Everybody's felt it at some point, whether we like to admit it or not. That old drama school friend who's just landed their big break, an ongoing mental rivalry with that actress who's at ALL your auditions and keeps 'stealing your parts', every actor has at some point felt that overwhelming pit-of-the-stomach feeling that they're being overlooked as they applaud through gritted teeth.
But it really doesn't have to be that way. Surely we're all being judged enough, without judging each other as well? The first thing that many young actors will hear about this job is that its 'competitive', but what they neglect to tell you, is that you're not competing with other actors, your competing with yourself.
With over half of actors living under the poverty line, as jobs become scarce and funding is cut, it's easy to start seeing your fellow actors as competitors, rather than colleagues. But that mindset doesn't improve anything for anyone, and it certainly doesn't get you work; it makes you bitter, desperate and isolated. Let's face it, if you're an actor for any other reason than the love of it, you probably should have picked something else, and if you're making yourself miserable, then what's the point?
Ruminating and gossiping isn't going to make you a better actor or win you a better role, but supporting each other is. Spend your time 'between jobs' celebrating and championing each other's productions; recommending and promoting each other's work; recommending books, speeches, plays; connecting with people you admire; learning from each other ; making work together just for the joy of it. There is nothing better for your career than knowing your industry and loving your work. The best way to be in the right place at the right time is to be in as many places as possible, so if you feel the green monster peering over your shoulder, tell them you already have plans.