The Actor’s Etiquette Posts, and Why You Should Read Them

etiquette JapanA few years ago, I toyed with the idea of getting a degree in Accounting.  I already had a B.A., but I was taking some Accounting courses and wondered if a degree in it would be useful.  (The answer turned out to be “No,” but that’s not the point.)

One of the degree requirements was a Business 101 course.  As far as I was concerned, this was a waste of time.  I’d been working in business for nearly thirty years in a variety of capacities and had learned a lot about how business functions.  This was a course that would be useful for twenty-somethings, but not for me.

Oh, I was so wrong.  I learned a surprising amount from it and am very happy I took it.

I’m going to write a series called “Actor’s Etiquette” which will appear every Friday and which covers things that seem to me to be obvious or common sense, and yet I encounter both experienced and new actors who don’t understand the concepts behind them.  Or at least, don’t practice them.

They are things that are so basic that those of us who have been living them for years forget that they aren’t part of everyone’s vocabulary.  We get jolted in rehearsal when we see these behaviors.  The words, “You’ve got to be [expletive] kidding me!” may even pass through our heads, although we are typically wise enough to not say them.

All of them are, on some level, about an actor’s responsibilities to the play or the class, and to your fellow artists or students.

Please don’t assume that you are “beyond” these posts.  I’m going to flag them all as “Actor’s Etiquette” posts specifically because I want to draw your attention to them.  I know you aren’t going to read every single post I write, and that’s fine.  But when I preface the title of a post with “Actor’s Etiquette”, that’s my way of saying, “If you read nothing else, read this one!”


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