We Asked “What Makes A Professional Performer” – And You Told Us At April’s #ActorsHappyHour!

Casting director Lori Lewis shares her views on what makes a performer a professional at the April 2014 #ActorsHappyHour. For more photos, visit our Facebook page.

Northwest actors, April’s Actors Happy Hour was a barn-burner indeed!

As you may recall, the topic of the evening was “What makes a performer a professional?”  In addition to one of the larger crowds we’ve seen at an  #ActorsHappyHour in recent months, the event was graced by the presence of casting director Lori Lewis, director/ producer (actor/ acting coach/ etc.)
Mike Prosser, and representatives from the Portland Belly Dance Guild – all of whom contributed invaluable insights on the subject of professionalism from their particular points of view.

Common themes developed over the course of the discussion, led by APP-NW Board member Todd Robinson.  All in all, it boiled down to a few simple things:

  •  Be on time;
  • Don’t be difficult to work with;
  • Do your job well;
  • Remain humble when you start having success.

Toward the end of the discussion, the point of fair wages came up, and examples of when it is acceptable to donate one’s talents were discussed.  It was agreed nearly unanimously that “compensation” can be defined in myriad ways, but that the performer should always receive something of value for his or her work.

Board member Dennis Fitzpatrick brought the discussion home by pointing out how important it is for professional performers to get a contract for their work – and to honor the agreements they sign.

Of course, these were just the points brought up at Monday’s #ActorsHappyHour – we know many of you weren’t able to attend, and we still want to hear from you about what traits you think a professional performer should have!  Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page… your ideas might just end up on a list of standards Northwest producers should expect professional performers to uphold on their sets!

Remember, Actors Happy Hour is presented from 6-9 at SE Portland’s Bar Maven on the third Monday of every month by The Alliance of Professional Performers – NW, a movement of non-Union and Union performers committed to improving and increasing the level of professionalism within our industry and to protecting performers through the establishment of workplace standards.  Be sure to mark your calendars for next month’s #ActorsHappyHour on May 19th.  We’re looking forward to seeing you there and keeping the conversation going!

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