Directors – They are kind enough to offer you a gig. Maybe, but maybe not. Directors can regret if they have to deal with certain actors because of their behaviour. These are the five biggest red flags that can upset any director. If you do them all, I guarantee you won’t work in this area again.

You don’t know where your lines are

An actor who doesn’t know his lines is the worst thing for a director. Sometimes, you learn something very well and then when you get on set, it is gone from your mind. It’s not a big deal if you miss one or two lines, but acting is about learning your lines. You cannot act if you can’t read the script. It is the foundation for all your other work.

It is important to recall your lines well enough that you can still speak the words even under stress. A director who is constantly frustrated by actors who fail to deliver the script’s message can be a serious problem.

Direction is not possible.

Although it may seem obvious, taking direction can be one of the most difficult parts of acting. Sometimes it feels like you have a great idea, but it is the same thing when it comes back to you on the monitors. Many of these issues are due to the actor’s stress response. Stress can dramatically affect a person’s ability to think through complex ideas. Just as learning the basics is the foundation of an actor’s work, bricks and mortar are the directions. Director has a vision, and the actors are responsible for facilitating that vision. An actor who is unable or unwilling to follow a direction will not have a long career.

Despite this, not all directors are equal. Recently, I was in an advertisement where I received the following direction: “Can you pull that face?” Then the director made a specific facial expression on my face. My reply of “Sure ….” was not well received. My response of, “Sure… My point is that communication is a two-way process. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand the direction. You may find other actors or assistant directors on larger projects who can help you understand the direction. You’re on the right path as long as you do everything possible to follow their suggestions.

Don’t stick to your character (onset).

Okay.¬†Don’t direct any other actors¬†unless you are the legitimate director of the project. Don’t do it. You wouldn’t tell the lighting guys where to place the lights or how to change the lens for the DOP. Instead, let the director direct, produce and design the set. It’s great if the actors are willing to discuss the scene, analyze the text and work together. You can do it! However, no one likes to be told how to do their jobs, so let the departments do theirs. That’s what they were hired to do.

If asked, offer your opinion. Be open to change and willing to listen. An actor who tells the cast what to do, even if they’re not the director, will be a major irritation.


Mariah, you can just let it go. No one will like you if you have a big ego and make high-demand demands. The ultimate diva of all, Mariah Carey, demanded that her scenes be cut from The House. She was four hours late for the shoot and then requested that the script be altered to reflect her new storyline. All her parts were cut.

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