Last week I wanted to go over all my projects last year but I suddenly found myself stuck on Actor's Equity Union and the lack of pay if you're not a member. I didn't draw any conclusions as a whole, choosing rather to say what I concluded for my own life. I want to be a full time actor. I don't think I have a choice anymore if I want to fulfill my meager goal. However, I would venture to say that most people in the Bay don't feel the way I feel.
The biggest issue is that there isn't much room in the Bay Area for full time actors. For most of us acting is what you do when you get off your day job. It's a hobby. It's fun.
Last year I was a part of a program for actors who want to work in the Bay Area called ATLAS. Dale Albright lead this program. My takeaway from that 4 week program was that your can't realistically expect to work in this area as a full time actor. It's possible, but not probable. Even the few "full time actors" that I know are teachers and directors too. To be fair there are tons of fulfilling jobs in the theatre industry if you are willing to switch to the administrative side of the field, and many do.
I also had the joy to work with Dale as my director in the fall on The Dragon Theatre's production of The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler. I think that during that production I really began to understand Dale's philosophy. He says that his goal is to work in the style of the producer, and for this show that meant producing from the heart. He engaged us in conversations about the importance of our work, and the art around us. He loved to make the rehearsal environment collaborative and meaningful. By all means I'd call him a great director. but I wouldn't call the process rigorous or even professional. Instead I've described it as collaborative and fun. I love him for this, because fun is what it IS all about--it's why they call it a "play". But I found myself missing the hard work. it was the difference between intramural sports and the school team. Intramural sports are about fun. It is competitive and takes hard work, but most of all it's fun. The school team is on track for the pros. That is where I want to be.
Going directly from an Equity level house to working on that project was shocking. But it was a shock I needed to learn about myself. Everyone is different and has different motivations. Each kind of theatre offers its own benefits for both actors, crews, and audiences. I know where I want to be, but I am so happy to have people like Dale leading the other side of theatre. Both are essential to grow a community.
And with that, I'll see you all next time. I will try to do another audio recording soon, and might even switch over to video at some point, WHO KNOWS! Thanks to everyone, and until next time.