17th April 2021

Cameo: Let’s Not Destroy A Broadway Tradition

Kristen Martin


Cameo, a mobile app connecting celebrities and fans through personalized shoutouts, is growing more and more popular within the Broadway community. All in all I think the app is great when used with grace, honesty and humility.

However, there has been a bit of controversy in regards to the way that this app is being utilized.

Get paid to make a personalized vid for your fans?

Awesome; it’s a great way for actors to make some extra cash whilst making a fan’s day.

Make a video for a fan and forwarding all proceeds to charity?

Amazing; that is using your popularity for a good cause; that should be celebrated!

Actors announcing that they will no longer be visiting the stage door after shows but rather offer a paid video message to fans via the app?

Not cool.

Visiting the stage door after performances has never been mandatory. But to me, using Cameo in place of the stage door is a clear manipulation to a system that has been in place for decades. I find this to be incredibly upsetting. But it seemed to just get worse from there.

I saw that social anxiety had been used as an excuse for offering paid videos over the optional stage door visit. I am a firm believer that it’s good to share and spread awareness about these conditions. But to use mental illness for self serving monetary gains is troubling.

I’ve also seen women’s rights being used to justify this unfair trade. Taking any social injustice out of context to gain sympathy for your morally disputable actions should not be rewarded.

I mean, isn’t that a perfect example of privilege in itself? That is asserting the role of manipulator, not activist.

If you sit atop a thriving social platform, then you need to be aware of just how powerful your words and actions are.

I think that having such access to these growing fan bases has done a number on our egos. It’s become, who we like to think we are vs. who we really are.

Cameo just sheds some light on this bigger issue. That to me is what defines the stage door. It’s not self serving, and is not supposed to be. Let’s not taint a beautiful tradition that dates back far beyond most of our professional acting careers.


Read how Cameo works here.


Also from the Ensemblist:

Success And Rejection On Broadway

Published in collaboration with The Ensemblist

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THE ENSEMBLIST IS AN ONLINE ADVOCATE FOR THE TALENTED ARTISTS WHO WORK IN BROADWAY ENSEMBLES. What started as an audio podcast for those curious about how Broadway really works turned into an avenue for young and aspiring professional artists to learn more about theatre from in the inside out. In addition to more than 150 podcast episodes, available on Apple podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn and Podbean, The Ensemblist’s blog features daily posts from artists about their work and lives. The Ensemblist is also active on both Instagram and Twitter, with more than 10,000 followers on each platform. Through our posts, podcasts and features, we are changing the conversation about what it means to be a successful theatre artist.

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