I'm not someone who goes 'gaga' for celebrities. Having been in this business since I was a kid, I know how how crucial luck and timing are to a career. Having said that, it is always fascinating to work with someone who has tons of experience. When it came time for our 'moment', Sandra arrived and said, "Athena! I always wished my name was Athena!".
I had to make our little crowd laugh in the moment before our scene, so I told stories about my baby having colic while I was alone in New York as a single mom. "Oh my god!" she said afterwards, "I thought you made that up!". Charming and empathetic, Sandra won me over immediately.
However, it's not just charm. It's also smart to quickly connect with your scene partner right before you shoot. That's just good acting.
Counter to that, I was recently at an audition where a fellow actor was listing off his accomplishments, and quizzing me for mine, in a passive aggressive manner.
It's such a clear example of how there is no need to be mean or demeaning in order to succeed. Friendliness, humor, and an open heart can get you even further.