5 Questions to Answer Before You Say Yes

3307566We’ve talked before about red flags, and reasons to turn a project down, but sometimes it can be equally difficult to know when to accept work. As artists, we’re often swamped with pleas from friends and colleagues to all but donate time for this web short or that indie project, and it can be hard to sort the hidden gems from the time wasters. If you’re feeling on the fence about undergoing an artistic endeavor, here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if it is worth your while.

  1. Will You Learn from the People? Nothing beats learning from the best. Working with other artists who challenge and inspire you can be incredibly rewarding. If the people involved are passionate and utterly dedicated to the project, if they are artists that speak to you and drive you to be better, that is a good sign.
  2. Is the Writing too Good to Turn Down? It really is mind-blowing what a difference a good script or screenplay makes. In the end, the story is the thing. Audiences will forgive questionable production value for work that really speaks to them. Nothing elevates a project like good writing.
  3. Is the Pay Decent? If the pay is actually going to get you through a rough patch, no judgement. We’ve all choked on our artistic integrity a little to survive.
  4. The Camera Quality. Not going to lie, I’ve taken on a project almost solely because the camera was really good and the DP was better. If it’s going to significantly improve the quality of your reel it might be worth it.
  5. Does it Show You Off? Is it the perfect role for your type? Is it a type you don’t have on your reel and want to show off? Is the role unlike any you’ve tried before, and would it stretch you as an artist? These are all valid reasons to experiment.

Basically you need to figure out what each project will add to your career. Ideally, each project would fulfill you as an artist, compensate you well, and help you get future gigs. But in reality we often have to shoot for the best two out of three. If a project isn’t meeting any of these standards, it might not be the one for you. If, however, it has a compelling aspect that outshines other shortcomings, it might help you build your career piece by piece. Good luck!

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Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at www.rachelfrawley.com

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