Friday, March 1, 2024

Do You Want a Stage Identify?

So many individuals in Hollywood have stage names that I’ve developed belief points every time the credit roll. How can I make certain that you might be who you say you might be, “Emma” Stone (whose start identify is Emily)? And what about you Natalie “Portman” (who grew up as Natalie Herschlag)? It’s quite common for actors and artists alike to alter their names, however why? Do you want a stage identify should you’re embarking on the trail of an actor? The reply: possibly. I’ve achieved some digging and I’m fairly certain I’ve figured this one out for you. Or at the least I’ve discovered how one can determine it out for your self.

A stage identify is a reputation assumed by skilled actors and different efficiency artists for quite a lot of causes. They may very well be distinguishing themselves from one other actor of the identical identify, simplifying their identify or constructing on their archetype. Whether or not or not you must change your identify comes all the way down to the identical set of causes and what you must change it to is a complete different query that we’ll enable you to reply.

As at all times, keep in mind that this text presents up data and recommendation, however by no means an ultimatum with regards to your appearing profession. Please maintain that in thoughts earlier than you dig up your start certificates and doubtlessly break your dad and mom’ hearts by telling them the identify they gave you simply ain’t gonna lower it for Hollywood.

When to Change your Identify

To start with, altering your identify solely actually turns into a necessity when you attain a sure degree of recognition. If you happen to’re nonetheless on that essential unbiased theatre grind and also you’re questioning about whether or not or not you’re due for a reputation change, you’re not. You positively can, and should you actually wish to then I say go for it! However you actually don’t have to.

The most typical cause actors change their names is to tell apart themselves from different actors or artists with the identical identify. David Bowie, as an illustration, was born David Jones and took the surname Bowie from a Nineteen Sixties movie referred to as The Alamo. He did this to verify nobody mistook him for an additional English singer by the identify of Davy Jones (of Monkees fame.)

The one caveat we’ll throw in right here is that actors’ unions generally specify which you could’t have the identical identify as one other performer in the identical union. This rule varies, however is price some analysis in your nation/metropolis/space.

Why You Would possibly Use a Stage Identify

Okay: let’s think about you’ve hit it large and also you’re on the path to worldwide fame. You’re touchdown some good roles, your agent could be very excited and also you’re being groomed for stardom. What’s your identify on this state of affairs? Schnitzel Von Crummington III. So far as notable actors with the identical identify go, you’re fairly protected, however, wow … I imply what have been your dad and mom considering? 

Whereas I do exaggerate with this instance, if in case you have an advanced identify—too lengthy or too troublesome to pronounce, or an unlucky sounding identify—it’s time for a change. You additionally might wish to contemplate whether or not your identify has the potential to pigeonhole you. If you happen to heard the identify Schnitzel Von Crummington III, what sort of individual would you think about? Some prosperous, pretentious manor lord? 

Our brains are affiliation machines and we will’t assist however make hyperlinks and assumptions primarily based on what we hear. Quite a lot of large firms use this to their benefit to construct an efficient model for themselves utilizing issues referred to as “model archetypes”. Actors also can make the most of model archetypes, and it normally begins with their identify.

Constructing a Model

As an actor, your model is you, so it follows that your identify can be the identify of your model. We’re moving into my least favorite a part of being an actor: advertising. As a lot as I complain about it to my buddies on weekends over a glass of pink, advertising your self properly as an actor is essential.

Let’s discuss particularly about archetypes. Archetypes are related to psychology and likewise literary evaluation, and converse to the widespread examples of character or behaviour that we would use to categorise figures in a story. 

The examples listed beneath have their roots in Greek Mythology. I’ve offered a citation to present you an thought of what every of them characterize.

  • The Outlaw – “Guidelines are made to be damaged.”
  • The Magician – “It may well occur.”
  • The Hero – “The place there’s a will, there’s a method.”
  • The Lover – “I solely have eyes for you.”
  • The Jester – “If I can’t dance, I’m not part of it.”
  • The Everyman – “You’re identical to me and I’m identical to you.”
  • The Caregiver – “Love your neighbour as your self.”
  • The Ruler – “Energy isn’t every little thing. It’s the one factor.”
  • The Creator – “If it may be imagined, it may be created.”
  • The Harmless – “Life is easy and ease is elegant.”
  • The Sage – “The reality will set you free.”
  • The Explorer – “Don’t fence me in.”

I’ve obtained some homework for you that you are able to do proper now: Open Instagram and scroll to the subsequent advert that pops up, listening to the corporate it belongs to. Then attempt to match that firm into one of many archetypes.

Bizarre, proper? Nearly any firm you possibly can consider makes use of 1 or possibly a mix of those twelve archetypes. We are able to apply it to actors as properly. Jennifer Lawrence suits properly into “The Everyman” archetype—she’s relatable, humble, and all the way down to earth. James Dean was textbook “Outlaw”—rugged, alluring and rebellious. 

The explanation these archetypes work so properly for manufacturers is as a result of folks join greatest with personalities, not options or advantages. Take a while to determine which archetype most accurately fits you whenever you get the prospect. It’s helpful data for an actor.

Let’s return to our up-and-comer good friend Schnitzel.

The best way to Select a Stage Identify

So, Schnitzel Von Crummington III has been working arduous and just lately landed a task in a significant tv sequence. It’s only some seconds to midnight for Schnitzel however they’ve realised a number of issues about their identify:

  1. It’s too lengthy and complex.
  2. They are going to most likely be made enjoyable of for it.
  3. Everybody they meet appears to suppose they’re a rich English lord when in actuality they labored in building earlier than being found.

Schnitzel does some analysis on the twelve archetypes and thinks they align greatest with “The Outlaw”—they’re a bit rugged from working open air all day and so they have a stunning charlatan grin. Based mostly on that, they resolve to drop “Crummington III” and use the surname “Von”. Vn makes an excellent surname: it’s punchy and it’s obtained a tough edge to it that matches with “Outlaw”.

As for his or her first identify? Some actors use a nickname they got as part of their stage identify. (Whoopie Goldberg obtained the nickname “Whoopie” as a result of she was a little bit of a farter when she labored within the theatre.) Working building, Schnitzel’s buddies referred to as them “Schnit”. It’s brief and catchy, but it surely does sound a bit like a cuss. One thing else actors do when altering their identify is consider somebody they’d prefer to pay homage to. Olivia Wilde took the surname “Wilde” to honour the nice author Oscar Wilde. Schnitzel is a giant fan of Nicholas Cage. “Schnit” and “Nick” sound sort of related, too, which is a bonus.

Schnitzel Von Crummington III is an eccentric aristocrat drunk on swan’s blood. Nevertheless … Nick Von is an actor to maintain your eye on. They’re identified for all of the villainous roles you like to hate, and are capturing the hearts of everybody with their rugged attraction and figuring out smile.  

Sounds good to me.


The advertising aspect of appearing is a bizarre world, in that you simply’re successfully advertising your self. Your identify is the factor that individuals will keep in mind, so it’s vital to have a great one whenever you begin to make waves. Even should you don’t want to alter your identify immediately, developing with a stage identify for your self is at all times a little bit of enjoyable. See should you can create one for a number of totally different archetypes that greatest swimsuit you. The names ought to evoke a sure persona or picture and they need to be easy and straightforward to recollect. When the time involves make the change, you’ll have already got a number of in your again pocket. 

Hope this helps. See you across the traps!

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