When Bad Reviews Happen to Good People

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Or Please Don’t Call Me Eeyore.

No matter if you’re wildly successful or mildly successful, bad reviews hurt.

Full disclosure: I was described as Eeyore in reference to a recurring TV announcer gig I did a few years back. So yeah. There’s that. It hurt. And it messed with my self-confidence. When I mentioned this review to my agent he recommended I not read those things.

Wise men say only fools set a Google Alert for themselves.

And did my Google Alert Selfie offer up a doozy one morning. IMDb? I’ve been mentioned on IMDb?! That’s gotta be good. Click. Breathe. Breathe. What could it possibly be? Probably nothi – oh my no! I’ve been included on a…on a…on a Worst Actor/Actress List.

Dear cambuzz,

Thank you so much for placing me on your IMDb Worst Actor/Actress List. And to be selected as #19 out of 477 actors? Wow. I am truly honored. But as thrilled as I am to have squeezed past Amy Poehler (#20) and Tina Fey (#21), somebody already called me Eeyore for that same performance and I really don’t want to hear about it anymore. The funny thing is I’ve done tons of other jobs before, during and after that ill-fitting gig for which I’ve received some lovely notices, so your summation that I should be on a Worst Actor/Actress list (which appears on my IMDb page which I pay money to professionally maintain – but which does not allow me to hide or delete said list) is…well… imho…kinda lousy. I’m just trying to get by here, y’know?

And taking one season of a cable program as your only criteria? I don’t know. It just seems sort of unsystematic. I’ve run Shakespeare Workshops for Outreach programs, currently have a pretty funny national TV spot running and have spent many hours recording many lines of attacking and being attacked for many videogames. I have a director who shapes my performance, an editor who cuts and pastes it and while I admit the program for which you have honored me with such an auspicious label was not my shining moment, the title of WORST ACTOR/ACTRESS seems horribly grim. I imagine the 476 other men and women on this list would agree UNFAVORABLE PERFORMANCE might play a little kinder.

                                                                                                In Alliance,

                                                                                                    #19

But I can’t write an open letter like that. Can I? Or did I? If you’re reading this, I guess I did. Which means I’ve also changed my Google Alert from daily to as-it-happens. If cambuzz (names have been changed to protect the mean) can take the time to compile a list of the 477 Worst Actors and Actresses, what else does he or she have time to do? We are living in a Yelp Eat Yelp world, where everyone’s a critic and anyone can add to the conversation, which is enormously good and horribly bad.

And which is why this is my first official blog post and not my 31st.

I’ve been around the block and definitely have something to say but this petri dish we’re calling social media can be frightening. There are real honest to goodness trolls out there waiting to attack! And as actors we are vulnerable. We desperately protect our public persona and are afraid to step on any toes. The last thing we need is to have an internet search of our name reveal results we can’t control that don’t place us in our best light. We’re just trying to get by here, y’know?

So if I plunge in and begin writing and publishing my deepest, darkest ideas in a public forum, aren’t I opening myself up to ridicule.

Or, more importantly, will sharing the experiences I’ve had over the long haul in this biz help guide someone, help comfort someone so they know they’re not alone on this roller coaster ride we call a career or help remind someone that one performance is not the end-all and they shouldn’t read those things anyway.

Next up: The day I stopped giving a sh*t.

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Lea Gulino

About Lea Gulino

Lea has performed on stage in New York and Regional Theater, on-camera in LA and is currently a Voice Actor recording for Film, TV and Radio. She can also be heard on various Video Games and Voice Recognition Systems and as Frances the Falcon for The Statue of Liberty Family Audio Tour. Lea is a graduate of New York University. She lives with her husband on their boat in Sausalito, CA.