When you have spent the majority of your education and free time rehearsing and training with actors you tend to find that there are a few you keep meeting over and over, this is because they are hitting the criteria of a stereotype for an Actor. Here are a few types of Actors I have had the joy of meeting (this is not meant to offend this is just a bit of fun)
1. The Theorist
‘It was good, but….’tend to be the first words that the theorist will say after watching a performance, giving constructive criticism, usually followed by ‘It was an interesting choice’ or ‘It’s just not at all what I expected.’ As annoying as this habit is they tend to right 99% of the time and they don’t mean anything by it, it’s just their opinion, and it’s valid as the Theorist genuinely knows what they are talking about, they are the quieter ones that spent their time at University actually doing the recommended reading and you can’t complain too much considering they are so genuine and when it’s done with grace and tact unlike….
2. The Pretentious One
For some reason, the Pretentious One feels that it is necessary to rip out obscure theatrical quotes and references at really inconvenient times for no other reason than wanting to draw attention to themselves. They’ll say something abstract and then just pray that you turn around and ask them where the quote was from so they can then continue to figuratively flap all over you and your ignorance. And of course they know everyone, but what use is knowing people if you can’t name drop. It doesn’t matter who wrote, directed or performed in the play. That is their claim to fame. The playwright could be an unknown, obscure Swedish hypnotist that grew up in West Africa and yet you would still hear, ‘Oh, them? We studied together/worked on a show together/had a thing once.’ Sure you did, buddy.
3. The Free Spirit
Ah the free spirit, they are a breath of fresh air because they love life! They are the drama student that never grew up. More often or not they are the life and soul of the party and they embrace everything, they also tend to be impulsive by dying hair, getting new piercings/tattoos on a whim. They dance across the room or start singing because the moment felt right and they couldn’t contain themselves. This person has creativity naturally flow through them, and this makes them the perfect person to work with.
4. The Druggie/Drunk
Narcotics tend to full this persons creativity, they often found at the local open mic nights testing their new material, which to be fair, is always pure genius. Even though their breath is boozy, their manner can be arrogant and they speak in an endless trail of unnecessary theatrical jargon, they are impossible to resist, I kind of want to shut them up by violently smashing my lips against theirs. As much as I hate that stupid blazer that smells like jaga and old people, I kind of want to rip it off and see the remnants heaped helplessly on my bedroom floor. Even though they criticise everything I do, I kind of wish they were naked while doing so.
5. The Diva
The Diva views the world as her oyster and herself as its pearl, the crowning achievement of the evolutionary process. She craves attention and she will have people look at her no matter what, she will achieve this by singing at the top of her lungs when nobody hummed a tune or creating a very melodramatic scene where she accuses the customer designer of trying to sabotage her performance because the dress a quarter inch too long. (Yes I have seen that happen) If the Diva isn’t happy, nobody is.
6. The Brooding Artiste
He is generally an actor, occasionally a director or playwright, never a techie. Plagued by existential angst, the Brooding Artiste has a hyper-romantic view of the cosmos. He has been known to sabotage his personal relationships because he can’t reconcile his romanticized notions of how things ought to be with the prosaic reality of dealing with another deeply flawed human being. Although the Brooding Artiste tends to drink too much and write poetry alone in his room to still the raging maelstrom of his thoughts, he is one of the most intelligent, compassionate, well-intentioned, and trustworthy people you will encounter in theatre.
7. The Charming Sociopath
The Charming Sociopath’s twin goals in life are to get ahead and to get laid. If he can do both simultaneously, the better. He is remorseless in his seduction methods: Facebook-friending 17-year-old stagehands, spouting bullshit about Brecht and Ionesco that he just looked up on Wikipedia that morning, and serenading young and susceptible ensemble members with romantic ballads. His eyes are bloodshot from excessive weed use and he has elevated the one-night stand to an art form.
8. The Class Act
The Class Act is a performer as talented as he is humble and an endangered species amongst actors; you are more likely to encounter a unicorn grazing in the green room than a Class Act. The Class Act is both extraordinarily gifted as an artist and extraordinarily likable as a human being. He is that mythical creature who learns his lines, takes his notes without complaint, hangs up his costumes, thanks his stage manager and never misses a cue. He has no idea how spectacular he really is he considers himself an average actor and puzzles over his raving reviews, feeling in no way deserving of any of them. The single most trustworthy and admirable figure in theatre, the Class Act somehow manages to hold down a full-time job, maintain a stable family life, accumulate numerous acting awards and maintain emotional equilibrium.
Alas it is true, I do love me a group of Actors. Theatre people, as a general rule, are walking caricatures of themselves, complete with idiosyncrasies that would put an Oscar Wilde character to shame. What theatre would be complete without some of these characters to make the drama behind the scenes almost as worthwhile as what you see on stage xxx