Acting up


A close friend is in a play where she is working closely with a male actor who is quite a few years older than she is and has a long-term girlfriend. He routinely sexually harasses her verbally, responding to professional emails inappropriately, and even interrupting a rehearsal. One of the lines includes a reference to how he’d be “in bed,” as their characters are dating. He broke character to tell her that “actually, I’d be great in bed.” She feels uncomfortable going to rehearsals and being in scenes with him. He is unprofessional, and she went to the director about it. The director laughed it off, saying that she was overreacting.

Oh well, guess it’s #HFSF, #OFWF, and #MFIF.
Heather, New York


2 Responses to “Acting up”

  1. jesurgislac Says:

    In almost any other circumstance I would say to your friend, complain to the union, complain to HR, complain to the police if her employers won’t take her seriously.

    Being an actor, horribly, is one career where that would be counterproductive.

    Success is not just the best vengeance: it may be the only vengeance. Document what this creep is saying. Keep the unprofessional e-mails. Write it down, I’d tell her, as if you were writing a chapter in your autobiography.

    If she gets famous, it’ll make a great chapter. It could also make a great article for some gossip journalist if this creep ever gets within nosing distance of a big part somewhere or an award. And if he ever tries to launch a political career, it can be your own personal torpedo.

    And as an ongoing way of enduring this guy’s creepiness, taking notes and writing it up privately may not be bad either.

    Above all: take care of yourself, I’d tell your friend. Never be alone with him. Always have witnesses. Make clear (and document that you have made clear) to the director and to your fellow actors, that you find this creep’s approaches repellent: if he actually tries physical assault, he shouldn’t be able to claim that he could ever have thought his assault would be “welcome”.

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