On Facebook, a friend of mine recently linked to 9 Reasons Why Dating Actors is a Bad Idea. It reminds us that actors can be insecure, self-centered and financially unstable. Which is, you know unique to them. People who sell real estate are known to be remarkably stable, personally confident, and giving.
To be fair, articles like the aforementioned are really just a part of the perpetual random content generator necessary to run sites that are all about ad sales and traffic. (11 ways to teach a cat to use the toilet. Five ways you'll know if your girlfriend has recently had a third nipple removed. Six uses for the common household house.) Still, though, I am not immune. I know that you want to read these little goddamn lists and chuckle to your impressive self about the foibles of others bipeds.
So, with an eye on content that leads to traffic, and also an eye on your endless need for simple advice, and an eye on the mirror (always) I shall provide you with...
7 Ways To Be Better At Dating Actors (Because You Are Not Blameless)
1. Praise Your Actor.
You know what people like (even people who aren't constantly judged on their looks and way of speaking)? To be told they don't suck. So if Your Actor says "Do I suck at acting?" or "Am I pretty?" very quickly just say "You are a good actor and you are good looking." Did that cause you irreparable harm? Did it take up time that you intended to use watching The Bachelor? Just get over yourself and be decent, you Martyr. Hint: This works for everyone all the time.
2. Stop treating Your Actor as if his or her career is unique and strange.
It is not some unique life goal to be an actor. There are millions of actors. Some of them become really famous and successful. Some of them achieve a moderate but impressive level of success and are extremely happy with that. (Not every financial wizard becomes Warren Buffett, but that doesn't mean they don't make a cent.) Regardless, if you would just stop rolling your eyes every time Your Actor tries to rehearse a monologue from Agnes of God, maybe you'd both get along a bit better. The same thing is happening just two apartments down. Trust me.
3. If Your Actor is in a play, and you don't like the play, it is not Your Actor's fault.
Before you met Your Actor on Match.com, maybe you never trucked your ass out to a black box theater far out on the elevated train to see people in all-white clothes enact Medea with no budget. Okay, fine. Maybe, even, seeing that particular version of Medea gives you a goddamned headache. Fair enough. Your Actor, though, did not write Medea or direct himself or herself to put on the duck mask and would also probably prefer to be in the latest Tony Kushner in Minneapolis. Just buy Your Actor a drink and be nice about it.
4. If Your Actor has a weird schedule, spend time with other people for a change.
So if Your Actor has a few weeks of rehearsal and it's hard to see Your Actor as much as you want. Maybe you should call up your pals and go have a drink and reconnect and stop being so needy all the time. Didn't you have more than one friend in college? Live it up. Your Dad would probably give his little finger if your Mother would just take a sewing class and let him watch TV a couple of nights a week, right? Could we get a little glass half full here?
5. Don't be such a @$$hole about Your Actor not being rich.
Is it possible that just because Your Actor cannot afford to take you to the nicest restaurant in town, that does not mean that Your Actor has made bad chocies? You know who else probably can't afford to take you to Chez Maxout CreditCard? School teachers. Social workers. People that work with the poor. If you want so much to have $18 cocktails on the Upper East Side before you drop a $100 each on a meal that is made up largely of lamb medallions, maybe you can pay for it yourself with your big fat wallet.
6. If Your Actor decries the aging process, remember that life is unfair.
Guess why Your Actor is constantly worried about turning 30? Or why he or she points at each wrinkle and/or gray hair and pouts. Because he or she will, more than likely, be punished for being normal and growing up. They are in a field where being young and pretty helps and being older does not. Maybe at your job, when you hit 35, you just get a raise or some shit. That is unlikely to be true for Your Actor, especially if Your Actor is a woman. Don't like it? Neither does Your Actor. Be sympathetic, for the love of God.
7. Stop judging Your Actor for being an actor.
There are lots of perfectly nice, sane, well-meaning, rational, totally great people who are actors. They are not nuts, they just want to meet a nice person (maybe you) and go out to the movies and have a laugh. Perhaps this is Your Actor. You'll never know if you keep behaving like such a square.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.