a feature by Katarina Schröter

Do we need fiction to produce something that feels more real for us than our lived reality?



This hybrid filmproject invites people to become authors of their life and to play with it.

We plan to launch an agency called Rent an Actor. The agency is an art project and offers a fiction-service. Through a website, people can order actors for scenarios and relations that their real life does not offer. A shy boy might order an avatar, a childless woman in her fifties a missing daughter, an old lady her passed away friend. A camera documents each encounter.


The actor comes to the life of the people daily for some weeks. The real and the imaginary life merge. A hybrid reality is being created and a second life that might be closer to the existential longings of the people than their first one.


We plan to realise the project in Tokyo and Los Angeles.

In Japan everyday life is already quite intertwined with an artificial reality. Hired relationships become usual. There are cafés where you pay for a Smalltalk and agencies that hire uncles for busy parents.

Los Angeles/Hollywood represents the American dream, that has already become a night mare with it’s fabricated longings and cinema dreams.  Which life-fictions do ordinary people dream of in such a place?


The project Rent an Actor documents a possible scenario. It envisions a future where fiction is not any longer consumed by an audience. It is accessible for anybody as a tool to live their imagined lives, identities and relationships. “Rent an Actor” doesn’t focus on the loneliness and misery that makes people chose for surrogates. Instead it suggests that everybody can be an author of his life.  Fake can me more real. 


idea/concept/direction: Katarina Schröter (The Visitor)

camera/partner in crime:  Paola Calvo (violently happy)

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