Being an actor in a smaller market like Portland, Oregon means we all tend to know each other, the agents and casting directors. So when I meet a new actor I am always pleased (and a little surprised!).
This happened earlier this week while at an audition for a non-broadcast training type of project. I was a few minutes early and was just getting ready to go in when a stranger frantically pulled in next to me.
"Yep! Are you lost?" I replied, totally recognizing the panicked look on her face.
She was, in fact, not as lost as she thought. She was standing in front of the casting office. I showed her the way to the door, how to get in using the passcode posted right on the door, where the restroom was and where to sign in. She was so relieved and so grateful you would have thought I had given her a kidney. Or booked her for the gig myself! She kept saying "You are so nice!" All I could think of was "Really? I am not thinking I am being nice, I am thinking I am being 'human'!"
Later that afternoon I received an email from a fellow actor that had overheard her gushing in the waiting room. In the email, he mentioned that I had been so nice to him when we first met and that he was not at all surprised to hear I had been nice once again. I was again surprised.
All this commenting on how "nice" I was got me to thinking...Shouldn't we ALL be nice to everyone we meet in the course of our acting career? Shouldn't every actor treat every other actor with kindness?
The answer is, of course.
And we shouldn't be nice just in case today's stand-in is tomorrow's casting assistant is next year's Oscar winner. We should be nice because we are all wrapped up in the same love affair - the love of acting.