If You Can’t See the Script Don’t Take the Part - Insights from Actor, Valerie Jane Parker

Updated: 3 days ago

“If they won’t share the script...it’s normally because there’s something they’re trying to hide from you. So that would be a huge red flag.”

- Valerie Jane Parker, Actor

During our conversation with our friend in filmmaking, Valerie Jane Parker, Valerie took a moment to provide a warning to actors about the importance of having access to a script before taking a part. She reminds us that, even though the opportunity may be attractive because of the character, the pay, or even the team, the script is what defines the expectations around what you will need to do to bring that character to life.

So what could someone be hiding? Well, a number of things:

  • Political, religious, or social agenda

  • Level and type of physicality and intimacy

  • Use of language

Political, religious, or social agendas

Before taking a part, it’s important to know the voice of the filmmaker. Every film has an underlying purpose (or agenda) associated with it. Sometimes that agenda jumps off the page, other times it is peppered in with subtle nuance. Either way, it is important for you to know what that agenda is and determine whether or not you want to be associated with it. Even though it may just be a part you’re playing, by accepting the part, you are promoting the agenda.

Level and type of physicality and intimacy

Acting can demand a lot from a person whether those demands are mental, emotional, physical, or all of the above. You have to be prepared for these demands by understanding the expectations of the character you are considering to play. By reading the script, you’ll be better equipped to determine whether or not you are willing or able to meet these expectations. Blindly accepting a part can not only compromise your values, but it can also compromise your physical health and well-being.

Use of language

Words have great power. They can uplift, inspire, and motivate but they can also divide, discourage, and dishearten. As an actor, you are your brand. Every part you play is a reflection of your brand and how the world gets to see you. The words that come out of your mouth, whether in real life or on film, define other people’s perception of who you are and what you stand for. Make sure that every part you play uses language that is on brand for you and the career that you are trying to build. If you can’t see the script, you can’t see its impact on your brand.

The devil is in the details

When determining whether or not a role is right for you, the devil is in the details and the details are in the script. Choosing a part that aligns you with the wrong ideals, values, or principles can be detrimental to your career in the long run. Anyone who hides these details from you is willing to risk your long-term success for their short-term gain. Buyer Beware!

A big thanks goes out to Valerie Jane Parker for her words of wisdom. Her positive spirit is infectious and we have been truly blessed by her presence in our lives. We look forward to continuing to be a part of her amazing journey and will leave her an open invitation to the podcast anytime she wants to drop by.

As always,

Be Better. Be Creative. Be Engaged.

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