Email and the proliferation of social media has meant that we now have easier access to each other than ever before. The downside to this however, is that we can feel bombarded with requests for help from people we don’t know. It’s easy to be cynical in these situations, it’s easy to find reasons to dismiss somebody in your mind so that you don’t have to do anything. This is particularly true when we receive a clumsily written email from a neophyte. It’s worth reminding ourselves however, that we were all neophytes at some stage, and continue to be neophytes, whenever we start something new. We all know what it feels like when our requests for help are ignored, when we don’t receive even a cursory reply. In an overcrowded profession like acting, where each individual actor is seen as just another face in the crowd, such ignorance is commonplace. But it needn’t be.
If someone you don’t know contacts you asking for help, take a chance and spend the mere 10 minutes it would take to write up a meaningful reply, one that is actually helpful. Don’t use that old excuse of, “oh, I’m not worthy of helping someone, I need to wait until I’m a big shot” – that day may never arrive. Do what you can today.
Personally, I don’t believe in “karma”, I don’t believe that doing good deeds means good will come back to you. Based on my observation of life, I do not believe this to be true, besides, that’s a lousy motive for helping someone. No, the reason for helping is a) because you can, and, b) you create an environment of care – remember those times when nobody helped you or your requests were ignored? It can hurt, can’t it? Well, by not doing likewise you are refusing to proliferate that particular culture, promoting a more constructive one in it’s stead. For me, that’s worth the time and effort.