Actors' names cannot be the same. The regulations in both the United States and the United Kingdom say that no two members may have the same working name. As a result, an actor whose name is already taken must pick a new name. Sometimes this causes problems when there are several people who play the same character in different films or TV shows.
In Hollywood, it is not unusual for actors to have the same name as another actor who has been successful in playing the same role. For example, George Clooney has played many characters named "George Clooney" on television and in movies, including Matt Santos on NBC's The West Wing and Grant Whitley on CBS's ER. He also played a young Indiana Jones in the 1999 film version of the game franchise.
An example from British television history is Kenneth Branagh, who has had a string of successes playing various characters named "Kenneth Branagh". Most recently, he has been famous for his role as Shakespearean actor and director Henry V. In addition to his work on stage and screen, Branagh has also written several plays himself. He has won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Tony Award among others for these projects.
Branagh explains that he likes playing characters with similar backgrounds because it helps him understand their similarities and differences.
Aside from Union requirements, performers use stage names for a variety of reasons. If your name is a common one, chances are you know someone with the same name as you. Actors with common surnames (Smith, Johnson, etc.) are more likely to alter their names... something non-singers don't have to worry about. Sometimes an actor wants to distinguish themselves from other people with the same name; this may be done by adding a first name or a suffix to their surname. For example, Anjelica Huston would be a famous actress who uses her first name as her stage name.
Some actors choose unusual names for themselves. These names often have some meaning for the actor, such as describing their personality or what they want to achieve through their work. Some names become popular among actors because many other people are using them at the same time. For example, Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe are two famous female actors who were very successful during the 1950s and '60s, respectively.
Names can also be chosen to honor, represent, or pay tribute to another person. For example, an actor might take on the name of a favorite director or acting technique to show respect for them. Or an actor could choose a name that means something special to them, such as "the hero" or "victory".
Last but not least, some actors choose names that sound cool or fit their characters.
Stage names aren't required or used by all performers, but for some, it's the best way to go. Some performers opt to alter their identities officially in court, but many may use and register stage names without ever having to change them legally.
The use of stage names is very popular in the performing arts. Actors use them to distinguish themselves from other actors who look similar or even identical at first glance. A stage name can also help an actor get work. Some directors and producers may not want to hire someone they feel would be type-cast. This is especially true for female actors who might be asked to play the same role over and over again.
Another reason why actors use stage names is to protect their careers. If an actor's real name gets out, then that could hurt their reputation and prevent them from getting other roles. In the early days of Hollywood, before the Hays Code was put into effect, many actors used the names of people they knew to avoid trouble with the law. Today, this is less common but still happens from time to time.
Some actors choose the names that will become famous after them. They often pick unusual names to attract attention from audiences and critics. Other actors prefer more traditional names that don't sound like songs or don't fit on screen well. Still others use their own names as stage names after they become successful.
In the world of actors, for example, no two performers with the same name who are members of SAG (the actor's union) are permitted to have the same name. If they do so, they will be required to use different names before joining SAG.
The same thing goes for musicians, dancers, authors... the list is long. Without getting into too much detail, let it be said that in the world of show business, having the same name as another person can be very confusing for everyone involved.
Now, back to our topic. Can two people have the same stage name? Yes and no. No, if you think about it, two people cannot have the same stage name because then they would be using the same identity. This would be confusing for everyone involved. However, yes, if one person has the permission from the other to use the name, then they can share it.
For example, Jane Doe and John James may want to perform together under the name "The Smiths". They ask Mr. Smith if this is okay since they want to use his last name just like he does. Mr. Smith says yes, this is fine with him because it will help The Smiths get more gigs.
Actors' guilds and organisations, such as the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in the United States and the British Actors' Equity Association in the United Kingdom, require that no two members have the same working name. If an actor's name has already been taken, he or she must pick a new name. Also, some names are trademarked or belong to other people; thus, they cannot be used by others without permission.
Names can be difficult to pronounce for foreign audiences. If an actor is not familiar with these names, it may affect his or her ability to play the part. For example, if an English actor is playing a Japanese character and does not understand how to say the character's name, this could cause problems for the actor and the production team.
Some names are very common and may be hard to distinguish for listeners or viewers. For example, there are many actors with the first name Daniel who would likely be confused with each other if they had different last names. Names that are difficult to distinguish will often have an abbreviation added to them when used by more than one person, such as "Dr." for doctor or "Mr." for Mr. So-and-so.
Names can also be controversial. In the United States, some actors have chosen names that are considered inappropriate for children under 18 years old. These actors need to find another name so that children do not confuse them with adults who use those names.