This post originally appeared in November of 2021. I've updated it for 2022. Happy Holidays!
’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
and backdrop (a blank wall can suffice for a backdrop as long as it is a flattering color for the actor’s skin tone, such as a light blue or gray). 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. Two great options that are readily available are Hydro Flask
(I am not affiliated with either and don't make any commission by linking them here). Both options are BPA-free and have anti-leak lids (so actors can throw the bottle in their bag without worrying about it spilling all over their rehearsal notes), and both are made with double wall vacuum-insulated stainless steel - a fancy way of saying they keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. Both brands feature multiple sizes and colors, which is always a plus.
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
Now that theatres have opened back up post-quarantine, it's the perfect time to give actors tickets to a show they’ve been wanting to see. Better yet, buy a subscription to an entire season - it's always a good idea to support the arts. ;)
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. For actors that drive themselves, a gas gift card makes a practical and much-appreciated present - especially with gas prices these days!
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.