Typecast

Animal House, Doug Neidermeyer, Mark Metcalf, Edward Torchy Smith - YouTube

“There were many, many moments of deep despair and the work didn’t ask of me what I felt I had to give.” -Mark Metcalf

The actor Mark Metcalf has worked a ton in film, tv and theatre. And he’s grateful to have made a living for a very long time as an actor. But for better or worse, he almost always gets cast as the “angry dude.” This stems from two of his early performances which got a lot of traction. One as Neidermeyer in the classic film Animal House (pictured above and view this clip). The other as the dad in two Twisted Sister–Remember Dee Snyder? Hello 80’s!–music videos. (This one and this one.)

Mark is the subject of a terrific short doc called “Character” which you can watch here. There’s also a recent New Yorker piece about the film and Metcalf which you can read here. In them, he reveals the struggles that come from being typecast. What it’s like when you have a desire to do more but the industry wants you to do less. It wants you to just stay in your lane.

While you can’t control what the industry does or doesn’t do to you, you can control making your own art. Find the parts that you wanna play and figure out how to manifest those projects with excellence and generosity.

It is the way. The only way.

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