by Evette Henderson
Being a painfully shy kid inspired me to fiercely pursue my dream of becoming an actor; as long as I didn’t have to be me I could pretend to be anyone I want. So you can imagine my heartache when I soon experienced the darkness of acting. While it hasn’t discouraged me (and never will) from madly responding to this spellbinding profession, this is what I consider the top five evil predators in showbiz.
Let’s say, you grew up wanting desperately to be an actor. You pursue your passion ferociously. You successfully audition for an elite acting school and dedicate your entire life to it for the next three years. Upon graduating you land your first major role, the lead in a TV series. You get a taste of the high life: money, parties, sex, drugs, opportunities, fans, and the list goes on. Then suddenly everything comes crashing down as you enter the dark depths that secretly shadow the glamorous world of showbiz.
Maybe your life as an actor hasn’t turned out quite that dramatic, but I’ll bet on my dog’s life that you’ve been exposed to this darkness at some point in your career or have at least witnessed it. The darkness of acting is real.
THE TOP 5 EVIL PREDATORS OF SHOWBIZ:
In order of evilness….
5. EGO MANIAC
You’re at an industry event and you’re meeting some connected people who can propel your acting career. An ego maniac is someone who is hard to get in a word with. He blatantly shares his worldly wisdom with you, but it comes at the price of having to repeatedly listen to the tale of how he once “starred” opposite Johnny Depp when Mr Depp first started out. An Ego Maniac is self-absorbed and self-obsessed. He requires a prize pupil like you who’s an unknown with an acting career yet to take off.
TYPICAL TRAITS: loud, arrogant, big hand gestures, probably smokes and never leaves without a mirror on hand, can out talk Mr Chatterbox, flirtatious, totally eyeballs you to ensure you’re listening.
ON THE PLUS SIDE: he’s so eager to share his wisdom you might actually learn something (if you can get past the dribble).
4. BITCHY CAT
A sleek black panther treads carefully and cautiously as it sneaks up on its prey: YOU! Before you have time to blink your predator pounces on you and slashes your throat when you least expect it. Bitchy Cats wear a stunning guise: she’ll label you BFFs and announce it on social media before the night is out, she dresses immaculate and could be on the cover of Vogue without wearing makeup. She invites you to check out her digs to cement the growing bond. But watch out! As soon as you’re both in attendance of an A-list heavyweight she’ll muscle in and talk over you offering her wares. Semi-transparent top and all!
TYPICAL TRAITS: highly fashionable, attractive, secretive, loud, loves social media, portrays living the high life.
ON THE PLUS SIDE: she’ll thicken your skin to no end and you could probably learn a thing or two on how to market yourself. She’ll also spur you to dress better next time!
3. DOUCHEBAG DRUG USER
You performed a few scenes opposite a hottie and at the wrap party she makes a bee line for you. Clearly you’re flashing a neon sign on your forehead that spells, “I <3 drugs.” You hardly spend ten minutes politely chatting with her when the connection she feels ramps up so much she offers you a pill because she promised you’re drink will taste better, the party will last longer and no doubt you’ll be doing the horizontal tango all night long.
TYPICAL TRAITS: there are none other than Douchebag Drug Users appear in either gender, any age and aren’t shy. They’ll shoot point blank temptations at you and you might confuse their flirtatious manner for that of a pimp.
ON THE PLUS SIDE: there are no pluses for drug abuse. Period. As Mr Mackey says, “Drugs are bad. MKAY?”
2. SLEAZY SEX OFFENDER
You’re auditioning for the lead role for a feature film that’s not quite 50 Shades of Grey, but there’s some definite Fatal Attraction. You’re okay with intimacy and nudity for professional advancement. Whatever it takes, right?! Wrong! Alarm bells should ring when it’s just you and the creepy director in the room. And if that doesn’t set you off, then his over friendly smile should. Or perhaps his personal line of questioning, which is really to loosen you up for the scene. Ew! When he goes in for the kill by suggesting to rehearse the kissing scene… RUN! Absolutely do not follow through as it’s most likely you’ll never hear from him again and there probably was never a film in the first place.
TYPICAL TRAITS: older than you are, cheesy smile, overdressed to impress, gets too personal, wreaks of aftershave or perfume and you can’t quite put your finger on it, but reminds you of Hannibal Lecter.
ON THE PLUS SIDE: an opportunity to try out your Tae Kwon Do and you’ll discover courage you never knew you had.
AND THE WINNER FOR TOP EVIL PREDATOR GOES TO…
1. MONGREL MONEY SHARK
These are by far the most notorious because, like Chicken Man, they’re everywhere. It doesn’t matter what city, culture or artistic expression you will engage these money laundering soul suckers multiple times in your acting career. They pop up in various areas in showbiz masking their true identity as a talent agent, photographer, producer and many other titles of so called repute. Their Cruel Intentions won’t show up in your bank balance until it’s too late.
TYPICAL TRAITS: has a slightly questionable background, shows up in too many news stories when you google them, goes to extraordinary lengths to sign you up, displays irritability when you refuse, and my favourite, withholds your job payment for months (that’s assuming you actually get it at all).
ON THE PLUS SIDE: you have inspiration to pen your first script and kinship with other suckers who got ripped off too.
I hate to be overly dramatic, but this is a reality of acting. So hang onto your smarts and absolutely always TRUST YOUR INSTINCT!
** Please note: I may have slightly exaggerated my point!