Acting : What's in a name, A rose by any other word would smell as sweet. by Alex Walton

Alex Walton

What's in a name, A rose by any other word would smell as sweet.

Hi, just a bit of a general, out there question, a 2nd opinion if you will, about professional names. An agent has advised that I change my name from klarke as it is too much of a "stage name" and too contrived to be taken seriously in the industry, however other directors have said that it works and stands out, so torn as to weather to change it for my new showreel. What would you say is a "too made up name"?? (my real name is Clarke by the end way, with a 'C' but that is being used in equity already). Thanks for any advice. Klarke.

Martin Johnston

I too had to change my name because an Asian actor within Equity had a similar name to my legal one. I changed it to what I am known by now and this too has caused some confusion. My name appearing on a website to promote a christmas show created a surge in ticket sales! The producers had to admit to me that they didn't know I was such a box office draw, only for me to tell them that the public might think I was the England World Cup winning rugby captain, Martin Johnson. Once this was pointed out to those buying tickets over the phone the sales tailed off! Needless to say, in my defence, those who didn't book missed a brilliant show.

D Marcus

Too "made up" for me.

Mary Dallas

I think you have a great name. I wouldn't change it because, there are only 2 reasons to do so: 1. An 'A' list actor goes by the same name. 2. It's too difficult to pronounce. That's just my opinion. I could be wrong. ;-)

Sean Chipman

Could always flip it. Alexander Klarke. It's really a matter of what you want to do, though. If you find you aren't getting work, take your agent's advice. If you are, stick with what's working.

Martin Johnston

The other issue that arises is the longer you have the name, and gain work in using that name, the harder it is to change it. I can't, however, agree with your agents distinction that your current name is too much a 'stage name'. It is after all a professional name.

Alex Walton

I've been gaining work with it as it is, so not worried on that front, and the agent isn't mine, she's just an agent who I was speaking to, my agent didn't see a problem with it, but it's just put the thought in my head. I've worked with is as Klarke, but looking to get new headshots, and show reel and business cards so if I was to reinvent myself, now would be the time. Thinking "Alexander Edwards" (first and middle name) "Edward Clarke" or "Klarke Edwards" as my other options. Leaning towards Alexander Edwards if anything...better or not? :-/

Martin Johnston

You have a presence under your current name on Google, if you are thinking of changing your name I'd suggest Googling it first, just to see what already exists. Are you a member of an actor's union? As any name you opt to use mustn't already be in existence and already protected by that union.

Leah Waller

I wonder what Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch would say about it...

Shanelle SaraNita Williams

I changed my name a few times as well and realized that my real name was the only named that made me feel like "Me" I actually had anxiety about changing my name back and forth but I decided to keep my real name. However if your name is already in equity I would suggest to change the spelling of your name. And it does stand out. its not that big of a difference.

Jacqueline Delibes

My opinion is to split the difference: Klarke reads/looks too gimmicky for my taste, so I'd suggest Klark Alexander or Alexander Klark. I agree w/ the other person who suggested Alexander Edwards - it reads almost British. I like Klark without the e and it reminds me of another actor who modified his name only slightly: Nelsan Ellis from True Blood. Nelsan, instead of Nelson, captures your attention, but he didn't go over the top with, say Nelsaan or something. Just my taste though.

Alex Walton

Having thought about it, I think you're right, dropping the 'e' would work best. So and would mean I wouldn't lose the credits from what I've already done. So it's the best of both worlds. Thank you all very much for the advice guys, it's really appreciated... Now just keep an eye out for the name! Haha! ;)

Ernest Romeo

I think Casting Directors and Directors are more interested in #1 your look first a foremost #2 Can you act. If you possess those 2 qualities unless your name is Indiana Jones be yourself.

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