Over the last ten years or so, working in both LA and the UK, I’ve noticed there is a stark difference in the way actors are treated in each place. Every project varies, of course, but the huge supply of actors in LA appears to result in little value being placed on an actor’s time or craft.

In LA, actors are given very little turnaround time for auditions and when booked, this lack of time, bleeds into production resulting in insufficient time for actors to learn the script let alone develop a character. Plus, no-one appears to understand the consequences of giving actors lengthy dialogue to learn the day before. None of this leads to good work when actors are left struggling for lines instead of creating a credible interpretation of a character and scene.

In the UK, you are in constant contact with production to make sure that you are fully prepared and have everything you need but in LA, I’ve been ignored by producers when I’ve asked for information and been met with defensive attitudes rather than apologies when I haven’t been sent the latest draft of the script and am left trying to learn a new scene the morning of a shoot. It’s almost as if it’s some sort of test – a survival of the fittest, mentality – and yes, actors need to be on the ball and able to adapt – but it’s counterproductive.

I understand it’s business but where’s the love of the process, the understanding of the craft, the desire to create the best project you can? Where’s the respect? When the director, DP, other key members of the crew, and the heads of make-up and wardrobe are sent cars to pick them up each day, most supporting actors are left to make their own way to the studio or location. But they can’t shoot anything without the actors! It’s madness. This would never happen in the UK.

I’ve started to wonder, when it’s so tough to get work in the first place, that if I’m having poor experiences when I’m working as well, what’s in it for me? One would hope that with bigger, and better projects, treatment of actors might improve but so far, when I’ve worked on top-line projects in the US, I haven’t noticed the difference. The only difference is the comparison between my experiences in LA, compared to when I’ve worked on UK and European productions, and Europe gets my vote for the better working environment every time.

It’s food for thought so watch this space.

My recommendation of the month has to be Steven Spielberg’s, The Fabelmans. It broke my heart, probably because I love acting and filmmaking so much and because it’s so difficult to practise my craft fully in LA.