Bernie or Bust Entertainers Busting Their Careers?

July 26, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Posted in acting, actors, employment | Leave a comment
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Susan Sarandon

(Susan Sarandon at the 2016 DNC prior to her walk out of the convention)

Paul Russell_HeadshotPaul Russell

Bernie or Bust protesters in the arts display publicly why they possibly won’t be top contenders for future employment consideration. They presumably show an unwillingness to adjust, and adapt to what is viable within their civilian life. Does that same clutching on to a path to no winning reflect a lack of will to work collaboratively in an artistic pursuit where collaboration is the foundation for success?

The, “I’m taking my banner and going home” attitudes flaunted on social media raise a potential red flag to future employers that myopic pole sitters care more for the forming knoll on which they rise than of the larger ground that they share. A person who treats a vitally consequential choice of chaos versus civilization on the world stage may more than likely have a hissy-fit over choices presented within the world of entertainment. Where is compromise, adjustment, or a coming together to discover a unified direction?

Will entertainment artists who’ve discovered that success comes with a degree of compromise wish to work alongside a colleague who staunchly believes success grows from a singular vision? Not likely if history is a mirror for the future. Consolidation is preferred over disagreement. Actors dislike dictator directors. Directors dismiss tantrum-throwing talent. Talent agents avoid actors with unrealistic expectations. Actors abhor agents who only accept “Yes” as a valid answer. Colleagues and friends churn away from their social and professional circles those who selfishly adhere to desires for themselves over the needs of others. Stubbornness breeds stagnation and isolation.

Audiences are the most unforgiving. Many Baby-Boomer armed forces veterans still hold vitriolic resentment against Jane Fonda for her controversial visit to Hanoi during the Vietnam War, and the once popular actress’s critical views of POWs. Until the movie “The China Syndrome,” Ms. Fonda was persona non grata within Hollywood. Fonda was box-office poison, and remains so with large swaths of conservative regions in the U.S. Susan Sarandon, of “Dead Man Walking” fame and ardent Sanders supporter and counted-on progressive, has Tweeted she’s “out” as far as she’s concerned with the 2016 election. An encouragement to her followers. Memories are long on the choices people make that are viewed by others as being averse. Should Hillary Clinton lose because spotlighted actors encourage progressives to sit-out this election forgiveness may be thin as it was for Ralph Nader supporters in the 2000 presidential election that narrowly gave the U.S. eight years of George W. Bush, and the Iraq War.

Bernie or Bust(Bernie or Bust protesters outside of the 2016 DNC in Philadelphia)

Bernie or Bust activists in the arts may wish to consider that, as with any profession, compromise is the balance required to ensure success and hopes fulfilled. Without compromise there is chaos trumping civilization. Reason is a step within the journey on a roadway to success. Unwillingness to find common ground with opposition strands the stubborn alone on life’s shoulder.

Choices, grand or small, aren’t simply black or white but are reasoned brush strokes painted within life’s spectrum.

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Paul Russell’s career as a casting director, director, acting teacher and former actor has spanned thirty years. He has worked on projects for major film studios, television networks, and Broadway. Paul has taught the business of acting and audition technique at NYU and has spoken at universities including Yale, Temple and the University of the Arts. He is the author of ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor. For more information, please visit

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