Posted by: nancykenny | January 16, 2011

The Publicist’s Dilemma (Part 2)

Ask the majority of actors and they will tell you how they try not to read reviews during the run of a show. I get it. The outcomes are never good. You might get a bad review that, after weeks of hard work & baring your soul, just breaks your fucking heart on the scale of “little kid crying about how people are just MEAN” all the way to “Oh my God, I suck! I am the suckiest actor that ever sucked!” All of this making you doubt yourself and your performer choices and wish that you didn’t have a whole other week of performances to go through, because frankly, why should you be subjecting people to THAT? Of course, your friends, your colleagues, even your director will tell you to pay it no mind, that it’s just one person’s opinion, and really, nobody ever reads the *insert publication here*

Or maybe the reverse happens. You get an amazing review! They loved you! They really loved you! And just like that you find yourself with a sense of bloated false self-esteem, which you know isn’t true because what your friends said about bad reviews also applies to good ones, but it still ruins all the beautiful nuances you had found in the script because now you’re just hamming it up. “Do you get it? THIS is that funny part he/she mentioned in the review. Do you get it? This is funny, right? Do you see how FUNNY I am?”

Ugh.

Heck, even worse is if you get a good review and your colleague gets a bad one, or vice versa. Awkward stares in the dressing room as you both pretend you don’t know what was said. And no one can really say anything without opening up a can of worms. If you got the good review, you can’t say all the regular platitudes, because the response will always be, “well that’s easy for you to say”. If you get the bad review, well, what can you say?

So as an actor, you just avoid this messy mess altogether.

But what if the actor also happens to be the publicist for the show? If you’re producing your own work, chances are the bulk of the administrative work, including marketing and publicity ends up in your plate.

Which means that in my case, for the reasons I explained in Part 1, I have to read the reviews about myself during the run of a show. And let me tell you, it’s not always fun.

So what do you do? You learn to compartmentalize, be objective and take everything with a grain of salt – three things that I am not very good at.

I don’t have an answer for this one. If someone else does, please, share your secret!


Responses

  1. I don’t really have an answer, either, except to say “this to shall pass.” Good reviews: “this too shall pass.” Bad reviews: “this too shall pass.”
    Tough one, lady, I’ve been there!

    • Thanks Rebecca. I also forgot to mention, since I book the media and VIPs, I know when the media and VIPs are in the audience.

  2. a lot of times reviewers forget when it’s a great show that a Director actually directed it. However if they think it’s bad – they always mention the director.

  3. […] Publicist’s Dilemma (Part 3) For Parts 1 and 2 – go here and here […]

  4. […] how back in Part 2 I briefly touched on the difficulties with being both an actor and a publicist for a show? (No? […]


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