It should be an easy enough regimen for any actor to live by. Oddly, there are many people from all walks of life who just can’t manage to be on time. You would think that every actor would know and understand what a tough racket we’re in. The strong are the ones having the best chance of survival. Those who come late are so noted.

        If I have to choose between two actors of comparable skills, I will always opt for the performer I know I can rely on. For me, being late is not an actor’s option. Late for an audition or a performance is an inherent sign of disrespect for one’s colleagues. Tardiness provides a director with an uncalled-for headache to go along with their normal burdens.

Da harv’s advice about lovelore:
And so, I choose to call you “yo-yo”
Quite valid for those venturing as an actor
Some may call you a caveman
With stone wheels on a bumpy road
“Yours, a road far too rough to hoe”

From Brooklyn, With Love

But up and down
In and out you go
And all-around town
Learning early on
Skills making folks laugh for you
Truly a yo-yo, no ordinary clown

Then one day after another
You came late again
The kids were not to be found
Your audience couldn’t wait
Their moms called them home
Never again Mr. Yo-yo
Another kid had come to town
Not with a yo-yo
Not as a clown
The new little boy
Stood early in the schoolyard
Beating on his drum
Waiting and watching
Teaching them all to march
To his cadence
Always on time
A bandleader teaching bandleader
Their parents all watching
Kids playing their instruments
Not as actors
Just a bunch of kids having fun

Harvey Kalmenson

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