By Stephanie Ciccarelli
October 27, 2011
Many people tend to separate their work from their personal life and guiding principles in the name of acting.
Does the art of "acting" excuse compromising on morals or violating personal beliefs?
Acting doesn't have to mean leaving your morals at the door...in fact, acting can mean bringing them through the door and into the studio.
Read more in today's VOX Daily.
I happened to see a conversation online at Facebook about whether or not someone should take a voice over job for something that they were sitting on the fence about. The individual was conflicted because while they felt the work was questionable, their need for the money the work would provide was not at all in question.
After reading through the comments, many of which were differing in opinion, it occurred to me that this is a relevant topic for everyone regardless of a project's genre or purpose and that the topic warrants further discussion.
What it all boils down to is whether or not acting justifies an individual in going against their personal morals, beliefs, principles and or politics.
One thought raised was that If a person is willing to go against their morals or beliefs, is it worth having them at all? Food for thought. Why have beliefs or boundaries if the intention is to not honour them in all facets of life?
Another person remarked that if you find yourself sitting on a fence, that's reason in itself to be wary of the opportunity and to reconsider what it would mean for you to take the job. While voice acting often goes uncredited, deep down a person who recorded something they weren't in agreement with knows that they have done the work and must live with their decision.
One voice talent shared that he has never regretted a decision to turn down work that was not aligned with his morals, values and beliefs. You can't put a price on integrity, he said.
Words play an enormous role in the voice over profession. That being the case, every word that comes out of your mouth comes from you regardless of how you came to voice it.
How often does one support something publicly that they strongly disagree with in private or say things to their family and friends that they don't really mean? Not at all, I would hope. Doesn't authenticity then also apply to work? Words that come from the mouth of an actor are still words with meaning coming from the mouth of a person who chose to say them. Acting it itself does not separate actors from their tongues, minds or hearts.
When an actor does not fully invest themselves in the project because of reservations personally, that incongruity comes across in their read which in turn can negatively impact the performance and how it is received. The old adage, "Say what you mean and mean what you say," applies well here. People can spot a hypocrite a mile away.
Acting gives you the opportunity to exercise your creativity while being true to yourself. We all have the right to choose no matter what is placed before us.
Freedom means that you don't need to compromise on your morals, beliefs or otherwise. That being said, freedom does not come without sacrifice. If you stick to your game plan it may mean standing alone, turning down work, the loss of relationships and scrutiny from those who disagree with you.
What you gain is the knowledge that you emerged with your dignity intact and were counted among those who possess both honour and conviction as a business professional and as an individual.
Have you turned down work before? If you have something to add, be sure to comment and join the conversation.
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