’Tis the season for gifting, but the items on this list are great any time of year. I've compiled the top ten best gifts for actors based on what actors have repeatedly said they want and need. In no particular order:
1. Self-Tape Supplies
Let’s face it: self-tapes are here to stay. The demand for actors to turn in their own auditions requires that they have the necessary equipment to do so. For starters, every actor needs a great lighting setup
(a blank wall can suffice for a backdrop as long as it is a flattering color for the actor’s skin tone). Relying on natural light from a window or using strategically placed lamps simply won’t cut it, especially given the number of self-tapes directors and casting directors have to review.
2. A Nice, Reusable Water Bottle
For the busy actor on the go a reusable water bottle is a necessity. When I was researching water bottles for this article I stumbled across Ocean Bottle
, and it's safe to say that I am now officially OBSESSED. I am not affiliated with them and don't make any commission by linking them here, I just REALLY like this bottle. The pros: it is 100% dishwasher-safe (rare for a reusable bottle), made from 100% recycled and recyclable packaging, BPA-free, has an anti-leak dual-opening lid (so actors can throw it in their bag without worrying about it spilling all over their rehearsal notes), and is made from double wall vacuum-insulated stainless steel - a fancy way of saying it keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. Actors can use it for their coffee in the morning, then rinse it out and use it as a water bottle the rest of the day. LOVE that. AND every Ocean Bottle purchased funds the collection of 1000 ocean-bound plastic bottles in weight. The cons: it's a little pricey at $55 for a 500ml bottle (about 17oz.). However, the company offers free spare parts for the life of the product. Currently there is only one size option available, but in 2022 the company will release a larger version at 34oz. Seriously, I never thought I could be so excited about a water bottle.
3. Acting Classes or Private Coachings
It is important that actors continuously work on their craft, but the cost of acting classes can add up quickly. Gifting an actor a class with other students can improve their scene study and audition skills, while private lessons allow them to fine tune a specific skill such as a dialect. Time with an acting coach can prove priceless to an actor.
4. Tickets to a Live Show or Season Tickets to a Theatre
After the last year and a half we’ve all had, people are eager to see live theatre again. With theatres opening back up, now is the perfect time to give actors season tickets to their favorite theatre, or tickets to a show they’ve been wanting to see.
5. A LARGE Bag with LOTS of Compartments
Actors are constantly running from Point A to Point B juggling day jobs, school, auditions and rehearsals. They need a bag that’s big enough to hold scripts, audition clothes, work clothes, homework, etc. A bag with lots of compartments is ideal!
6. Notebooks, Binders, Pens, Pencils, Highlighters
Actors take lots of notes, keep journals, highlight scripts - in other words, office supplies are always a practical gift. When it comes to pens, I have a favorite: the Pilot G-2 0.7mm
. I don’t make any commission by linking them, I just REALLY love these pens. They write incredibly smoothly and the barrel is clear so you know how much ink you have left. As for pencils, I recommend mechanical. The retractable lead allows actors to safely toss them into that giant bag they’re carrying around without worrying about the lead breaking or marking up the bag’s contents.
7. Public Transit Pass
Actors who live in large cities will likely find themselves trekking all over town to go between work/school, auditions and rehearsals. A monthly pass for the train or bus, or a Lyft
gift card can really come in handy.
Listen to Shonda Rhimes discuss writing for television, or Steve Martin workshop the comedic acts of up-and-coming stand-ups. Masterclass offers a plethora of instructors in a wide range of fields. And with a variety of topics to choose from, actors can easily branch out of the “Arts & Entertainment” category.
10. Theatrik Gift Card
I had to include this one, of course! With a Theatrik Gift Card
, actors can choose from self-tape supplies, stage makeup, plays, and arts-themed candles, stickers and cards. It’s the perfect gift for any thespian.