Some people fantasize about becoming a famous Hollywood actor; the fame, the glory, and of course the money! But in truth, acting is a game of chances that few appreciate. You could literally be the best actor this world has ever seen, providing an Oscar-worthy performance doing exactly what your Director has asked you to do, and yet the fate of your career is not in your hands.
Consider your favorite actor; George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Cate Blanchett. All of them have one thing in common that was out of their control: good luck.
All actors have films they wish they could go back in time and change. Yet few of the actors we consider famous had their careers utterly ruined; none of them saw a career-ending event caused by poor editing of a film, or bad directing, or horrible acting in scenes they were not involved in, or a scandal involving other members of the cast, or poor marketing by the studio, or even the use of a stock photo by a marketing firm half-way around the world that showed them in a bad light.
Do you remember Matt LeBlanc of Top Gear UK, when he played the role of Joey in the famous 1990’s television show, “Friends?” In Season 1 Episode 9, “The One Where Underdog Gets Away,” the character Joey is trying to become an actor/model when his stock-image is used in an unflattering venereal disease campaign. The infamy from the advertising campaign not only ruined his acting career, it caused serious problems in his personal life as well. You can watch the scene here:
The point is that actors have far less control over their careers (or lack thereof) then they want to admit. For every success story, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of failures; most with no fault from the actor themselves.
Yesterday, we have found out that Mike Skinner will not be returning to the Grand Tour as the American. This is not a failure of Mr. Skinner, who did his job as directed; it is instead a failure of the production staff of the Grand Tour for failing to properly develop his character. Here is a link to my previous article on the topic:
I am actually quite saddened by the decision to axe the American. I was really hoping to see Mr. Skinner involved in a skit or two with the Boys, where we could learn a little bit about the man. After all, the Grand Tour staff must have selected him for a reason, yes?
Plus, it’s never good to see anyone give up so easily, including the production staff of the Grand Tour; especially when the problem seems so simple to fix. Also, I hate seeing anyone get a raw-deal like the one Mike Skinner got… Forgive me for rooting for the underdog here, but the man simply did his job as he was asked, and received nothing but woe for it. And now, adding insult to injury, he has been fired.
The Grand Tour could have cleaned up its mess, made a few cool skits involving the American, and developed the character the way it should have been to start with, but instead the show swept its problems under the rug and left Mr. Skinner hanging out in the wind.
Not a cool way to treat the one and only hired actor the show has ever had. What do you think the next actor they try to hire is going to think of his/her chances at getting a fair shake?
Not only has the Grand Tour missed an opportunity to fix its mistake, but it now has built itself a bad reputation for the way it treats its talent. Golden opportunity lost.
Keep driving sober my friends!
My thanks to Larry for his help with this article.