When Is It OK to Turn Down a Role?

Photo Source: Jesse Balgley

Photo Source: Jesse Balgley

There’s a pressure on actors to accept every piece of work offered to them, particularly when they’re just starting out. All work is viewed as a “résumé builder” and an opportunity for much-needed experience. However, just as you wouldn’t go out on a date with every single person that asked you, you should exhibit a certain level of particularity when it comes to the acting jobs you accept.

While I discuss this topic at length in the article “Permission to Say No,” a good rule of thumb is whether the job causes more damage than potential good: If the job could damage your brand or your soul, don’t accept it. For example, if it would chip away at your soul to play a topless waitress in an edgy indie that might play at major festivals, don’t do it. You’re going to have to live with your soul for a long time. Don’t let the potential promise of festivals and the pressure to be “brave” as an actor push you past what your gut and spirit say you’re truly not comfortable with and which violate your brand.

This article was originally posted on Backstage