Monday, April 6, 2009

Reality Check No 1: Artiste World is full of Paradoxes


Definition of "Paradox": A paradox is a statement or group of statements that leads to a contradiction or a situation which defies intuition; or, it can be an apparent contradiction that actually expresses a non-dual truth. The word paradox is often used interchangeably with contradiction. Often, mistakenly, it is used to describe situations that are ironic.

If you're an aspiring Artiste, be aware that paradox is apparent. If you're attending a casting session, and the criteria may fit your profile perfectly, do not expect you will be hired. A lot of the demands of the industry is simply paradoxical, mainly because the channels of communication is many. The film director wants a certain look for the lead actor, and communicated his thoughts to the producer. But the producer has other things in his mind, thus, adding a few more additional criteria for the lead actor.

When these so called criteria are expressed to the talent reps, it will eventually sound paradoxical, hence confusion to some. Paradox is indeed a confusion and dysfunctional wiring between the mind and the heart. Speaking from an artiste's point of view, you need to be always be YOURSELF. Because if you tries to fit in the criteria set by the producer or casting agent, very likely you will fail the audition. Nobody really knows exactly what they want. And this is not necessarily a bad thing. It could mean there's some form of open-ness in the casting process, and hey, you might stand a chance to clinch the role. Sometimes, I find it better to loosen the criteria set and leave it more open so I could find someone really interesting.

In artiste world, paradox you can turn into a good thing. Look at our own lives away from being an artiste. We want faster better convenience, yet do not want to pay a lot of money. We want our friends to accept who we are, but yet we randomly only pick friends with certain criteria. We dreams of becoming an artiste, yet sits on our back facing the computer screen without actually doing something concrete about realising the dream. We want to become an artiste, yet not thinking what happens next after achieving it. Same principle applies to the industry as well. Film directors hire actors who fit the stereotypes in their minds, but not taking heed of what the audience are actually feeling about local films and how it should change. Aspiring artiste getting ready to venture into the industry are thinking twice about the manic paradox maze lying ahead of them.

Again, not all is lost when these 2 things you bear in mind: be YOURSELF and be INTERESTING. Not everyone can know themselves honestly and get a proper perspective of themselves as an artiste. If you were to inspect and judge yourself, some form of bias is sure to taint the actual picture. Even to be an interesting artiste, you have to walk on the fine line of being an interesting artiste that evokes either a positive or worst, a negative rejection. A second party is needed to provide an objective and professional help in grooming the artiste's talent. One best way is take up an artiste training course. It sets you ready for a position that is stronger to tackle the many grey areas on what lies in the heads of producers and directors. Hopefully, with the proper education and training, it will get you through this paradoxical, hyper-competitive artiste world.