If you don't make it big, you are destined to wait tables for all of eternity. Acting involves a lot of risk. Discuss.
You really only should attempt it if you are independently wealthy.
Not everybody feels their life is ruined if they don;t make it big. A friend of mine was the big star actress in college: 20 years later, she's a vocal coach at a major regional theatre festival and has written a textbook on actorly vocal training and exercises. I think she's had a pretty good life even though she never became Meryl Streep.
There are many actors who work steadily and make a nice living without being box office stars and multi-millionaires. You made not have heard of them but they work all the time.
[quote]There are many actors who work steadily and make a nice living without being box office stars and multi-millionaires. You made not have heard of them but they work all the time.
Glenn Close for instance.
I'm a software engineer. One of my coworkers, also an engineer, tried acting for many years. He made $20-30,000 a year doing commercials. Finally gave up and did software full time. Waiting tables isn't the only backup plan for someone aspiring to be an actor.
I had another friend who did bit parts all his life and was able to make a living at it.
Another friend, who was actually doing quite well ($300,000 a year), gave it up and went back home to run his father's car dealership. Couldn't deal with not being at the top.
I've often envied the life of character actors. They do work they love, get paid quite a lot of money, and aren't troubled by the gossip press. Maybe they get some recognition now and then, maybe an award or two, then it's back to vanishing into the next role.
That's my idea of a good life, while being a celebrity/star sounds absolutely intolerable.
I know two actors (husband & wife) who have worked consistently in small, supporting roles in film and tv and in commercials for more than 20 years. They live in LA, raise their kids there, have good lives and turn up unexpectedly in the oddest places.
Another couple I know gave up on acting and both now make very nice livings behind the scenes in movies and television. They have decent lives.
It's not all waiting tables and depression.
I know 7 actors who jumped off the Hollywood sign.
Every actor thinks of making it big. But it's a curse. If you don't get to the top and stay on top (lightening striking twice), you are considered a failure. Who wants to fight their entire life only then to be considered a failure when you slip back into obscurity.
A friend is a fairly successful director. You would be amazed at how even actors we consider pretty big time, still have to whore themselves out to up and coming directors to remain relevant. You always have to sell yourself or the idea of yourself to maintain steady work. Trust me, in five years time, even Channing Tatum will be taking lunches.
R4, FINALLY a Glenn Close/M joke I laughed at.
[quote]I know 7 actors who jumped off the Hollywood sign.
Each picked up a key in front of Jasmine Guy's house, R11.
I work in a regional theater in a big metro area and we do have many repeat actors making comfortable livings. It's a small pool, they're the best in town, and they're making good money. It actually shocked me when I first started working for the theater that some actors can have a career outside of NYC or LA.
I once had a very, very happy career working off-off-off-off Broadway in the 90s until I was offered began teaching drama for my home town high school of Blaine, Missouri, and originated the Blaine Community Players.
Regional theatre can be very rewarding and our successes were many, including the NY Times nearly reviewed, "Red, White and Blaine".
Hey, a lot of people wait tables. They don't kill themselves.
The world of showbiz is a sick and boring life!
It doesn't matter if the public knows you, as long as casting people do. I have a friend in his 90s who's not known, but has worked since radio days in the 30s without waiting tables.
A lot of actors hang on reminding themselves of people like Jean Stapleton who didn't become known nationally until her mid-50s as Edith.
I have a friend who makes a very good living as an understudy. He has worked steadily for the ten years that I have known him.
Also, many actors have university or college teaching jobs on the side. Waiting tables is not the only option.
I was encouraged to follow 'the dream' and moved to H'wood. I did marginally well for a few years, got to join SAG. I went to hear Jason Stuart speak at the Cagney and he opened a vein about how hard it was to scratch and claw his way to the FUCKING MIDDLE.
I went home, gave notice on my apartment, rented a U-Haul and was gone by the end of the month.
I never got to thank him personally, but THANK YOU JASON STUART!
Life has never been better.
One is not an actor because he wants to be, it is because he HAS to be. That old cliche/chestnut is true about REAL artists. Seeking fame is an empty, soulless goal. Fame is always fleeting, flickering, like mercury on a tabletop. Being a "star" is a different goal from being an actor. Wanting to be a star is a purely an ego-driven thing and, hence, will never bring satisfaction because the ego is never satisfied. It's psychology 101. With all the perks that come with stardom, there is always the desire for more, more, more. It's why stars are so fucked up, most of the time, and seek their empty thrills with drugs and outrageous spending sprees. It is all ego run amok, which the ego will always do if left unchecked. Stardom and talent often don't even intersect in 2013.
SMART actors have other ways to make a buck. They do their art, their craft (another eye-rolling term that makes people groan but is true for the true performer) because it brings them joy, brings them satisfaction, allows them to tell stories and explore and reflect the human condition. The whole "go to New York or Hollywood and wait tables while waiting for that big break" thing is from another time, another era. It won't work in 2013 and anyone who precisely tries to DO that is rather a foolhardy dimwit.
Being a successful actor also requires the definition of "success." It is very different for different people. Unfortunately, most people, like the OP here, define an actor's success as whatever it is that he DOES NOT HAVE. And that, then, carbon copies out into the world. And "success" forever eludes him like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It's really awful. I know a woman who graduated from Julliard, was in a well-regarded acting troupe which fell apart when the founder died. She's in her late 40s, still waits tables and shares an apartment with 2 other women in upper Manhattan. Her sister, on the other hand, did well in Hollywood, having been a semi-regular on several MTM TV shows in the 80s and 90s.
My former roommate, a nice woman in Los Angeles, has been pursuing her "dream" for 30 years. She has never gotten more than "extra" roles and one TV commercial which I got for her through the company I worked for. I admire her tenacity. But it's a little sad to see a woman in her 50s going out for commercials, and all her Facebook friends congratulating her on the possibility that she may actually book it. (She didn't.) I admire her dedication. But she also has a personal income.
Frank Langella wrote a beautiful piece about this in 1989.
I had steady work in westerns in the 50s and drama character parts thru out the 70 and 80s. Made a good living which is all I ever strived for.
An exciting life and fun. Not sad at all.
It is definitely a masochistic life because you really have no control over getting parts. Constantly being judged not only on talent but looks, height, color of hair, et.al. Always trying to convince others about how talented and wonderful you are. It is a phony business. Once success is achieved, you then have the problems of how to handle success. Some just cannot play the game. You sell your soul to the devil. Always shelling out money for pictures, clothes, classes, publicity..... It is only for the very strong and rich. Much easier if you are related to a celebrity. Lot of fun for young people who have the energy, but once you reach a certain age, it will destroy you. See the brilliant movie "Career" with the gorgeous Anthony Franciosa- it says it all.
People who are very passionate about acting and are very determined can piece related jobs together that can pay the basic bills (in some cities). I know people who do it. A lot of them work in some combo of admin. or teaching positions in the arts, in addition to performing.
If you want to pursue "acting" (read: movie/tv stardom), it helps to be from an extremely wealthy family or to have additional talent at (and experience in) something unrelated to performance arts.
Aside from these, it helps to start out as a child, but an AWARE child. Meaning, one who learns very, very early how to be a total sycophant to those who matter.
Even a steady character acting career is very rare. And with the explosion of film programs and cut-throat film students, so is making a successful transition from non-celebrity actor to a lucrative position behind the scenes.
And "phony" couldn't be more correct. All jobs include some phoniness, but entertainment is likely home to the most universally pathetic. Every time I start to respect an actor, I am rudely awakened by that. It's easy to fall for the images some of them put out there...until they put something out there that reminds you that they're full of shit.
I think the life of a actor (or actor-wannabe) is pretty sad and dreadful. Only about 1% of actors actually make a living off of their chosem profession.
If you think about the day-to-day requirements of being an actor, it boils down to auditions and rejections. Lots and lots of rejection. After awhile, they must take it personally. They start questioning everything about themselves: why did him and not me?
Many of us go to job interviews with high hopes and when we don't get the job, we question everyone we thought we knew about ourselves.
These actors are rejected on a regularly basis. It's part of the "the job." How would you feel if part of your profession is to be told you're too short or too tall; you look too dumb for this sophisticated role; you can't act... and so and and so on. No one experiences rejections more so than actors.
It's no wonder many actors are a wreck.
I live around an area with lots of TV production facilities and with lots of theater people, and I have to say, I'm really unimpressed - seems like it's all about smoking pot and being weird for the sake of being noticed. Or else, if gay, being S.A.S.A. for the sake of NOT being noticed.
Just a fucked-up industry - so not interested, either in the industry or in people involved in it.
What does Sansa have to do with being gay? Arya is the butch one.
Lost from another thread
Although, I should add, there comes a point in an actor's compensation level when I don't find them "sad and dreadful," even if they happen to be depressed.
You'll have a hard time getting me to feel sad for someone who has so much money for doing something so useless. Might the hours be long? Yes. But the work is not difficult compared to other jobs.
Anyone posting here who is trashing actors or is "unimpressed" or who "feels sorry" for actors, ad nauseum......I suspect has no talent and secretly wishes he did. Untalented people quite often resent those who are gifted. Like that black girl from the movie Fame. "I didn't want to go to your stupid school, anyway, Leroy."
Only actors/artists understand each other. Truly talented people are a different breed of the human species. This is a truism. We belong together. And we stick together. And we, quite simply, have different life experiences. It is an elevated world of highs and lows. But even with the tragedies and the struggles, it is a much more thrilling life than the soul deadening life of cubicle dwellers and insurance salesmen and "ordinary" people. Actors don't want to be ordinary.
Theatre is magic.
When I meet kids at the stage door who ask for my advice about becoming an actor I tell them - if you can do anything else in life and be happy, please go do it
"Only actors/artists understand each other. Truly talented people are a different breed of the human species."
Oh honey, that's what the wannabes tell each other when their parents tell them to get real jobs.
R32 is a classic example of a very insecure and overly-defensive actor who hasn't kept his ego in check. And what makes you think that we think theatre isn't magic?
Actors' motivations and tactics to get ahead in the business can obviously differ. Since you're an actor, R32, I'd think you could differentiate the various comments into categories of whom they tend to apply.
Furthermore, plenty of successful actors come to view their career as "just a job." They do. Even the ones who get insane perks take it for granted and reach a status quo, where they don't feel extraordinary so much as that they deserve what they have and more. But they complain about getting up at 5am like everyone else, and so on.
As for theatre actors, I've heard quite a few of them say, in summary "[Acting] is what I do; it's NOT who I am."
I'm unsure with which actorly crowd you roll, R32. Sounds like the Hollywood Hipster Socialites that currently dominate/dismiss every person who questions the business as a jealous "hater." But then again, you think theatre is magic...
R32, well sure, because you're union. And you have perks like that actor's only, income-gauged apartment building on the West Side. I mean, stuff like that, who WOULDN'T spout the koolaid.
Look, I've had family members who were actors. Nothing wrong with acting. I just dislike so many of those who claim to be, and how the craft of acting has been perverted by Hollywood.
Shelley Long does a funny scene outside her parents' apt. in "Outrageous Fortune" - the woman who voices her mother is hysterical. "I'll pay you back!" she says with confidence to which her mom says "What was that?" It's really a well written scene.
[quote]There are many actors who work steadily and make a nice living without being box office stars and multi-millionaires. You made not have heard of them but they work all the time.
Exactly. Those are the actors you see all the time in TV and movies playing smaller roles. I have a friend who is at this level and he's always working. He's middle-aged and kind of ordinary-looking, and he has to audition constantly, but he gets lots of work, mostly in TV. When he has time he does theatre and writes.
He's not rich and famous, but he makes a nice living and gets to work in his chosen field. That's what most actors DREAM of.
r38 anecdotal evidence is outweighed by actual statistics.
Only 1% of actors make a living off of their profession alone. Your friend is the lucky 1%.
The great majority hope to make just enough to cover their union dues.
[quote]Only 1% of actors make a living off of their profession alone. Your friend is the lucky 1%.
Show me this study that backs up your "statistics"
Anyone can say anything and call it a statistic. Doesn't make it true.
r40 the link is from the LA Times, but that statistics I've known about from watching documentaries about the lives of struggling actors.
There was a show on Bravo a few years ago that followed the lives and career of struggling actors. It was called "The IT Factor." In the title segment, they cited the stat.
In addition, Los Angeles Times found that 72% of actors make less than $5000/year from acting. Most of them survive doing odd jobs.
Of SAG members, over 95% make less than $5000 in actin jobs.
The character actors you see getting role and after role are pretty much always (from my experience, at least) nice, hardworking, reliable people. They have to be or they're not asked back.
I know an increasing-in-popularity actress who, after amassing about $6M dollars as of last year (and much more to come soon), still denies that she makes a good living.
There are very few people making the big salaries we often imagine actors making.
Same with musicians. The guy who was the lead in Cracker and Camper van Beethoven (David Lowery) has said that even with touring and record sales, there were years where he, or similar artists, filed a tax return that was only between 35-50K in earned income.
It's only the casts in very successful shows making good money. And then they often ask for ridiculous sums - not always out of ego, but because they know that after that show is done they may never see that money again.
Is it true that agents/managers get 10% cut of an actors income for whatever jobs they repped them for, forever? Meaning, it's not a one time payment but also applies to future residuals?
No r18, Stapleton was 47 when the show started. She wasn't mid-50s until she left the show 9 seasons later.
I've seen a lot of sad and dreadful lives of non-actors...OP, how old are you?
R32 = Phylicia Rashad
[quote]It's only the casts in very successful shows making good money.
Ehhh...not always true. I've been surprised by what some regulars on "just okay" shows can afford (without credit or going into debt). Of course, they could be getting assistance from "benefactors" or something, or selling drugs on the side...but I never assumed that was the case with people I was introduced to.
I wrote about this in my infamous bestselling book. You Philistines might enjoy it.
One of Steven Berkoff's books was very much like the thread title - mainly about his rep days
I disagree that only popular shows pay well. I remember hearing that one of the supporting cast members on "house of Payne"(that crappy sitcom by Tyler Perry) got $300,000 per season. If you are lucky to get a regular gig on any TV show, you will make more than the average American. Even if it has low ratings. You might not be a millionaire, but you are definitely making above the national median of wage earners.
It was stupid of Stapelton to leave All in the Family and its sad Stacy Keach never made it that big.
[quote]Of SAG members, over 95% make less than $5000 in actin jobs.
Yes, but their dues helped pay for my shitbra.
r52, that's not a lot when you factor in the cost of living in a place like LA or NYC where you have to be to continue at that level.
Because you're essentially in the "me" business, you have to always be good-looking, in good shape, keep networking, etc. All of these things cost money.
I go to a regional theatre in my city and feel very fortunate to see really great acting by the casts. Professional actors need to work somewhere and while they are not household names they are truly pros.
I think the masses would be pleasantly surprised if they would go see some local theatre. Not community theatre, but regional reps.
And we actors really do appreciate all you little people.
It costs a lot to be Me R55.
My best friend just decided he wants to become an actor at 49. Ugh. What am I supposed to say. I already had two others that tried that late in life and got out.
He seems to think that by telling everyone he just wants to make a living and not be real famous he is not deluded. But truth is no one is buying it.
I guess you cant step on someones dreams, but its sad to see they are 99% chance of being let down.
Lot's of actors come from money. (believe me I'm one of them.) Lot easier to wait and be patient etc. when you got money in the bank.
r72 listen again, Barry Manilow wrote 'Mandy' for Mandy Patinkin
People gloss over the life of character actors, especially on DL, presumably because you don't have to look like a Barbie doll, or be under 25, or stay insanely fit or undernourished, and you don't have to sleep your way into auditions, etc. It's just about the talent!
If only. Talk to working character actors, especially middle-aged ones.
The competition for scarce parts is brutal. Lots of cattle calls for commercials and TV bit parts, no matter how accomplished you are. The industry perception is that since you're old and not terribly attractive, you must do everything exceptionally well: broad comedy, heavy drama, physical schtick, accents, song & dance.
Older character roles in movies and TV tend to be poorly written, or underwritten, with some expectation that a good actor will bring even the worst crap to charming life. In any event, most stories aren't about these characters, anyway, it's about setting events in motion for the sexy 22 year old lead to react to.
A casting agent once pointed to the Golden Era of screwball comedies. Preston Sturges, in particular, filled his films with crazy looking, funny, memorable oddballs: cops, meter maids, shopgirls, farmers, rich old ladies. They always had great lines and faces and variety. He contrasted those films with supporting casts now, which now consist largely of aging wanna-bes and never-were leads who rarely get a chance to do or say anything interesting.... cause that'd pull focus from the lead!
Even as media keeps expanding, opportunities for actors seem to keep declining more and more.
And what about me? What about MY career?
r55 That is not true. The median wage in Manhattan in 2011 was $47,030, and the median income for a family was $50,229. Only people who live in the ritzy areas, have to worry about the cost of living. Anyone making more than $100,000 is living good(as long as they don't spend too much) in every city in this country. People think that just because a lot of wealthy people live in Manhattan, that means they make up the bulk of wage earners.
Yes, but it's still an expensive business (R64)There are lots of dues to be paid and fees for professional services such as lawyers, agencies, and publicists. And you have to play a funny game of appearing to be well off, whether you are or you are not. You have to have a good address and the right clothes, beauty treatments etc. You have to seem like a winner.
Plus, even if someone lucks into a good sitcom part and makes a good salary, they might not get such a good job again in the next 10 years, if ever. So they better hope that the sitcom lasts and sitcoms usually don't.
It's a brutal life. I don't necessarily feel sorry for actors because they chose to do what they do. But I don't begrudge them one penny of what they make either.
R65: While it's true that actors (especially the women) can spend a lot of money on a minimum standard of presence, and while it's true that people tend to spend a lot or most of what they earn, that's still being well-off.
If they can basically outright purchase and maintain a lovely home in a coveted area of Los Angeles (which most of them seem to be able to do) and do the same with at least one nice car, and have enough left over to do anything a reasonable person might decide to do for fun whenever they want to, that's well-off.
Also, keep in mind that the ladies are sometimes given free/discounted bling that contributes to their appearances, including memberships, nice clothes, makeup, beauty products, or a designer bag here and there. Without doing endorsements for these things. Even if they don't get perks, it does not cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for the average actor to maintain him or herself.
And when it comes to actors getting or staying relevant to people who will keep them relevant, their actual wealth of possessions isn't something that will get them very far. A lot of intangibles factor into the image.
Well sure intangibles are involved (R66) such as talent and charisma. But they sure as hell do need to appear successful or on the brink of success to make studios want to take a risk on hiring them.
And, I'm not really talking about the bigger stars who get the free bling and perks. By the time a person gets to that level, they are, indeed, paying for little of that stuff. I'm talking about a working, but non famous actor who might afford a lovely home for a while, and then end up having to quietly move back into a small apartment during the years when the work dries up. Hell that happens to people who have acquired a bit of fame. And then everybody says "oh they are washed up now".
Lucky actors might find jobs that leave them well off for five years and then find themselves making no money at all for as many years after so spread that nice, high salary over all those unemployed years and you come out with a lot less. Again, I'm not talking about the top stars who are in their own strange category. I'm talking about working actors. There is a big difference between the two though the difference often goes unrecognised in the star worshipping culture in which we live.
r66 I don't think you really know what you're talking about. Since when do struggling actors and working but unknown actors given free clothes and "blings?" Only the A-list or famous stars get that treatment. They are basically the designers' human billboards.
r65 and r67's observations is astute. Being an actor is an expensive business. In addition to publicists and agents, you also need hairstylists and make-up artists. You also need a celebrity stylist. The cost of entourages add up. These people aren't cheap.
It is funny because if you hear actors talk about people in the "straight" world, they kind of look down on them for being safe and cowardly with their choices.
If you hear non-actors talk about actors it is usually with contempt or abject admiration.
I think it is limiting to assume what someone's experience of their life is for them based on your own fears and judgments.
R68, There's a proportion involved. The ones who need stylists and a full "team" and so on are pretty much known very well to the public. "Struggling and unknown" actors? They don't have all those things.
And if they're working, making a lot more money than average (most are), but just not as popular as A list? Yes, they do receive perks as well. Not an entire life comp, but they are usually offered some nice things on occasion.
I wasn't saying it's not expensive to keep up. It's just not something that disqualifies a person as wealthy, unless he or she really mismanages money outside of that.
Oh, and R67--I agree, but I feel like the gap is closing more and more. As someone mentioned, there seems to be less and less variety in screen acting, which seems to result in less actors getting the part of the budget assigned to them (in film). I notice studios trying out lesser-known actors that they must be technically paying less, but they're not THAT lesser-known. It would be refreshing for actors to get paid less overall, but that's not going to happen.
If you're a series regular on a network show, even if you're not popular, there's no reason you couldn't have saved a decent amount of money, especially if you hit syndication.
Wow, lol - the two of you here could be talking about just any job with real responsibilities, not just acting in the entertainment industry.
Good jobs are precious, and if you want one, you have to look good, present a fairly normal image, communicate well, and have references. Ditto if you want to keep it.
Why should anyone feel actors are inordinately burdened with keeping their noses clean?
"I don't think you really know what you're talking about. Since when do struggling actors and working but unknown actors given free clothes and "blings?""
Well, some barely-working has-beens and wannabes have an inexplicably large presence in the gossip press and celebrity fashion blogs. The Kate Bosworths and Olivia Wildes have endless supplies of designer wear, much of it free.
However, their publicists and stylists probably cost them more than paying for that much designer wear.
You gave those two as examples of "struggling actors and unknown actors?" Really?
Olivia Wilde just came out with a new film. She's very well-known. She was on House for a number of years. Straight men love her. She's not a nobody or a wannabe.
Kate Bosworth may not be working lately, but she was in Superman. Every actor has his down time and periods when they are not working. It's not the same as those who still haven't "made it" yet.
Hey 54!If you're really wearing a shitbra,I hope you have some very strong deodorant.
I don't like actors. Or wait, I think I dislike mainstream acting and what it stands for, and the types of people it attracts and keeps.
For one thing, actors who have decent followings have a lot of power, aka celebrity. Giving power to celebrities means you're giving power to glaring hypocrisy.
R22: "She's in her late 40s, still waits tables and shares an apartment with 2 other women in upper Manhattan."
That's chilling: late FORTIES and with roommates? Still waiting for a big break?
r78 who says she is "waiting" for anything? Maybe she just sees herself as an actor. Her circumstances don't mean that she is waiting for a big break to become a star.
Some actors just want to be actors and if this woman went to Julliard doesn't that suggest something to you beyond the stars in the eyes cliché?
Success is doing what you want with your life. Bliss is doing it well and with success.
"Bliss is doing it well and with success."
While waiting tables and living with two roommates. Indeed.
look r80 what difference does it make that she has two roommates. Those are YOUR criteria you are judging her on.
Obviously what is important to you isn't important to her. period.
New York is an expensive city and it can be lonely if you aren't in a relationship. What is sad about having roommates at any age?
Look at it this way: if a late 40s actress with two roommates on the UWS looked at your life and judged your cookie cutter corporate drone life as pathetic she would be just as misguided as you are.
Your view from the bridge of the nose is based on the ignorant assumption that everyone values what you value.
what r21 said.
I can call in a Valium prescription (with free delivery) if you need one R80. Get a grip. This is a message board for me to express my opinions on. If you don't like them, don't look past "the bridge of your nose."
lots of two car garage snobbery on this thread. live and let live. Your impressions of the arts and success have been shaped by advertising and a simple minded pop culture media.
If it helps you to feel better about your life choices to look down on someone who might be trying to do something with their life that you don't understand then so be it.
But what kind of fucking narrow minded idiot wants to view life like that?
Thank you for your life lessons, R79, R81, R82, R84. You have made the $18 worth it. Enjoy the rest of your evening now that your shift at the restaurant is over. And say hi to your roommates for me.
r83 I think you meant to direct your comments to me,[ r81 ]rather than yourself @ r80. However, the fact that you ended up schooling yourself is somewhat satisfying and is its own reward.
Look, this message board exists for everyone to express their opinions.
I happen to have opinions about your opinions that you are welcome to ignore if you don't like them.
haven't worked as a waiter or had roommates since I was 22.
I almost bought a car from a guy who it turns out, I googled him, was on some tv show not that many years ago. Sorry I can't remember his name. But I remember looking at the credits on his IMDB profile and thinking it looked like he was still trying to be an actor and was only selling cars because he had to.
This is why a lot of longtime soap actors did what they did and stayed with those shows for years.
It was consistent work in a field where consistency is unheard of. And while there was only a dozen or so people making the money that, say, Susan Lucci made, even a supporting actor/actress could make somewhere between 80 and 90K and 150K. Not bad (though NYC and LA have high costs of living).
I know I've read a lot of interviews with women who were on the soaps, and they would say things like, "Well, I could have gone to try this or that, but then I had kids and this was a great way to be a working mom," and so on.
It has to be depressing to work hard at something then seeing non entities like Kristen Stewart and seth rogen make millions. Or to see the well connected sail into stardom like Maggie gyllenhaal and her traffic stopping face.
totally agree about butterface Gylenhaal. She ugly, she ugly, her mama say she ugly!
R24, isn't it funny - I went to the IMDB to see what Langella is working on - he has a film coming out next year, "Parts per Billion" - appropo of nothing, I checked out another favorite of mine, Gena Rowlands - she is appearing in that film, as well.
DL threads always seem to degenerate, possibly due to sheer universal entropy, into these absurd slug fests. Why is that?
[quote] DL threads always seem to degenerate, possibly due to sheer universal entropy, into these absurd slug fests. Why is that?
Because somewhere in online culture, most users evolved into absolutists who can only think one way, or recognize one possible answer to any issue or question.
Can someone please start a "Lets pretend we're the life of a struggling actor" thread?
I studied theatre and attempted to have a career as an actor first in NYC and then for almost ten years in LA. It was years and years of disappointment. It was hard to stay connected to people because it's such a cut throat business. I also was never good at doing the schmoozing thing which didn't help. It's all so phoney.
I left LA and have pursued a career doing other things but I still work occasionally as an actor for fun and when I do, it's bittersweet. On one hand it's great to act again because I really do love it but then I'm reminded that I will never be able to support myself as an actor.
It's actually worked against me in my second career. Last year, I interviewed 4 times for a a great job at an agency in San Francisco. It came down to me and one other person and in the final interview, I was asked if I had made movies before. Apparently, the hiring manager had googled my name. When I told him that I was an actor in another life, I could tell that he was no longer interested... I didn't get the job.
I still have friends who are actors in LA and while some are very talented (and good looking), they've never gotten anything beyond bit parts. I think a lot of it comes down to luck.
r97 You were rejected because you were an actor? What gives? Was he afraid you might get bitten by the acting bug again and just take off?
Nothing wrong with being a supporting actor in theatre. I suppose making it even there is tough, but if you're good enough you will find something to do.
Mind you, I have saw unattractive AND bad actors in plays, you wonder how some get an equity card and are professionals.
bad performances don't always mean bad actors.
Mais oui R100. Every great actor can put in a shit/lazy performance.
[quote]I also was never good at doing the schmoozing thing which didn't help.
Sadly enough, that makes a Hollywood acting career DOA. Unless you're a child actor who becomes wise as to how to manipulate the money and visibility and make both grow; many of those have an easier time making powerful peer friends as young adults. And yeah, I hear ya about the phony. Hollyweird it is.
[quote]You were rejected because you were an actor? What gives? Was he afraid you might get bitten by the acting bug again and just take off?
I think they wanted someone who was passionate about marketing and not someone who sort of fell into it because their first choice of career didn't work out. In this economy, they can find someone who studied marketing and has whose sole career focus has been marketing which leaves me at a major disadvantage. I don't tell people I interview with that I was an actor but it comes out if they ask what I studied in college.
[quote]It has to be depressing to work hard at something then seeing non entities like Kristen Stewart and seth rogen make millions. Or to see the well connected sail into stardom like Maggie gyllenhaal and her traffic stopping face.
This depresses me and I'm not even an actor.
I don't all the ugly actors comments. Haven't any of your been to Broadway?
I think acting also is something you need to be born into or start very young at. That helps, having that stage school mentality already set or being in a drama club at high school.
I would've liked to have tried it myself, but didn't do all those things early or go to drama school. Some are naturals that can get by on raw instinct and some can start off later on but they are the exceptions.
Nepotism only works to a point - some talent is also needed - but it is so blatantly there all the time it's a wonder others bother. I admire people like Lizzie Olsen who didn't use their name to get in the door or jump the queue and did it the hard way and the outcome was a strong talent her hopeless sisters never had.
I know life is unfair, but actors' lives are ridiculously unfair. I'm talking about the ones who have gotten their foot in the door to being at least somewhat known and have it 'in' with the executives. 'List' placement is irrelevant. It's barely a hard job compared to everything else, and there's lots of downtime on set, in which they can relax or party with the other actors at night. Some may be stuck doing bad tv and movies. But the truth is that the majority of people either don't remember bad movies or performances, or they enjoy stupid entertainment. As for the journey there, being frequently told you're not good enough is hardly unique to any aspect of life, let alone the profession of acting. So, I openly envy actors. And it's totally depressing. The whole "selling your soul" thing? I can't see how it's not worth it. Thx for letting me rant.
I worked on stage on and off for ten years, not really making a living. Then I got a TV series. I've been off the show for five years now and I'm not even getting auditions but I'm living comfortably off residuals and signing autographs at conventions. I hope to turn my career around eventually, but my life does not suck. It's rather pleasant.
Talent does not really matter for actors. What matters is linking yourself to the quality creative productions.
By contrast, the danger is too many duds, because you get contaminated by association, even though the acting performances are rarely to blame for the commercial failure, that is just how Hollywood works.
True, R109 and I never understand it. In England, acting is considered a job and it is normal for any actor to take any job that pays them and allows them to work. They are not held accountable if the show itself doesn't work. England produces some really great actors because they get enough experience to get better and better.
Are there any actors under 40 who didn't start acting until they were over 18? It seems like every actor/actress in their 20s/30s have been acting professionally since they were children. And half of them are related to someone in the business.
This list is interesting. These actors are NOT under 40, but they're still some surprising exceptions to the rule of early entry. They didn't start acting until age 30, and in some cases, 40 or 50.
Estelle Getty was 55 when she got her first professional job, though she'd been trying for years.
[quote] Lots of cattle calls for commercials and TV bit parts, no matter how accomplished you are.
A "cattle call" means they are seeing tons of actors, like herds of cattle, or an open call.
Commercials and tv shows (and voice-overs) see a very limited number of actors for each role, generally 20-30, and often even fewer. The trick is to get seen at all. It is all orderly, reasonably dignified, and arranged by one's agent. Nobody just comes in off the street to be seen for a commercial, or tv role. Nobody.
I audition through my agents all the time, it's not the way you describe it really.
What about the business is cut throat? Stories, please!
[quote]I audition through my agents all the time, it's not the way you describe it really.
How do you get an agent?