Tuesday, March 25, 2014

5 Awful Things Nobody Tells You About Being an Actor

From Cracked.com:

Now most of you probably don't believe me, and that's fine. You've heard that the odds of success are slim, but you're different from all those other people, you have been singled out by providence for this. Parents, teachers and community theater directors have told you your entire life that you are gifted -- that you are born to make emotions with your face under camera and stage lights, a face that was too optimistic or too young to devastate with brutal honesty. Well, I can't see your faces, and I have some bad news.

Here are five good reasons your career path will make you absolutely miserable.

More here.

I take issue with the opening point, #5, in that it has embedded in it several very debatable assumptions about what it means to have a good life, what is valuable in society, and personal identity itself. That is, acting, as an art form, does, indeed, have great social and personal value, even if such value cannot be quantified in dollar terms, especially within our sick culture where commerce is prized above all other things.

Otherwise, this is spot on: acting, as a profession aimed at making money, mostly in film and television, is so screwed up that whatever is appealing to you about acting in the first place is, by and large, swallowed whole by capitalist forces we barely understand.

It's nice that I'm returning to the theater after all these years.