Vine: Cuz I only have 6 seconds!

So I’ll take the assumption you know what The question is, what the heck does it have to do with being an actor or the business of acting? I hear ya, but hang with me, and I’ll get to the point. I’m not sure we can cut our brains much shorter but 6 seconds is pretty damn short. Yes, a lot of good and bad things can actually happen in 6 seconds, as many many sports fans of all kinds know. But when you’re talking about focus or as an actor it strikes me as well, far shorter than a preview span of attention, to ask of someone. I mean, 6 seconds…really, and if so then what does that really say? Here is my point you guys…time is harder and harder to GET from strangers and people that you WANT to take you somewhat seriously. We both know that your Demo Reel isn’t 6 seconds long for the love of God…it is longer. We know that your “best work” isn’t captured or able to be judged in 6 seconds…for the love of technology, but we are on many many levels fighting the VINE mentality in life and performance business.

This also goes to my previous Blog about “Branding.” Yes, I’m not stupid, I “get” that all television and entertainment sales have ever been about…is “having an audience.” And yes, I agree that you can “create” an audience via YouTube, Vine-Videos etc. etc. I mean if you couldn’t or I didn’t believe it…I’d be a total fool because there are people doing it as we speak…but ask yourself this: are those folks, for the most part, professional performers? I would likely submit to you the answer…is NO. What are they being “known for” or being “branded as.” Sure I get the Kardashian phenomenon and how they have parlayed and marketed basically a “sex tape” incident into an empire. But does that say more about our society or about the Kardashian’s? I’d say our society.

What is funny about the 6-second trend is after watching many of them it reminds me of this “circus type” concept that was “on the way out” when I was a little kid back in the late 60s. The traveling circus or carnival would always have the “WEIRD” people on display to make fun of, gawk at, and in general…make a spectacle of as “you don’t belong.” It also takes me back to the brief excitement over the PET ROCK when I was a kid. Yeah, seriously, someone made a rock (painted it) and called it PET ROCK. Yes, the guy made a million dollars in a year, and then later was sued (by some crack pot) got death threats etc.

My point, ultimately, is about “attention span.” I have over the course of the last two decades have both encountered it, and also discussed it with hundreds and hundreds of actors, about the FRUSTRATION of not being able to get “folks on the other side of the desk” to come to our showcase, watch our demo reel, or give us a general. Sure they’ll absolutely go take $150-$300 a pop to watch actors at a workshop but they (typically) won’t bother with unknown, or not well represented unknown actors through all of the sources of media we have today. And, as even a further smack in the face, a lot of them (as do people in general) will happily sit around for 10-15 minutes watching silly / stupid 6-second videos…for entertainment. Sorry…that’s probably just a reality we’re stuck with.

None of this is about right or wrong or should or shouldn’t…it is just something I want you to be really conscious of in a different way moving forward…and that is “time” and “focus.” Work to get folks who WILL be willing to take the time to “consider you” because you’re not going to change our natural desire to laugh at silly stuff, do it quickly, and maybe spend more overall time then it would have taken to “watch your reel” but nonetheless watching us as actors is viewed by “all of them” as WORK…and videos on vine are typically viewed as a guilty pleasure or a quick escapism or even entertainment. Either way, what it isn’t, is usually a legit form of being a true performer. Always on your side.