It has been a while! A long while! Too long since I last sat down at my computer to talk to myself (and everyone else who reads this) about entertainment industry here in the San Francisco Bay Area. In that time I think I have successfully gotten back into the field as full time as is possible, and I am so happy that I have!
First of all, I have now worked on my first Equity project. And I am way happier about than I thought I would be. For those of you who don't know, Equity is the stage actor's union in the United States. Here's an interesting fact; California is a fantastic state for employees in almost every industry. There are state laws on minimum wage, breaks, and contracts that are fantastic for workers (though maybe not so much for businesses). Businesses are required to pay sick leave and give comprehensive benefits to their employees, and the result is feeling comfortable when employed in this state. The entertainment industry is a HUGE exception. It doesn't matter if you perform for fun or for a living, if you work in this industry you are not protected by California employment laws. Actors are regularly expected to take stipends that average around $200 for three months of work averaging between 15-20 hours a week. That is an average of $0.75-$1 per hour. And for those of you who live outside the area, the average rent on a studio apt in San Francisco is $2,500/Month. This is a studio... with no bedrooms. about 500 square feet of space. And on top of the low pay, actors are not entitled to breaks, workers comp, or benefits. No matter how I feel about the politics of unions, the entertainment industry is in desperate need of them. And Equity is attempting to expand its influence by cutting down its requirements for joining so that they can be stronger and help out the average actor better. I applaud that!
I don't know how I can be the actor I want to be without being a part of a union. I want to be able to survive, AND work in the industry I love. Especially if others want to see me working in this industry (remains to be seen). I am happy to be working again, and want to continue in this field. I'm proud to call myself an actor. Now its all about figuring out how to be paid to do it!
Wow, POLITICS! I hate talking politics on a public forum, but I don't think I can talk about my time and decisions without talking about the politics behind it all. That being said, I have started to focus my auditions on equity houses and the film industry. I don't know where I'm headed yet, but I know that I want to do more of it than I do now (which is already a lot)! The only way that is possible is if I can quit one of my jobs and still sustain myself.... But for now I'll just be Patrick!
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my ramblings! Until next time, and I promise I'll complain far less!