6 Bad Habits All Actors Should Avoid


Haters: feel free to humbly disagree, but it is truly courageous to want to be a professional performer. The entertainment industry is brutal, and you will need a thick skin and bottomless well of patience to pursue a career as an actor. However, while you’re “struggling” to make this life happen, you’re also in danger of picking up a few bad habits that could eventually bite you in your little actor ass. Here are six that we beg you to steer clear of:

1. Posting about your audition on social media.

It’s great that you’re super jazzed about the two minutes of uninterrupted Sam Shepard you performed for Telsey, but quite frankly, we don’t want to read about it on our newsfeed. We don’t want to know how #soblessed you feel or how you’re living the #actorlife. When you book your first Broadway gig, we will be thrilled for you, but we don’t need to know about every minor audition milestone or mishap along the way.

2. Referencing “big” projects you’re “not allowed to talk about.”

If you can’t share your earth-shattering news, then please don’t pull a West Side Story and constantly hint that “something’s coming.” Wait until you’re allowed to publicly announce your new role, and then we’ll revel in all your glory.

3. Name dropping.

Maybe you met Stephen Schwartz once, and by “met” I mean maybe you checked his coat at a restaurant. Or maybe you two are actually super close, and do yolates together. Regardless, we don’t care. Contrary to somewhat popular belief, dropping names of all the famous people you maybe-kinda know in the industry doesn’t win you a million brownie points. It can, however, win you the reputation of being obnoxious. So! The next time you want to talk about your trip to Maui with Mary Louise Parker, perhaps consider telling us a great knock-knock joke instead.

4. Warming up in public.

Please don’t. Don’t do it. We can’t tell you how many wannabe Othellos have bumped into us on Eighth Ave, affectedly rehearsing their “It Is The Cause” soliloquy. Seriously, it is fuckin’ startling when you haven’t had your morning coffee, and some dude is standing next to you at the light hissing “…and I will kill thee” under his breath. Oh, and let’s not forget the girls singing Jason Robert Brown at the top of their lungs while curling their hair in the Shetler Studio bathrooms — again, just don’t do it, okay? No one likes to hear you practice except for maybe your dog, and even she’s considering ear plugs.

Please warm up in the privacy of your own home prior to your audition.

5. Unnecessary theater lingo.

You know you’ve entered a dark place when you start asking your fellow co-workers to “strike” the wine glasses at your catering gig, or to bring the stuffed mushrooms “stage right.” Theater lingo is meant for the theater and nowhere else. Nowhere. Else.

6. Taking rejection personally.

It is not personal. There are a number of reasons why you didn’t get the part, and none of them are meant to discourage your golden dreams. Maybe you were too tall, too short, too hot, too British, too fuckin’ awesome – who knows? Who cares? You’re not right for it, and it’s not because you suck or the casting director hates you. You just didn’t get it. You will survive, and book something else way better suited to your talents. Or maybe you’ll decide acting isn’t for you, and you’ll open a gluten-free bakery in the Catskills. And you know what? That’d be just as cool.