Updated: Apr 10
"With relationships, that's definitely something you need to be very upfront with somebody [about]...I'm an actor, this is what I do."
- Isaiah Stratton, Actor
The life of an actor isn't easy. The odd jobs to make ends meet, the long days on set, and the ebb and flow of rejection and acceptance create uncertainty and instability on a daily basis. This is the life that actors choose because of an innate desire to express themselves creatively on the big or small screen. But what happens when an actor chooses to date? How does uncertainty and instability work in a relationship? Well, our friend Isaiah Stratton says that the first step is honesty.
If you look up characteristics of a healthy relationship, "open and honest communication" is bound to make the list. Isaiah explains that, not only is this a cornerstone to a healthy relationship, but it's a first principle when it comes to dating as an actor. He explained to us that financial instability, separation, and the potential for onscreen intimacy are things that should be discussed up front so that expectations are clear and the relationship can start out on the right foot. Building a relationship based on solid expectations enables the other person to understand how dating an actor can have an impact on the other tenets of a healthy relationship like safety, mutual respect, independence, and support.
Couples in healthy relationships feel safe with one another. This includes emotional, physical, and (as previously mentioned) financial safety. If it is clear up front that financial instability is part of the package, the other person will understand that they should not base their financial safety on what you can provide as an actor. This isn't to say that there won't be good times where the work is plentiful and the money is consistently coming in, but it's important to understand that the pendulum can swing both ways.
When it comes to mutual respect, it's all about valuing each other's beliefs and supporting each other's dreams. By explaining what those dreams are from the beginning, the other person is in a better position to determine whether or not they are on board. For an actor, realizing the dream of making it big comes with a ton of failure and rejection along the way to success. A strong relationship will have the ability to manage the ups and downs while ensuring that both parties are able to move forward together.
As far as independence is concerned, an actor's life has the potential to be transient, traveling from one place to the next chasing the next new opportunity. This can leave the other person on their own for less-than-desirable periods of time. It's important that the other person have a life outside of the relationship so that they don't find themselves lost or alone when the work comes in.
Whether it's financial or emotional support, actors need all the help they can get. To be in a healthy relationship with an actor often means providing a strong foundation for them to continue to chase their dreams. When the money or the confidence runs low, a true partner will find a way to balance things out.
We are one hundred percent on board with Isaiah's advice about being upfront as a filmmaker looking to start a relationship and we're grateful for this and all of the other advice he provided on the MAKE IT podcast. He continues to do big things in the industry and we look forward to seeing him in his next big role.
Be Better. Be Creative. Be Engaged.