I AM AN ACTOR
Ask many residents in New York City or Los Angeles what they do for a living, and you are more than likely to garner that as a response. While New York is home to theater and Los Angeles I the go-to for film and television, both cities set the stage for the modern American dream: success in the entertainment industry. However, given the competitive nature of the profession and the high cost of living in New York, most aspiring stars take on additional part-time – or even full-time – jobs as a means of income and daily work. While extremely prevalent in today’s economy, this trend is nothing new: prior to stardom, Johnny Depp and Jennifer Aniston worked as telemarketers, Ashton Kutcher swept floors, and Brad Pitt danced around in a chicken suit. In January 2014, Franck Bohbot – having recently moved to New York and fascinated by this classic and seemingly inevitable phenomenon – started to explore these second jobs with his series, I Am An Actor. Through online castings, calls for auditions, already-established contacts, and even chance encounters on the street, in 2015, Bohbot was able to find a group of dual-job actors t photographs. Hoping to capture the individuals in their alternate elements, armed with his trusted Leica and a single light, Bohbot photographed each in their place of work. While the venues inherently lack the glitz and glamour of the silver screen, they effectively set a scene and present a new and different type of stage, giving these all-around authentic photographs a fictional feel. Freezing each individual within a moment in his or her daily life in these “Cinematic and Documentary portraits,” Bohbot successfully explores the concept that we are, in fact, all actors, as we all adopt various roles in our everyday lives and we all, ultimately, must learn to b somebody. With a shared vision, interviewer Philippe Ungar joined Franck Bohbot in this project in the summer of 2015. Bohbot’s photographs and Ungar’s interviews complement each other. Ultimately, when paired with the photographs, the audio interviews provide a greater understanding of the unique relationship between passion and reality that the actors must encounter and balance on their way to stardom.