You’d think the talent and the director could sympathize with one another’s creative plight within the industry. I like to think that they do, even if they are both focused on their performance or fear the scrutiny of their professional artistic abilities. The Director’s main objective is to walk away fully content with the big picture. The actor, however, only plays a role in that bigger picture (pardon the pun).
Since the Director is on set from idea inception to final delivery, there is a lot of stress involved in carrying, birthing, and raising the idea to it’s full potential. In essence, the director is somewhat of a parental figure, if you will. Without making this relationship into a parent/child or employee/employer dynamic, let’s acknowledge that the Director usually does have the final say when it comes to any on-set debate. If the talent understands where their position is in the bigger picture of what’s being made, it is easier to understand that the Director’s ideas may conflict with the talent’s opinions. The beauty of this conflict, though, is that everything is OK. Directors don’t have to agree with talent to get a great product in the end. Talent don’t have to agree with the Director’s direction, either. What the talent does need to be able to do, however, is put their opinion aside and fully listen and deliver on what the Director is requesting.
As far as relationships go, the talent who can be flexible and maneuver to fit the Director’s requests fluidly on set will be remembered, appreciated, and very likely requested again in the future. Directors like knowing that the people around them can be fully trusted and will make their day of work less stressful than working with a green talent. When you get the opportunity to work with a new director, use that time wisely to meet their expectations and be accommodating to any requests. The #1 way to be memorable is to be enjoyable and professional. This one choice can make you their first consideration as their careers blossom and you just might ride their coat tails into a successful career of your own!