Canadian actors are on strike. And as a Canadian actor (view shameless and unnecesary inclusion of headshot below) I feel it necessary to say, “I’m so sorry to bother you guys with this strike. But… you see… well… we don’t get paid as much as American actors, and well, I don’t mean to intrude, but my gym membership went up this month and I’ve taken 3 more shifts a week at the Cactus Club just to pay for my yoga classes, lulus, morning fair-trade lattes, and weekly supply of organic vegetables. I’m really trying hard and doing my best, but because I am a struggling artist/singer/model I just need a little extra cash flow to pay my rent. Sorry. I’m such a nuisance.”
As we enter the second week in the first ACTRA strike in history, let us all pause and reflect on the key issues:
Issue #1: Money. We, the underpaid and underappreciated actors of Canada, want more money. You see, SAG actors get paid up to 30% more that we do, even when they are on Canadian soil. That just doesn’t seem right, does it?
Issue #2: Digital Media Exploitation. We hate that our work is used and exploited on the internet. But, if we are to be exploited please pay us. See key issue 1#.
I like money and since UBCP, the union of BC performers, is somehow unaffected by the national strike, I say, “Workers Unite” and all that rah rah Red stuff. And, in support of my thespian brothers and sisters, I will wear my cute Che Guevara tank top to all my auditions this week.
That brings me to today’s audition. The gender-biased tire commercial audition. As it turns out, females don’t play a large role in tire commercials. Basically, the female character named “SOC-wife”, described as “sweet, attractive and attentive”, stands in the door of her suburban bungalow smiling sweetly while her husband delivers a passionate monologue about buying tires for all of his big boy toys, namely his “’vette” and his “golf cart”.
Because I wasn’t able to speak, I had to come up with a strong internal monologue to truly grasp this dynamic character. “Aww shucks Jimmy, not another tire! Why, we’ve got so many tires, I simply don’t know what I’m gonna do with them. Why we’ve even got tires in the living room! You’ve just gone hog wild over those tires. Oh well, boys will be boys. Why don’t I bake you up a nice apple pie for desert?”