There is a big divide in people's perception of what an actor is and how they live their lives - to the profession's actual reality. The average Joe believes an actor is the sum of their recognizable roles and stereotypes, and most believe it's a life of ease and luxury. I know firsthand that the immediate question asked of an actor, is what they've been in - and by "been in," they mean something they themselves would recognize. If they don't get the required hit television show or film as a response, it automatically means the actor is a failure. Or possibly worse, one of those "independent" yahoos. Over and over, you see and hear how tough an actor's life actually is by way of other shows and movies, but nobody ever really believes it. Being an actor is the equivalent of a lazy human being in the eyes of many. If only that were true.
Shumerria Harris's series, "#ActorsLife: The Journey," aims to set the record straight as it sheds more much-needed light on the stigma of the actor. Almost straight away, the standard cliche is tackled with Shumerria letting her audience know the true nature of the profession. Day or night job? Check. Never-ending auditions of which only the smallest number lead to paid bookings? Check-a-roo. In fact, it seems that actors don't live lazy lives at all, and the truth is actually the polar opposite - got an education to back your dreams of acting? Well, reader, that usually doesn't mean jack until after you've booked a role, and if you do manage to get a gig, you probably would have gotten it anyway, even without the massively priced education. If you are the type the director is looking for... most other things become a non-issue. All of this is addressed in the first episode of Harris's series - and coincidentally, it's all put together in a way that is more than a little entertaining.
Technically, "#ActorsLife: The Journey" is pretty much what you are probably expecting if you've ever watched a documentary before. What makes Harris's series interesting for me is that it's kind of the opposite of what you may be thinking. There are lots of docs out there about actors and their lives and struggles in general - and personally, it's the kind of topic that's right up my alley. But this series feels slightly different and, interestingly enough - doesn't feel like it's geared so much for actors themselves, but rather for everybody else. That's right, reader, this series feels like it's more for people who know nothing about an actor's life - or close to it. There are lots of situations, and industry terms highlighted - that most actors already know. But for the curious and uninitiated, there's a lot to learn even within this first episode. It's refreshing, and honestly? It's put together in a way that allows non-industry folks to not only follow along, but learn a little about the "actual" life of an actor. Personally? I loved it.
Shumerria Harris and her team have put together what could be the start of a great series not just for actors, but also for everyone else who's ever been even a little interested in the industry. Even more on point is the fact it's all put together in a fun, interesting way. I know I'll be watching along in the future, and so far, I have loved what I've seen. Now... if someone would just make a series titled #PostProductionLife. Four stars.